economy 16

Chahed courts the IMF, Tunisian General Labor Union defiant

On February 25, Youssef Chahed announced the appointment of new heads to several ministries. The UGTT lost not a minute in denouncing what it called a politically-driven and unilateral decision to replace Abid Briki, former UGTT Under Secretary General, with Khalil Ghariani, head of social affairs for the UTICA, as Minister of Public Service. In a statement published on February 26, the UGTT deemed the move a deliberate provocation, and made in the interest of unblocking the second installment of a $2.9 billion loan from the IMF. The conflict, which culminated in Ghariani’s refusal to accept the nomination and the subsequent suspension of the Ministry of Public Service on March 2, is the most recent flare-up in the tenuous relationship between the current government and country’s largest workers union.

CREATISTES: the art of selling handmade

Launched on March 19, 2016, CREATISTES is a new online marketplace for all things handmade. Although it is not the country’s first virtual outlet for Tunisian arts and craft products, it is perhaps the first Tunisian version of the widely-popular Etsy (started in Brooklyn in 2005), Dawanda (Berlin, 2006), and Little Majlis (Dubai, 2012).

الحقائب الاقتصادية: وزراء على مقاس هيئات النقد الدولية

يستعرض هذا المقال قراءة أخرى لحكومة يوسف الشاهد من خلال الكشف عن توجهات المكلفين الجدد بالحقائب الاقتصادية: الطاقة والمناجم، المالية، الاستثمار والتنمية والتعاون الدولي، الصناعة والتجارة، ووزارة الفلاحة.

Bread: cereal production and food security

Earlier this year, the Food and Agriculture Administration (FAO) of the United Nations reported that wheat constitutes 96% of cereals consumed and over half of the daily caloric intake per person in Tunisia. What’s more, the high demand for cereals, and by extension cereal imports, are projected to rise in the years to come. In measure with these findings, statistics recently published by the Ministry of Agriculture for the 2014-2015 seasons report above-average imports; meanwhile, market speculations for 2016 anticipate that cereal imports to Tunisia will be up 15% from the previous five-year average.

EU “support” for Tunisia: loans and free trade to remedy terrorism

With each measure of “support” the EU has offered Tunisia—whether in the form of a sizable loan for security reforms, or a free trade agreement for economic growth—particular emphasis has been placed on the recent successes and imperative role of civil society in the country’s path to democracy. But if what Tunisian civil society demands is a shifting of the scales and relations based on reciprocity, is Europe really prepared to listen?

Still far from policy reform and self-sufficiency in Tunisia’s agrifood sector

Representatives of Tunisian farmers’ unions have insisted on agriculture’s currently vital and potentially stabilizing role for the economy. Filled with data and trend analyses, a recent report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations contradicts this observation, identifying the “relatively low” and even “falling” importance of agriculture in the national economy while pointing out that it has nonetheless buffered the blow of economic crisis and may represent a “missing link” in fighting high youth unemployment.

Debt, Farmers, and Farming Companies in Tunisia: laying ground for security and stability through agricultural reform

If important steps have been taken to improve management and optimize exploitation of State-owned agricultural lands and alleviate the debts of tenants who lease these properties, adopted measures are yet limited and incomplete … Working at the very heart of a sector upon which depends the country’s food security and, to a certain extent, the economy, Tunisian farmers have yet to gain substantial financial backing, adequate legal support, and due political recognition. Moving onward from a year of climatic fluctuations and political violence which have had devastating effects upon the sector, government officials and decision-makers will do well to recognize and invest in agriculture as the base from which sovereignty, security, and stability can grow.

تأملات في أزمـة الفكر الاقتصاديّ و الاستراتيجي التونسيّ

إن المتمعن في السياسات الاقتصاديّة التونسيّة منذ الاستقلال يدرك أنها مرت بالمراحل الرئيسيّة التالية ،وكانت كل مرحلة مرتبطة بتأزم الأوضاع الاقتصاديّة والماليّة على نحو يؤدي غالبا الى تحوّلات جذريّة في الخيارات التنمويّة للبلاد، وباستثناء المرحلتين الاولى و الثانية يلاحظ ان تونس فقدت استقلالية قرارها في تحديد توجهاتها الاقتصادية الكبرى تزامنا مع تفاقم ازمتها المالية مطلع الثمانينات و انخراطها القصري في سياسة التداين و في اتفاقيات التبادل الحر و منظومة اقتصاد السوق و البرامج الصلاحية والقروض المشروطة للمؤسسات المالية الدولية.

Food Markets in Tunisia: State Institutions and Controls for Distribution Circuits of Agricultural and Seafood Products

What are the State institutions and policies that govern Tunisia’s food markets? The gamut of actors that propel the distribution of basic commodities throughout the country—growers and producers, transporters, vendors, municipalities, regulatory authorities, consumers—constitutes a vast web which renders daunting the monitoring and measuring of interior commerce.

Export Starts Here – State Funding and Regulatory Reform for Packaged Tunisian Olive Oil

Peak season of olive oil production having recently come to an end, the month of April has seen a host of competitions in cities across the globe to discern this year’s highest quality olive oils and acknowledge outstanding producers. On 16 April, the third annual Awards Ceremony for The Best Packaged Tunisian Olive Oil took place at the Hotel Ramada Plaza in Gammarth. Some two hundred business-owners, foreign diplomats, ministers, and press were present to honor the winning producers—Al Jazira, Ulysse Agro Industries, and El Baraka respectively—of twenty-two competing companies.

Tunisia for Sale: The Push to Incentivize Foreign Investment through Regulatory Reforms, Trade Agreements

Since the departure of Ben Ali which symbolized the end of a decades-long case of “state capture,” the push to flesh out US-Tunisia trade relations has manifested in State-driven initiatives to stimulate foreign investment and in calls to adopt a Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Among the forces pushing for the facilitation of foreign investment, the American Chamber of Commerce in Tunisia is lobbying for national regulatory reforms—specifically the Investment Code and laws governing intellectual rights—as well as a new bilateral trade agreement.

Compagnie Générale des Salines de Tunisie : Opacity, Evasion, Exploitation

Earlier this month, Nawaat visited one of four regions in Tunisia where the French Compagnie Générale des Salines de Tunisie, or COTUSAL, extracts and produces salt for the local market and for export. The ensuing report, which elicited a prompt response from the company, is the most recent in a series of articles from the past year that explore the legal, economic, and environmental implications of the company’s operations in Tunisia.