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Why is the Tunisian Economy Breaking Down?

The Tunisians are richer than they think

UTICA (Union Tunisienne de l’ Industrie, du Commerce et de l’Artisant) is an organization that represents Tunisian employers in the industrial, commercial and artisanal services sectors. Orga- nized regionally and according to sector, UTICA is Tunisia’s largest employer organization, acting as the public voice and defender of its members’ social and commercial interests

The ILD is a Peru-based think and action tank dedicated to understanding through fieldwork the legal causes of economic exclusion and providing governments and civil institutions the means to build an inclusive rule of law in order to benefit from the positive aspects of globalization —and defend themselves from the negative ones.

Objective of the Study

UTICA and ILD have decided to collaborate during the next year on a research project based on their shared beliefs —that during the past two centuries, history has demonstrated throughout the world that entrepreneurship creates wealth; and that the Arab world —and Tunisia in particular— is teeming with ambitious, talented entrepreneurs.

The project will address a nagging question among business leaders in the region: Why are Arab entrepreneurs not meeting their potential for producing prosperity —for themselves and their countries? That’s why the research project has been titled “Why has the Tunisian economy broken down?”

Based on daily observations and complaints received from formal entrepreneurial leaders in the MENA region and the preliminary results of ongoing ILD field research begun in 2010 soon after the breakout of the “Arab Spring,” we can start off with a quick answer: What is holding Tunisian entrepreneurship back is an excess of business carried out extralegally, outside the rule of law.

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