Tunisia lies between the countries of Algeria and Libya on the southern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. It is the smallest among North African states. In 2011, a revolution removed the despotic President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. This upheaval was followed by the first free elections in the country. Since then, Tunisia has been working hard to strengthen its young democracy.
Tunisia maintains a special relationship with France which happens to be its former colonial ruler. France is also the nation's most important trading partner. France and the United States supported the previous regime. However, the French Government refused to accommodate Ben Ali where he tried to seek political asylum. The ousted President fled to Saudi Arabia instead. Tunisia also tries to maintain closeness with its Arab neighbours. In fact, Tunisia hosted the Palestine Liberation Organisation from 1982 to 1993.
The political changeover of Tunisia gained new impetus this year because of the resolution of a political stalemate, adoption of a new constitution and appointment of a new government. A national dialogue was led by civil society groups and played a vital role in bringing together principal political parties. General elections have been scheduled towards the end of this year. The new government maintained that it has been working to restore peace and order. At the same time, it hopes to build a strong foundation for economic resurgence. Economic growth increased by 3.6 percent in 2012 but slowed down to 2.6 percent last year based on World Bank figures. Production in agriculture, oil and gas decreased significantly while manufacturing remained stagnant. Unemployment also decreased by roughly 15 percent but this is still above the 13 percent level of 13 percent.
Population. Ranked 79th in 2013.
GDP per capita. Ranked 96th in 2012.
155,360 sq km
Sq. km. Ranked 89th in 2008.