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Tunisian Parliament Approves New Law to Boost Economy | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Tunisian Tourism Minister Selma Elloumi Rekik speaks during an interview with Reuters in Tunis, Tunisia, April 20, 2016. REUTERS/Zoubeir Souissi

Tunisia- Tunisia’s parliament approved on Saturday a controversial law to boost economy. One hundred fourteen parliamentarians backed the law while 16 rejected it and four others refused to vote.

The new law is linked to the economic emergency law in Tunisia which stipulates finding solutions for the investment problems, drop of growth and poor exports. The new law stresses reinforcing investors’ ability to seal deals and economic partnership agreements between the private and public sector though direct negotiations. This is applied only in the case of giant projects of high importance, without specifying their nature.

However, some organizations that are interested in corruption and transparency matters showed concerns over putting customized conditions that fit specific parties who are exploiting the difficult economic situation of Tunisia. These parties want to downsize the state’s role, according to the organizations.

On another level, the National office of the Tunisian Tourism (ONTT) has revealed tourism related indicators during the past eight months of 2016. Unlike forecasts, indicators dropped around 3% compared with the same period in 2015 and 31.7% compared with same period in 2014.

During the past eight month, 2,915 million tourists visited Tunisia compared with 3 million tourists during the same period in 2015. This drop is attributed to the terrorist operation that took place at one of the hotels in Sousse end of July 2015, killing 40 – most of them are British. French tourists and German tourists’ rate also dropped 23.8% and 52.6% respectively.

On the contrary, Minister of Tourism, Salma Elloumi stated that the arrival of Russian tourists saved the tourism season and that fulfill recovery demands time and efforts to promote Tunisian tourism again.