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Tunisia: advanced discussions with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to obtain funding


AA / Tunisia

The Central Bank of Tunisia has announced “very advanced” discussions with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, in order to obtain financial resources.

This is what emerges from the statements of the Director General of Finance and External Payments of the Central Bank of Tunisia, Abdelkrim Lassoued, on Shems FM (private) radio on Friday evening.

The Tunisian official estimated that “the conclusion of an agreement with the International Monetary Fund is the first solution to introduce important reforms in the Tunisian economy”.

Last May, Tunisia began technical talks with the International Monetary Fund with the aim of securing a new loan of around $ 4 billion, but these were halted due to political instability in the country.

Lassoued denied the statements disseminated by a number of economic experts on Tunisia’s inability to pay its external debts, hence its recourse to the “Paris Club” (economic) to reschedule debts.

He said Tunisia is in a position to meet its external commitments for the remainder of 2021.

And to add: “with the conclusion of an agreement with the International Monetary Fund and the launch of the reforms at the beginning of 2022, there will be no problem to repay the debts”.

The Director General of Finance and External Payments stressed that there were positive signs of a breakthrough for the Tunisian economy, especially with the start of the recovery of the tourism sector, and the economic revival of the European Union. , the country’s first partner, among other good signs.

Abdelkrim Lassoued did not provide further details on talks with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. For their part, the two countries concerned made no immediate comment on this matter.

Tunisia is undergoing a serious political and economic crisis, due to a serious lack of financial resources. The rating agency Moody’s recently downgraded the country’s sovereign rating from “B3” to “Caa1”, with a negative outlook.

* Translated from Arabic by Mounir Bennour.

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