Tunisia’s trade deficit widened to 2,510.6 MD in first two months of 2017

TUNIS, — In the first two months of 2017, Tunisia’s trade deficit widened to 2,510.6 million dinars (MD) compared to 1,350.9 MD in the same period of 2016, according to statistics posted by the National Institute of Statistics (INS) on its website.

Exports fell 11.8 percentage points from last year’s level to 64.8%, compared with 76.6% in the same period of 2016.

Tunisia’s imports increased significantly in relation to exports. They edged up by 23.7 percent for a value of 7,137.2 MD against 5,769 MD in the same period the previous year.

Exports also posted a slight rise of 4.7 percent, at a value of 4,626.6 MD compared to 4,418.1 MD in 2016, Tunis-Afrique-Presse (TAP) reported, citing the INS.

The distribution of trade by foreign regime indicates an acceleration in the rate of growth of exports under the offshore regime.

Under this regime, exports climbed up by 9.5 percent compared with 6.5 percent in the same period of in 2016.

Imports under this regime rose by 5,6 percent against 7.5 percent in 2016.

Under the general regime, exports dropped by 8 percent compared with a decline of 28.6 percent in the same period last year. Imports were up by 33.2 percent against a decline of 14.2 percent during the same period of 2016.

For the economic expert Ezzeddine Saidane, this deficit is mainly explained by the increase in imports from China and Turkey.

Responding to a question from TAP, the expert recalled that these two countries account for half of the country’s deficit, about four million dinars per year.

According to INS data in February 2017, Tunisia imported from China the equivalent of 603,083 MD and exported the equivalent of 10,672 MD As regards Turkey, Tunisia imported the equivalent of 310,451 MD and exported to that country the equivalent of 32,733 MD during the same period.

The expert called on the Tunisian government to identify solutions to balance this situation in consultation with the Chinese authorities.

Source: Emirates News Agency