The Washington-headquartered IMF has said Tunisias economic programme is on track and agreed ongoing reforms with Tunisian officials as the country struggles with a rising cost of living and high unemployment nearly four years after its 2010 uprising.
The agreement comes as the IMF reviews the countrys performance under the $1.74bn 24-month Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) approved on 7 June 2013. The IMF has already dispursed three tranches of funds to Tunisia and completion of the current review will make an additional SDR143.3m ($220m) available to Tunisia.
Speaking on 16 July, IMF Tunisian mission chief, Amine Mati, welcomed the progress made pushing ahead with stabilising economic policies.
The authorities reform programme remains on track, with all end-March quantitative performance criteria met and those for end-June expected to have been met, he said.
A political crisis triggered by the assassination of two high-profile politicians last year damaged growth and delayed the countrys democratic transition.
Elections are now scheduled for October and November this year, something that should help win back investor confidence, according to Mati.
The announcement of a clear calendar for the legislative and presidential elections to be held before the end of 2014 is a key achievement in Tunisias transition to democracy, he said.
This increased clarity at the political level will bolster confidence in the Tunisian economy, and reduce investors wait-and-see attitude. However, the economic situation remains fragile with growth not high enough to make a significant dent in unemployment, in particular, amongst the youth.
The IMF has revised down its 2013 growth estimate for Tunisia to 2.3 per cent and forecasts that GDP will expand by 2.8 per cent in 2014.