The Cost of Excessive Trade Regulation: How Tunisia is Losing Money

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Tunisia suffers from the illegal trade of merchandise that reduces its potential for more state income. Most of illicit trade comes through its borders with Algeria and Libya. Each year, millions of dollars of illicit products enter Tunisia without control or government oversight. This situation is a continuation from decades of government-endorsed illegal trading practices that were designed to provide income for the allies of ousted President Ben Ali. Today, the government has no appetite for cracking down on such practice, but MEA Risk sees the situation worsening as Tunisia works on reducing state subsidies. This means that the Tunisian consumer will be more attracted to lower-priced products coming from neighboring countries, through a trade that escapes government, and that means millions of dollars of loss for the State.

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The North Africa Journal is a leading English-language publication focused on North Africa. The Journal covers primarily the Maghreb region and expands its general coverage to the Sahel, Egypt, and beyond, when events in those regions affect the broader North Africa geography. The Journal does not have any affiliation with any institution and has been independent since its founding in 1996. Our position is to always bring our best analysis of events affecting the region, and remain as neutral as humanly possible. Our coverage is not limited to one single topic, but ranges from economic and political affairs, to security, defense, social and environmental issues. We rely on our full staff analysts and editors to bring you best-in-class analysis. We also work with sister company MEA Risk LLC, to leverage the presence on the ground of a solid network of contributors and experts. Information on MEA Risk can be found at www.MEA-Risk.com.