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Industrial policy in Tunisia


  • Erdle, Steffen


Tunisia's industrial policy is generally perceived as ‘best practice’ in its regional context. A semi-closed statist economy has increasingly been turned into an outward-oriented market economy which has consistently produced growth rates well above the regional average. This has mainly been due to consistent government investment in public infrastructure and particularly in the education sector, a comprehensive, incremental approach to socio-economic reforms, and a professional civil service able to ‘deliver’ and harness foreign financial inflows for development-oriented purposes. But the Tunisian ‘miracle’ is still rather fragile, and recent events have proven this. The main fault-lines are a high degree of vertical fragmentation, a strong dependency on a few foreign markets, a strong focus on simple assembly activities, and a correspondingly limited capacity to create qualified employment. A major obstacle for the regime's declared goal to achieve a qualitative breakthrough toward a fully developed economy and enhance upward mobility for the broad public has also been the fact that the country's political and economic elites are intertwined in numerous, intricate ways, and that there are thus few incentives for private businessmen to make the necessary long-term investments in knowledge-intensive sectors.

Suggested Citation

  • Erdle, Steffen, 2011. "Industrial policy in Tunisia," Discussion Papers 1/2011, German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:diedps:12011

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    Cited by:

    1. Ayadi, Mohamed & Mattoussi, Wided, 2014. "Scoping of the Tunisian economy," WIDER Working Paper Series 074, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    2. Houcemeddine Turki & Mohamed Ali Hadj Taieb & Mohamed Ben Aouicha & Ajith Abraham, 2020. "Nature or Science: what Google Trends says," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 124(2), pages 1367-1385, August.
    3. Houcemeddine Turki & Mohamed Ali Hadj Taieb & Mohamed Ben Aouicha & Ajith Abraham, 0. "Nature or Science: what Google Trends says," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 0, pages 1-19.
    4. El-Haddad, Amirah, 2020. "Redefining the social contract in the wake of the Arab Spring: The experiences of Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 127(C).

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