Statement at the Conclusion of an IMF Mission to TunisiaPress Release No. 13/35
February 4, 2013
In response to a request from the Tunisian authorities, an IMF mission headed by Mr. Amine Mati visited Tunis from January 15 to February 1, 2013, to hold discussions for a Precautionary Stand-By Arrangement to support the country’s reform program. At the end of the visit, Mr. Mati issued the following statement:
“The mission held productive discussions with several senior government and Central Bank officials. It also met with members of parliament, representatives of the banking and private sectors, political parties, trade unions, the donor community, and civil society. The mission discussed the country’s economic situation and challenges to be addressed, the government’s economic program, and the role that the IMF can play to support Tunisia’s economic recovery.
“The mission considers that the macroeconomic policies and structural reforms included in the government’s economic program are appropriately focused on promoting inclusive growth with a view to reducing regional disparities and unemployment and achieving social equality, while preserving macroeconomic stability in a domestic, regional, and global environment that remains challenging.
“ The mission notes that the country’s financing needs for the year ahead are met as a result of good revenue performance and the recent budget support disbursements received at end-2012 along with new financing sources already identified for 2013. As stated by the Tunisian authorities, an arrangement with the IMF is being sought only as a precautionary measure to help support the country during the transition period and, if need be, cope with exogenous shocks that could come from the global environment.
“Following these discussions, the mission noted that negotiations for a Precautionary Stand-By Arrangement, that could amount to US$1.78 billion, are at an advanced stage. The mission submitted its observations on the government’s program to the Tunisian authorities. It also plans to remain in close contact with the authorities as they fine tune the remaining details of their reform program and for meeting the objectives that were set in the 2013 budget. In the coming weeks, the mission will continue to work with the Tunisian authorities to finalize the stand-by arrangement that supports Tunisia’s economic program for presentation to the IMF Executive Board in March 2013.
“The mission would like to thank the authorities and all those with whom they met for their warm welcome, the excellent arrangements for their meetings, and the frank and productive discussions.”