Tunisia full steam ahead with privatization
Tunisia, Economics, 12/3/1997
Tunisian Minister of Economy Tawfik Bakar stated that 20 public establishments and organizations were put up for sale during the first 9 months of the current year. Another 30 establishments are under study for privatization by the Higher Committee.
He also said that last year 30 establishments were privatized, yielding returns of $55 million. He added that the privatization plan that started in 1986 is proceeding side-by-side with reforms in the country's economic structure that will provide the economy with 350 million dinars ($315 million). The privatization plan included hotels, food and canning companies, construction materials companies in addition to other companies in the fields of trade, services and transportation.
The Tunisian government decided to sell the establishments working in the competing fields out of the belief that public sector companies will not be involved in such fields. The private sector has become capable of providing for the needs of the country in many manufacturing areas like clothes, shoes, and the plastic materials.
The Tunisian Minister pointed out that his ministry had established a privatization plan for the future which includes privatizing the Hilton Hotel in the capital and other factories working in the food area.
He also pointed out that the government will give the private sector a greater role in the future. The deal signed by the Tunisian Company for Electricity and a US company to set up a power generating station south of the capital is the first in a series of projects that will include paving highways to connect Tunisia with Algeria in the north, and with Libya in the south.
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