“The Tunisian economy has shown a significant resilience in these difficult times both domestically and internationally,” Masood Ahmed, Director of the Middle East and Central Asia Department at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Monday.
Speaking to reporters after his meeting with Prime Minister Habib Essid at the Government Palace in the Kasbah, Masood Ahmed said the Tunisian economy has managed to preserve the major macroeconomic balances in a period of historic political transition in Tunisia.
He stressed that the IMF will continue to support Tunisia during the next period, noting that his meeting with the prime minister has focused on the economic outlook for the country and the importance of moving from a period of economic stabilization to a growth phase.
The IMF official emphasized the need to accelerate the reforms needed to achieve growth, boost investment and create jobs especially for young people.
“The IMF will discuss with the new government the necessary arrangements to continue to support Tunisia even after the end of the financial program implemented between the two parties middle of this year,” he said.
For his part, Chedly Ayari, Governor of the Central Bank of Tunisia (BCT), said the IMF official will meet, during his visit to Tunisia, the president of the republic, Tunisian ministers, the speaker of the House of People’s Representatives, businessmen and officials from the Tunisian General Labor Union (UGTT).
“Masood Ahmed conveyed to the Prime Minister a message from IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde in which the manager expressed confidence in the future of Tunisia and willingness to strengthen the close partnership between the two parties,” he has indicated.
Note that on June 7, 2013, the Executive Board of the IMF approved a 24-month Stand-By Arrangement for an amount equivalent to 400% of the quota (SDR 1.146 billion, or about 1.75 billion dollars).
This program has three main objectives namely to ensure macroeconomic stability in the short term, lay the foundation for higher and more inclusive growth and protect the most vulnerable populations.
The IMF is ready to support economic transition in Tunisia, following the success of the political transition, Masood Ahmed also said, after a meeting at the Carthage Palace with President Beji Caid Essebsi, adding that Tunisia, which is on the right track, is able to achieve high growth rates in the coming years.