Statement by the IMF Mission at the Conclusion of a Visit to Tunisia

By International Monetary Fund (IMF)

A mission from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), led by Mr. Amine Mati, visited Tunis during December 9—18, 2015 to review recent economic developments and progress on the Tunisian authorities' economic reform agenda and learn about the reform priorities that underpin the authorities' five-year economic vision. A Stand-By Arrangement in the amount of SDR 1.146 billion (about US$1.61 billion, 400 percent of Tunisia's quota), approved by the Executive Board on June 7, 2013 (See Press Release No. 13/202), will expire on 31 December 2015. The authorities have expressed interest in a successor program.

The mission held productive discussions with senior government and central bank officials. It also met with representatives of the banking and private sectors, trade unions, parliamentarians, the donor community, and civil society.

At the end of the discussions, Mr. Mati issued the following statement:

“The mission commends the authorities' efforts in preserving macroeconomic stability and the steps taken towards adopting policies necessary for generating higher and more inclusive growth in a difficult global and regional environment. The authorities have taken important steps in implementing their comprehensive structural reform agenda, including in the legislative front, tax, and bank recapitalization. But the economic outlook of the Tunisian economy remains challenging: economic activity has weakened under the impact of negative shocks, unemployment is stuck at high levels, external vulnerabilities persist, and critical structural reforms–notably in banking and fiscal areas–are still outstanding.

“Moving forcefully on reforms now is essential to accelerate growth and create jobs. The forthcoming five-year economic and development plan gives the authorities an opportunity to foster internal consensus and set priorities for comprehensive economic reforms. The IMF will remain engaged with the Tunisian authorities and stands ready to continue supporting their efforts to ensure macroeconomic stability and address structural vulnerabilities through economic policy advice, financial support, and technical assistance. Discussions about a new Fund arrangement are expected to be held over the coming weeks.

“The mission thanks the authorities and all those with whom they met for their warm welcome, and frank and fruitful discussions.”