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Report | The Report: Tunisia 2016

Tunisia has been going through a watershed period in its modern history, with the revolution of 2011 bringing much-needed change and reform. While the country has avoided much of the instability of the wider region, it has nonetheless undergone a spell of turbulence, testing the country’s newly found democratic bonds.

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Chapter | Legal Framework from The Report: Tunisia 2016

OBG introduces the reader to the different aspects of the legal system in Tunisia, in partnership with Meziou Knani & Khlif. This chapter contains a viewpoint from Ghazi Meziou, Associate Lawyer, Meziou Knani & Khlif.

Chapter | Tax from The Report: Tunisia 2016

In conjunction with EY, OBG explores the taxation system, examining Tunisia’s investor-friendly environment. This chapter contains a viewpoint from Noureddine Hajji, Managing Partner, EY Tunisia.

Chapter | Health & Education from The Report: Tunisia 2016

A national priority since independence, Tunisia’s health care system has been the focus of continued public investment that has seen an extensive network of public hospitals and health centres established nationwide. In recent years, however, the country’s private health care sector has taken the lead in investment, with the construction of new clinics intended to make the country into a regional medical centre. As a whole, Tunisia’s health care system can rely on its solid foundation, blossoming private sector and qualified workforce. However, according to the World Health Organisation, health system reform is needed in order to implement an integrated approach that is focused on primary care, prevention and provision of palliative care in order to better respond to the increase in non-communicative diseases. In addition, the government is focusing on policies aimed at identifying medium- to long-term reform measures that will reduce health inequalities and improve the system’s responses to the evolving demographic and epidemiologic situation. In the aftermath of decolonisation, Tunisia was among the top investors in education in Africa, promoting socio-economic development and boosting human capital, which led to rapid progress in literacy, access to primary education and high enrolment figures. Today, the authorities are focusing on overhauling the educational and vocational training system, as well as bolstering private education, as a means to uplift educational standards and cut the rising unemployment rate among young graduates. Although Tunisia has continued to prioritise investment in education, it has paid too little attention to the requirements of the labour market. This has led to a mismatch between qualifications and the needs of the employment market. The authorities will have to continue overhauling Tunisia’s higher education system by providing improved career guidance and ensuring better employability for new graduates. This chapter contains interviews with Saïd Aïdi, Minister of Health; and Chiheb Bouden, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research.

Chapter | Agriculture from The Report: Tunisia 2016

Agriculture performed strongly in 2015, driven by outstanding production and olive oil exports, which generated nearly 920m in revenue. The sector, which accounts for around 10% of GDP, has not been spared the instability affecting the country since the 2011 revolution, prompting efforts to initiate structural reforms, including enhanced organisation to boost productivity and stabilize output. Profitability is also a concern, as farmer debt is soaring amid rising input costs. Given the role that the sector has come to occupy in securing foreign revenues and bolstering the country’s trade balance, Tunisia is set to further tap into existing assets, such as its geographical location and favorable climate, to boost exports to Europe. There is also significant potential to enhance exports to neighbouring Libya and Algeria, where non-tariff barriers are less of an impediment to trade than they are in Europe’s case. This chapter contains an interview with Abdelaziz Makhloufi, CEO, CHO Company.

Chapter | Tourism from The Report: Tunisia 2016

In the years leading up to 2011, Tunisia was a popular destination for many European holidaymakers in search of a nearby, safe and affordable sun and sea destination. For more than 40 years, Tunisia’s resorts in beachside cities like Sousse and Hammamet had catered to a primarily package tourist crowd, attracting visitors from France, Germany, Italy and the UK. The country’s attractions are unique – from the ksours (castles) of Tataouine to the beaches of Djerba to the ruins of Carthage – however, recent years have proven challenging. The 2011 revolution led to a drop in visitor numbers in the immediate aftermath in turn exacerbating structural issues, such as a lack of diversified offerings. This was further impacted by a pair of terrorist incidents in 2015, which slowed the pace of the industry’s recovery from the 2011 revolution. However, while the short-term outlook is somewhat uncertain, the efforts adopted by the government under Vision 3+1, provide cause for optimism in the medium to long term. The ability of the sector to diversify its offerings and provide a wider selection of accommodation and activities should help buffer revenues in the future and ensure a more sustainable growth trajectory. This chapter contains an interview with Radhouane Ben Salah, President, Tunisian Federation of Hoteliers.

Chapter | Industry & Mining from The Report: Tunisia 2016

Tunisia boasts Africa’s sixth-largest manufacturing sector, and the country’s geography is an important asset for growth, offering direct access to the Mediterranean Sea and proximity to the European market, to which the bulk of the country’s exports are destined. Despite such logistical advantages, labour productivity, the size of the informal sector and problems in some subsectors – such as textiles – suggest significant room for improvement. Meanwhile, segments such as agribusiness, construction materials and machinery manufacturing have proven relatively successful in recent years. In the years since Tunisia’s 2011 revolution, manufacturing growth has sometimes stumbled, declining from approximately 2.3% of GDP in 2014 to 1% in 2015. This chapter contains interviews with Romdhane Souid, CEO, Groupe Chimique Tunisien; and Amine Ben Ayed, CEO, Misfat.