Tunisian economy to recover in 2012
The Tunisian financing minister, Jalloul Ayyad, expects a significant increase in economic growth in 2012 after the weakness following the Tunisian revolution, overthrowing then president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
Ayyad said he expects GDP growth in 2012 to exceed 5% with a 6% target. This would be a significant increase from 1% in 2010.
Ayyad said that the Tunisian economy should be diversified to limit its dependence on tourism and export industries such as the industry of technological components. The minister previously said that he would provide plans to the temporary government of Prime Minister Baji Sbsi to establish two investment funds to stimulate economic development.
One of the funds is going to be under the government care, and will focus primarily on infrastructure projects. The second fund, which includes initial capital totaling $2.5 billion from government funds, will work with the private sector to invest in Tunisia.
Ayyad commented: "We think that due to financial leverage, we can expect an investment of about 50 to 60 billion dollars in the next five to seven years." Ayyad expects the identification of the legal and regulatory framework of the funds to last about a year before launching the investment.
The minister also said that the Tunisian dinar, which is not completely convertible, has been decreasing gradually for 25 years. He expects it to reach full conversion within two to three years.
Both the Tunisian Prime Minister Baji Sbsi and the governor of the Central Bank of Tunisia (former expert at the World Bank) Mustafa Nabulsi acknowledge that the Tunisian economy’s situation, five months after the end of the revolution against the former system, is dire.