“The international community is called upon to devote more time to the problems faced by Tunisia, in particular in this exceptional stage,” the government estimated through its Minister of Finance, Slim Chaker.
The Minister, whom we met on Thursday, April 28, 2016, at a lunch discussion organized by the American Chamber of Commerce in Tunisia, described this approach as strategic for the international community to understand the real issues in Tunisia and provide appropriate solutions more adapted to the major challenges facing Tunisia at the economic, social and security levels.
But why? It’s simple, said the Minister, indicating that the international partners have misunderstood the situation in Tunisia. “The international community has not devoted much time to Tunisia; and this is understandable since it has other priorities, “he justified.
He added: “This certainly would have a cost especially that the international community would provide ready-made solutions in a toolkit that however are not applicable to Tunisia, which already has different needs.”
“On many occasions, I told the World Bank or even the International Monetary Fund that Tunisia is not a laboratory to create tools that will later be applied in Iraq, Syria and Libya. In addition, this toolkit will never be applied to Tunisia and that is why it is important to understand the challenges of our country, “he said.
Slim Chaker’s call comes as Tunisia urges more support and more investment from the international community to ensure the success of the democratic transition.
“We are working, moving forward and implementing the necessary reforms, but if we found this boost from the international community, the probability of success will increase, especially since it is an important stage to successfully stabilize the country, prevent any slippage and come out of the impasse, Slim Chaker pointed out.
This is important not only for Tunisia, which despite its arduous and lengthy trials, has emerged as the only “success story” of the Arab Spring, but for the world in general.
A framework partnership between Tunisia and the international community, an obligation
Slim Chaker’s statements corroborate the results of a study prepared by the American foundation “Carnegie Endowment for International Peace” on the “state of the Tunisian economy and society and prospects for improvement”.
The latter noted that Tunisia is still far from being able to further get out from poverty and unemployment. Hence the importance of the establishment of a new framework partnership between Tunisia and the international community.
This new framework partnership may help to combine reform actions and make the international assistance more coordinated and intensified, according to the same source.
Besides, with international support, Tunisia needs to create a coordination mechanism “G7” for economic assistance to promote transparency and accountability…
It could also launch an inclusive dialogue with all stakeholders on public policy and new laws. “The government needs to recommit to a genuine and rigorous consultation process with the civil society,” reads the document…
International support will also be beneficial in so far as Tunisia could advance reforms while creating a faster mechanism to implement projects designed to encourage economic and social development.
It should be recalled that much of the international assistance received since the Revolution went to budget support rather than investment.
Tunisia has received about USD 7 billion in aid in various forms from the major financial institutions between 2011 and 2015.