The volume of remittances of Tunisian expatriates has increased by more than 18%, showing the real the size of the new expatriates’ contribution to the Tunisian economy.
Despite the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic, remittances outperformed foreign investment returns, grants and official development assistance.
Tunisian immigrants after 2011 constitute the most qualified generation of expatriates, as a result of the increase in the emigration of talent.
Remittances from Tunisians aboard are estimated at more than $1.7 billion. They constitute a major source of hard currency in Tunisia, making up to 11% of the total foreign investment sector.
The sector is composed of the revenues of the tourism sector, remittances from Tunisians abroad, export revenues, and direct foreign investments.
Tunisians in the diaspora are keen to continue helping their families and their country’s economy through remittances, despite the intensification of the economic crisis in a number of countries of their residence, especially in Europe, where more than a million Tunisians live.
Member of the Tunisian parliament Majdi Al-Karbai said that the generation of immigrants who left the country during the past ten years differs from the rest of the generations of immigrants in terms of the high degree of educational qualification, which helps them to settle quickly in the countries of residence.
Al-Kerbai stressed that the generation of immigrants in the last decade is estimated at more than 250,000 Tunisians.
These new immigrants have demonstrated the ability to support the economy through regular transfers for the benefit of their families, which turned into a basic income for some of them, he said.
Al-Karbai also explained that administrative and customs difficulties and the harsh laws of the countries do not help investors from the new immigration generation to turn into economic dealers in the field of startup companies.
According to official data, the number of expatriates in 2010 was about 1.15 million Tunisians. This number rose to more than 1.4 million in 2018.
The Tunisian community abroad includes elites and highly qualified people, as its number in Europe exceeds 90,000 people.
Over the past ten years, the rate of remittances by Tunisians abroad has represented 20% of national savings and 5% of GDP, according to data from the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank.
The increase in Tunisian remittances abroad reveals the extent of the expatriates’ commitment to their families, whose situation has worsened after the Coronavirus pandemic, and more than 270,000 Tunisians lost their sources of income.
The Central Bank is also trying to push the financial sector towards attracting more Tunisian clients abroad, and benefiting from the entry of 1.4 million Tunisians abroad, by motivating them to put their money in local banks, while enjoying a remunerative interest rate.