Economy Rewards of Industry

By Versi, Anver | African Business, June 2000 | Go to article overview

Economy Rewards of Industry


Versi, Anver, African Business


Tunisia's relentless march towards a first world economic status shows no signs of abating. If anything, the pace is quickening. GDP growth this year is expected to hit the 6% mark. Following an average growth rate of around 5% for the last decade, this is a remarkable performance, especially for a country with few natural resources.

Like Mauritius, the other star in Africa's economic firmament, Tunisia is reaping the rewards of its heavy investment in human resources. Like Mauritius, it is using the skills of its people to make things for which there is a high international demand. Unlike Mauritius however, Tunisia is situated right in the heart of its principal market -- the European Union -- to which it sends around 80% of its exports. Goods from Mauritius, on the other hand, which is located far out in the middle of the Indian Ocean, have to make the long haul to Europe and then push out even further to reach the United States.

It is this proximity to Europe which is the key to Tunisia's economic thrust. But proximity on its own means nothing -- as witness Tunisia's neighbours in the Maghreb. It is making this proximity count that has transformed this North African country of nine million into a regional power house.

Pragmatic, thoroughly thought out policies, and the energy and determination to carry them through, lie at the heart of Tunisia's success. Under the leadership of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, every factor that could have slowed down or impeded the country's development was thrown into the rubbish bin; everything that enhanced development was nurtured and encouraged.

The result has been remarkable political stability in a volatile region, the highest per capita income and the best literacy rate in Africa, easily the most qualified workforce on the continent and a superb, modern infrastructure.

Given such a fertile soil, it is hardly surprising that some 2,000 international companies have taken root in Tunisia. This year alone, the country expects to attract another $600m worth of foreign direct investment. This industrial muscle, added to the thousands of world-class Tunisian enterprises, equals an African Singapore in the making.

Tunisia's immediate goal is to be fully prepared for the 2008 free trade zone agreement with the EU. This entails two separate revolutions which in the end have to dovetail perfectly. The first is to upgrade, modernise and increase physical infrastructure and the second, perhaps more important, is to raise human performance levels.

Hive of activity

Both strands of the strategy are well under way. Tunisia today is a hive of furious activity. At least 45 major construction projects, with a value of around $4.6bn, are either well advanced or nearing completion. Avenue Mohamed V in Tunis, an elegant avenue with old-world charm, is being transformed into a modern commercial artery with glittering high-rise office blocks. The massive new Ministry of Foreign Affairs building is set to be a landmark. A new, ultra-modern all-purpose stadium is taking shape at Rades and will be completed in time for the 14th Mediterranean Games in 2001. A large new marina is also approaching completion at the tourist resort of Hammamet. Scores of other projects, including flats, office buildings, factory shells, shopping malls, hotels and leisure facilities such as golf courses are under construction up and down the country. As you travel around Tunisia, the phrase 'building the future' takes on literal meaning.

The country is preparing itself for the larger volume and faster pace of economic activity that the EU agreement will entail. The Tunis-Carthage International airport has already been expanded and road and rail networks are increasing steadily. Berthing space and port facilities are undergoing continuous upgrading. Today, there are 166 weekly flights to Europe and 20 sea-going departures. Traffic by land, sea and air will increase year by year until 2008 but the country's transport authorities are confident they will have the capacity to deal with whatever volumes come their way. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Economy Rewards of Industry
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.