The year 2009 experienced the worst world financial and economic crisis since World War II. Tunisia, unlike the overwhelming majority of the world countries, managed not only to create wealth but also to strengthen its capacity to withstand the exogenous shocks. This performance is recognized internationally. The various world institutions are unanimous in stressing that “the Tunisian economy tried its utmost to resist the crisis.”
International Monetary Fund (IMF) Deputy Managing-Director Murilo Portugal stated that Tunisia in spite of the world crisis, managed to bring down its public debt and doubtful debts, to increase its currency reserves and the volume of direct foreign investments (DFIs).
In another connection, challenges are still posed to the country, notably regarding consolidation of public funds, reduction of unproductive debts and employment of the higher-graduates.
As regards the evaluation of the situation in Tunisia, IMF takes into consideration the Tunisian proposals regarding internal reforms of the Fund.
As to these proposals, they concern notably the flexible funding line proposed to emerging countries. This line opens up broad prospects for countries which are in need, mainly of guarantees to support some reforms, such as the total convertibility of the dinar.
Tunisia expresses the will to reinforce its co-operation with IMF, notably in the fields of Tunisian skills’ training and their participation in technical co-operation missions in third countries.
The reactions of the Tunisian authorities in the face the impact of the world financial crisis and the decisions and measures taken at the initiative of the Head of State mitigate the impact of the crisis on growth and employment.
The continuous reforms helped the country face up the difficult world economic juncture and achieve a 3-per-cent growth rate, while economies of several other countries recorded negative ones.
The efficiency of the banking and financial sectors whose indicators contributed to forge ahead in keeping under control the classified debts, boosted the financial assets of the sector and improved its services.
The prospects of its evolution, as part of the 2009-2014 presidential programme introduced several reforms to improve the sector’s efficiency and boost its contribution to the economy’s development.
As regards the international context, the prospects for improving the world economy whose growth will not record notable improvement, despite starting revival registered during recent months, the dangers that threaten this resumption are still here, notably the rising public debts, especially in the developing countries and excessive rise of unemployment.
The Legatum Institute’s report points, in particular, to the important role of good governance and its contribution to economic progress, by underlining that “countries that have a good governance system are most likely to benefit from healthy economic foundations and an entrepreneurial culture.”
The Report also emphasizes the inextricable link between security and prosperity, indicating, in this regard, that “security is both cause and consequence of overall prosperity and that a safe nation helps its citizens blossom with no fear at all.”
Tunisia, a country that has accepted to submit its economy to the various international specialized bodies’ assessment, has always been able to distinguish itself in several sectors of activities.
In 2009, for instance, Tunisia earned good ratings on the world scale, particularly in matters of competitiveness, resistance to the crisis, promotion of information and communication technologies (ICT) and quality of life.
The annual report of the World Economic Forum on Global Competitiveness (2009-2010) ranked Tunisia on top of the African countries and 40th in the world out of a total of 133 surveyed countries.
This ranking is set on the basis of twelve quantitative and qualitative pillars: institutional environment (legal and administrative framework), macro-economic stability, infrastructure, health and primary education, innovation, market efficiency (financial, labour and goods), technological readiness, market size, business sophistication, higher education and training.
On the African scale, Tunisia did better than South Africa (45th), Egypt (70th), Morocco (73rd), Algeria (83rd).
Compared with the European countries, Tunisia comes ahead of such countries as Portugal (43rd), Poland (46th), Slovakia (47th), Italy (48th), Hungary (58th), Turkey (61st), Romania (64th) and Greece (71st).
The “Bespoke Investment,” a global report on countries’ capacity to resist the international financial crisis, ranked Tunisia at the 6th place out of a total of 82 countries.
This report accounts for this good rating to the lack, in the Tunis Stock Market, of “poisonous” products in portfolios of Tunisian banks and absence of speculative investment funds.