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Tunisia: Government seeks US guarantees in borrowing

Tunisia expects that the U.S. guarantees at least one fifth of the 2.2 to 2.5 billion dollars that Tunisia plans to borrow from international markets.

This statement was made by Riadh Bettaieb, Minister of Investment and International Cooperation, who stated that “Washington had offered to secure a loan of $ 500 million to help Tunisia to reduce the interest rate (of its borrowing on the international market) to the limits of 1.68%.”

The minister, who did not say whether his Government would use this same U.S guarantee for the loan of $ 485 million borrowed by Tunisia during the last year, spoke of a possible intervention of Japan and the Bank World “to help the government to raise funds in 2013.”

After significant declines over the last decade, the public debt of Tunisia made a dramatic growth reaching 51% of GDP at the end of 2011, against 48% at end 2010.

According to estimates of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the rate will reach 56% by the end of next year.

The current Government had borrowed $ 4.3 billion dinars ($ 2.37 billion) in 2012, based on reports suggesting a growth rate expected in the range of 3.5% against a negative growth of -1 8% in 2011.


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