IMF, Tunisia reach $2.8bn loan for economic reform

The International Monetary Fund said on Friday it has reached a tentative deal to assist Tunisia with a four-year loan programme worth about $2.8 billion tied to economic reforms.

The loan programme will be subject to approval next month by the IMF’s executive board.

In a statement, IMF Tunisia Mission Chief Amine Mati said the loan facility will support the Tunisian government’s development goals of boosting growth, reducing vulnerabilities and fostering sustainable job creation.

“To this end, the Fund-supported programme focuses on boosting public investment, making the tax system more equitable and fair and improving access to finance for small businesses,” Mati said.

A Tunisian government official told Reuters in Tunis on Friday that the country also will go to international markets with a 1 billion euro bond issue next week to raise funds to help cover a budget deficit.

The North African state’s economy is struggling with a drop in tourism revenues after four major militant attacks over the past year, and an outbreak of social unrest over jobs and development at the start of this year.

Tunisia’s economic progress has fallen behind since the 2011 uprising against autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali that bought the country to full democracy and triggered “Arab Spring” revolutions across North Africa and the Middle East.

Source: Reuters

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