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Tunisia Plans to Repay its $4 Bn Debts in 2020

Tunisia Plans to Repay its $4 Bn Debts in 2020

Sunday, 27 October, 2019 - 09:30
Outside view of the Central Bank in Tunis. (Reuters)

Tunisia plans to repay its $4.2 billions debt by 2020 and will borrow around $4 billion to finance the budget, announced the Finance Minister Ridha Chalgoum.

The Minister noted that funding for all development projects is available, but current discussions are about budget financing in collaboration with the World Bank, along with the Japanese and German governments and the European Union.

Chalgoum said the government expects funding through the current financing program with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the rest will be through the global financial market.

Since 2016, IMF has been funding an economic reform program for emerging democracies within Extended Fund Facility (EFF) valued at $2.9 billion, $1.6 billion of which has been disbursed to Tunisia.

The Minister indicated that financial indicators has improved after the adoption of reforms that enabled reduction of budget deficit from 6.1 percent in 2016 and 2017 to 4.8 percent in 2018. This year’s deficit is expected to be 3.5 percent, which is the least since 2011.

The Fund's “Global Economic Prospects in 2019” study forecasts growth of 1.5 percent for Tunisia in 2019, 2.4 percent in 2020, and 4.4 percent in 2024.

Earlier this month, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) officially decided to remove Tunisia from its blacklist, considering the Tunisian government has honored its commitments in the fight against money laundering and terrorism financing.

Tunisia’s Central Bank governor Marwan al-Abbasi, said this will enable the country to attract effective and long-term investments.

Abassi said at a press conference Friday that removing Tunisia from the list has an important impact in terms of the country’s assessment among rating agencies and foreign organizations and bodies.

In November 2017, FATF listed Tunisia as “at high risk of money laundering and terrorism financing.”

The FATF, an intergovernmental organization founded in 1989, aims at combating global money laundering and terrorist financing.

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