Economic Freedom of the Arab world: Tunisia ranked 12th in 2017 annual report | Tunisia News Gazette

Economic Freedom of the Arab world: Tunisia ranked 12th in 2017 annual report

Tunisia was ranked 12th (with a score of 6.7 / 10) out of a total of 22 Arab countries in the 2017 annual report of the Economic Freedom of the Arab World, moving down one spot compared to the previous year (11th).

This index, published Saturday, is developed by the Canada-based Fraser Institute.

It is based on five key criteria: size of government, legal system and property rights, sound money, freedom to trade internationally and regulation.

“Tunisia’s ranking remains below our ambitions. We are working to put in place the “Higher Business Climate Council”, which will reduce obstacles to investment and improve the business climate,” Taoufik Rajhi, Minister-Adviser to the Prime Minister said on the sidelines of a meeting held in Tunis to announce the results of the index of Economic Freedom.

Rajhi reiterated, in the same framework, that “we must go in the same direction developed by the Investment Law, by working more to minimise obstacles, simplify procedures, reduce authorisations and ensure fiscal stability.

Sharing the same point of view, Majdi Hassan, executive director of the Arab Institute of Business Managers (IACE), stressed the imperative to complete the reforms initiated by the country, including banking and monetary reform, and structural economic reforms.

The official said Tunisia is still struggling to implement free trade agreements with other countries, and to boost trade with its neighbours, in addition to the difficulties related to high customs taxes that hinder the service sector, and the lack of flexibility in the labor market.

“All these failings directly influence Tunisia’s ranking in the report on economic freedom, but also in other reports such as the Ease of Doing Business, or the Global Competitiveness Report of Davos,” he pointed out.

Fred McMahon, Vice President of Research International Policy and Director at Fraser Institute, noted that economic freedom promotes prosperity and economic growth in the country, as well as changing the structure of a society, as much as it helps to reduce poverty.

In this regard, he pointed out that the average income per person varies from country to country, depending on the level of economic freedom.

For the “free” countries, this income is of the order of 12 thousand dollars, while for those “not free” it does not exceed 2 thousand dollars.

Tunisia was ranked 117th in the world out of 160 countries in the Index of Economic Freedom.

Source: TAP News Agency

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