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Tunisia: WEF ranks Tunisia as the most competitive country in Africa and Maghreb

The Global Competitiveness Report 2010-2011, released by the Davos World Economic Forum (WEF), confirmed the great progress made in Tunisia, which is at the forefront of the world’s most competitive economies, while consolidating its leading position in Africa and the Maghreb. More importantly, and compared with the previous report, Tunisia has managed to move upward 8 places in the ranking set by the World Economic Forum.

While strengthening its leading position in Africa and the Maghreb, Tunisia ranks 32nd in the world in terms of competitiveness out of 139 countries involved in this report, achieving the best performance, compared with the top forty countries and coming ahead of several countries members of the European Union (Spain 42nd, Portugal 46th, Italy 48th, Poland, Czech Republic, Malta, Cyprus…), of Asia and Latin America.

In Africa, the first ranked country after Tunisia comes 54th (South Africa) and in the Arab world, Tunisia ranks fourth after Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The Global Competitiveness Report is based on the ranking set by the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI).

The GCI includes 12 indicators and paints a detailed picture of competitiveness of countries at stages of development.

These categories are institutions, infrastructure, macro-economic environment, health and basic education, higher education and training, efficiency of property market, effectiveness of labour market, financial market development, business sophistication and innovation.

At this level and regarding indicators adopted, Tunisia holds leads in terms of health and basic education, it ranks fifth in the use of public funds, 8th in terms of price policy in the agricultural sector and 7th in the availability of scientists and engineers.

The index is, in fact, based on a combination of statistical data and results of survey, particularly the annual survey of business leaders led by the World Economic Forum, in collaboration with its network of partner institutes (well-known research institutes and economic organizations), located in studied countries.

This year, more than 13,500 business leaders were polled in 139 countries. Switzerland tops the ranking prepared by the Global Competitiveness Report 2010-2011. The U.S. lost two places, moving down to the fourth rank, overtaken by Sweden (2) and Singapore (3).

Tunisia Macroeconomic policies continue to be well tailored. Tunisia’s good economic performance can also be attributed to the implementation of appropriate monetary and fiscal policies, as well as to the maintenance of a flexible exchange rate policy, which helped keep the real exchange rate in line with the fundamentals. Furthermore, as the financial sector was not affected by the global financial crisis, the financing of the economy continued without disruption.

The economic and financial policies that Tunisia has pursued have shown their effectiveness in achieving stability over the years and have proven their worth in the recent period by effectively shielding the country from the fallout of the global economic and financial downturn which has led to a decline in foreign investment.

Tunisia’s real GDP growth is projected to reach 3.8 percent, supported by a rebound in industrial activity and investment, while agricultural performance will likely be weaker than last year. Inflation edged up slightly to5 percent (year-on-year) in May 2010, due to rising food prices, but non-food price increases have remained very moderate at around 3 percent.

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