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IMF disburses loan to Tunisia

Staff writer |
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has made $217.5 million available to Tunisia, a part of an agreement approved by which the fund will grant a $1.74 billion loan to the North Africa country.

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Each of the loan's instalments, are only made available following reviews of Tunisia's economy by IMF technicians and local authorities. According to the IMF, this instalment was made available after the Fund's fourth review of Tunisia's economy.

A delegation from the IMF travelled to Tunis in July and signed an agreement for the disbursement, as previously reported by ANBA. Now, the disbursement has been approved by the IMF's Board of Governors.

According to the IMF's press release, although Tunisia is implementing structural reforms, it still has many challenges to address. "The economic situation remains difficult. Growth is timid, unemployment remains high, and rising external imbalances are putting pressures on the exchange rate and reserves."

The statement notes that the country is in the midst of political transition and elections will be held in the last quarter of the year. Nonetheless, the IMF points out that this transition is helping the Arab country.

The IMF asserted that the country posted good fiscal results in quarter one this year and that pressure on the economy may be offset by stricter wage and expenditure policies. The Fund advises authorities to reform state-owned companies and improve asset management.

The press statement acknowledges that Tunisia has taken "important steps" towards reducing financial sector vulnerability, but warns of measures pending implementation, such as establishing an asset management company, passing a bankruptcy law and fine-tuning regulatory frameworks.

"Accelerated implementation of structural reforms is needed to improve the investment climate and generate a stronger and more inclusive growth. Moving ahead with the competition law and the public private partnerships framework will help foster private sector development," the press release reads.

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