Due to its limited natural resources, Tunisia has focused on strengthening its human potential. The bulk of the national budget has been allocated to education, health-care, housing and social services. The private sector is encouraged to play a leading role in economic growth and, as a result, Tunisians have created a modern, diversified market-oriented economy based on an efficient agricultural sector, a growing manufacturing sector, and athriving tourism industry.
Tunisia’s GNP and social indicators have risen steadily since independence, averaging more than 3% annually in recent years and has also been reducing its debt levels. During the last years, international financial institutions have frequently cited Tunisia as “a model for success” highlighting its middle class underpinnings, generally well-functioning institutions, low poverty rates, and relatively well-educated population, especially when compared with other countries in the region.
The main Tunisian exports are crude oil, minerals, manufactured goods, and agricultural products, including its internationally renowned olive oil. Its primary trading partners are France, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Maghreb countries.