Tunisian Secretary of State for Finance Slim Besbes called, on Thursday in Abu Dhabi, for “mobilizing EUR 1 billion in quickly cashable donations to finance short-term projects.”
The secretary of state, who was taking part in the G8 and Deauville Partners Finance Ministers’ meeting said:” the success of democratic transition in Tunisia hinges on a swift treatment of social problems, particularly improvement of living conditions of citizens in inland regions and reduction of unemployment, particularly among university graduates.” “Tunisia will also seek to achieve middle and long term development projects,” he added.
The former Government of Beji Caid Essebsi had presented to the Deauville Summit in France (May 2011) the Jasmine Plan, an economic and social program requiring investments of 125 billion dollars, including foreign financial support of 25 billion dollars. Mr. Besbes called on Tunisia’s partners to meet the commitments of the Deauville Summit, regarding contribution to funding the Jasmine Plan.
The secretary of state also stressed the need to step up international efforts to help Tunisia retrieve Ben Ali’s and Trabelsi’s families assets. During this meeting, it was agreed to create a mechanism overseen by the World Bank, allowing retrieving these assets.
The secretary of state also called for setting up a specific mechanism to provide funds to countries undergoing democratic transition, i.e. a “Private Support Fund for Democratic Transition.”
The meeting, which took place to prepare for the upcoming meeting is scheduled for next April in Washington, was attended by representatives of G8 countries and Arab countries (United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Egypt, Tunisia and Jordan)
Representatives of international and regional financial institutions such as the International Monetary Fund, the Arab Monetary Fund, the OPEC Fund for International Development, the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development, the Organization of Co-operation for
Development, the Islamic Development Bank, the European Development Bank, the African Development Bank and the Institute of International Finance also took part in this meeting.
The Abu Dhabi meeting, headed by the United States, discussed ways to increase the rates of economic growth and improve the investment climate in Arab countries experiencing democratic transition.