Press Release: IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn's Statement at the Conclusion of his Visit to Tunisia

November 18, 2008

Press Release No. 08/291

Mr. Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, issued the following statement today in Tunis at the conclusion of his visit to Tunisia:

"It has been a pleasure to visit Tunisia at the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the creation of the Central Bank of Tunisia. This institution has been central to the proactive management of the Tunisian economy, which led to growth acceleration and macroeconomic stability. The very serious global financial crisis experienced by the world requires clear and comprehensive action by all our countries as well as close policy coordination between them, with central banks playing a fundamental role in that respect.

"During my stay in Tunis, I had the privilege to meet His Excellency President Ben Ali and the Governor of the Central Bank of Tunisia, Mr. Taoufik Baccar.

"Our discussions confirmed that we share many of the same views on Tunisia's achievements and main challenges. Tunisia's economic policies and pragmatic approach to structural reforms have produced significant gains and the global financial crisis has had no direct financial impact on its economy. The key immediate challenge will be to weather the impact of a more pronounced global economic slowdown. Over the medium term, improving economic welfare will hinge on accelerated employment creation and income growth.

"Our discussions also convinced me that Tunisia is making impressive progress in its reform agenda and its prospects are favorable. I commended the authorities for creating a high-level committee to monitor global economic and financial developments and contain any negative impact on the Tunisian economy, as well as for the swift actions adopted by the Central Bank of Tunisia as soon as the crisis surfaced. I also welcomed the continued strengthening of the banking sector's performance and encouraged the authorities to persevere with this high priority reform, as they continue to gradually open up the capital account. I congratulated the authorities for their efforts to advance Maghreb regional integration, which could play an important role in helping member countries face the current adverse international environment."


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