Competition Policies and Deregulation in Tunisia
Tunisia’s economy was highly regulated from independence in 1956 until 1986, at which point macroeconomic and external payment difficulties, along with the constraints of central control, prompted major policy changes. So far reform has involved the removal of barriers to competition, notably in trade and investment. In addition, most price controls have been removed, many state-owned enterprises have been privatized, and deregulation of banking has advanced considerably. During the period of structural adjustment (1986–94) Tunisia became the first southern Mediterranean country to sign a free trade agreement with the European Union, committing itself to total removal of tariff and non-tariff barriers on all imports (except agricultural products), and it became a full member of GATT (the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade). Under the Uruguay Round Tunisia committed itself to the progressive removal of quantitative restrictions on imports and of binding on most tariff lines. Despite such progress, reform in many areas has been either inadequate or slow in coming. If Tunisia is to improve its economic performance, the climate of competition must be enhanced through further reform.
KeywordsPrice Control Uruguay Round Lending Rate Foreign Competition Nontariff Barrier
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