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"We have agreed with Tunisian government on economic reforms" (Bjorn Rother)

Published the:  17/04/2017

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(TAP) - International Monetary Fund (IMF) Tunisia mission chief, Bjorn Rother said, Monday, "the IMF mission has just completed its discussions with the Tunisian authorities on the first review of the agreement with Tunisia under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF).”

Speaking to reporters after his meeting in the Government Palace in Kasbah with The President of the Government Youssef Chahed, he added: "as a result of these discussions, there will be a disbursement for Tunisia but the most important is that an agreement was reached with the Tunisian authorities on the priorities of the key economic reforms for 2017, 2018 and for the medium term. This is the most important aspect of our commitment with Tunisia".

At the end of the IMF mission (April 7-18, 2017) in Tunisia, Rother highlighted the efforts made by the various stakeholders "to make Tunisia a country more economically strong and to guide policymakers towards a more promising path in terms of development and job creation, especially in interior regions."

"I believe that the Tunisian government is on the right path and it is a privilege for us to be a strong partner of Tunisia," he added.

A source from the Prime Ministry told TAP, on condition of anonymity, "this agreement is a preparatory phase before the approval of the IMF\\'s Executive Board to disburse the second installment of the loan granted to Tunisia, estimated at USD 325 million (about 700 million dinars), at the end of May or the beginning of June."

"This agreement in principle sends positive signals to international financial markets, namely the European Union (EU) which promised to lend Tunisia € 400 million and the World Bank that pledged USD 500 million,” he pointed out.

The IMF had approved in May 2016 a four-year $2.9 billion loan for Tunisia spread over four years to support the authorities’ economic agenda aimed at promoting more inclusive growth and job creation, while protecting the most vulnerable households.

The programme includes reforms to tackle high unemployment and strengthen governance.

Tunisia has so far obtained $ 320 million under the first installment. The remainder of the amount will be paid in installments according to the progress of the implementation of the economic reform programme under the agreement.