Privatisation in Tunisia has become a constant of the country economic environment. It has even become a necessity, due to the disengagement of the State from the productive sectors which has also become a necessity in the market economy that Tunisia is applying. The results are promising and helped to save many institutions which could have remained a burden for all the economic community. Privatisation has, though, some opponents, remnants of a past era of dirigisme and of providential State, who still want the State to control everything. If we look at it more closely, a privatisation case pleads for this Tunisian approach which considers it as « a necessity for modernising the Tunisian economy in an environment which has become more and more hostile to the inherited paternalistic managerial methods and which calls for systemic strategic changes affecting the dynamics of the economy where the Enterprise is in first front, in the place of the State and contributes repositioning the private enterprise in the core of the new regulation of the economy». This is the case of Socomena. The enterprise, specialised in the sector of mechanic and naval reparations, was privatised in June 2004. Bought by a Tunisian-French Joint Venture, the Tunisian partner being Pireco of Abdessalem Ben Ayed (CMRT), the enterprise is gradually improving and is showing now real signs of recovery. Moreover, the enterprise, which attended by the State has, now, doubled its recruitments and quadrupled its workforce. Some figures and a downloadable document document téléchargeable, may be convincing.
In December2004, Socomena turnover was about 2 MDT including export and local market. To October 15th 2008, CMRT turnover outpassed 17 MDT (15,4 MDT export and 1,7 MDT locally). The net result of the enterprise before its privatization which was of 0,5 MDT in December 2004, increases to 1,9 MDT in October 2008. Investment, which has completely and thoroughly changed as per our document, rises from 0,22 MDT to 2,3 MDT in October 2008, with a peak of 4,2 MDT in 2006 and a total over the four years over 10 MDT.
In terms of jobs, which represent fears for those who do not yet accept that the State is no longer the main employer, the number of employees in this enterprise increases from 237 at privatisation, to 553 in October, this year and the corresponding salary mass increases from 1 MDT to 5,125 MDT to October 15th 2008 ! Who dare say that this privatization and Privatisation in Tunisia is not successful and that it is not a viable economic project?