The negative repercussions of the health crisis on the global economy are certainly significant, and are recognisable in the abrupt halt of activities at the national and international levels, the cessation of recovery of corporate debts, and the indebtedness of states and the decline in exports.
For Tunisia in particular, sales to neighboring countries such as Libya are in a remarkable slide. It is the largest contraction in the economic history of Tunisia. The decline has mainly affected the food sector. According to official statistics announced by the government, Tunisia’s exports of agricultural and food products to Libya fell by 17.5% at the end of April 2020.
Exports of fishery products to Libya decreased severely. On the other hand, exports of fruits (mainly citrus) grew by 167.5%. In the absence of a clear-sighted economic recovery strategy with Libya, Tunisia may lose this market for good.
Before 2014, Tunisian agri-food products dominated the Libyan market, which are replaced today by those of Turkey because 80% of the products currently on the shelves of Libyan supermarkets are Turkish. Tunisia hopes to see its trade with this market intensify further in order to regain the level of 2010.