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We support government reforms and will continue to work closely to ensure reforms are socially balanced" (Lagarde)

Published the:  30/01/2018

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(TAP) - “We support the government’s reforms and will continue to work closely with them to ensure the reforms are socially balanced," Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Christine Lagarde said after a meeting with Prime Minister Youssef Chahed Tuesday in Marrakech, on the fringes of the Conference: "Opportunities for All: Growth, Employment and Inclusiveness in the Arab World" (January 29-30).

Speaking to reporters, Lagarde said: "we had a productive meeting. We discussed the recent events in Tunisia and the government’s efforts to improve the economy."

“We understand the frustration of the Tunisian people who have not yet felt the full economic benefits of their country’s political transformation," she said, considering that "this process is difficult and takes time" and that the "reforms are key for people to reach the point where they begin to see unemployment drop and growth pick up."

Speaking of the reforms initiated by Tunisia, she noted that "some of the government’s key achievements include the 2018 budget law and the civil service reform strategy aimed at improving service quality and slowing the growth of the public sector wage bill."

"We also support reforms that aim at ending corruption and improving the business environment, and the health of pensions and state-owned enterprises," she pointed out.

Lagarde also said: “we all share the same objective; growth and fairness. We are working together to achieve a stronger economy for Tunisia and a brighter future for all the Tunisian people.”

She pointed out that the IMF's Executive Board will meet as soon as possible to consider the second review under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) arrangement and that Tunisia will be able to disburse the third installment of the credit.

She pointed out that expert meetings are currently under way and, at the end of the work, the various documents will be submitted to the IMF's Executive Board.

Lagarde has estimated that the second review will be approved soon and that the third tranche of the credit will be disbursed to Tunisia, which has already received two payments.

She stressed the need for further action after the completion of the review process to achieve economic efficiency, productivity and job creation, in addition to the intensification of investment and the promotion of education, calling also to focus on the social side, by protecting vulnerable groups.

Lagarde said the relations between Tunisia and the IMF are privileged, "given the progress the country has made in democratic transition since 2011", noting that many reforms have been initiated and that it is necessary to go forward.