The governments of Tunisia and France signed, on Saturday, a financing agreement under which France will grant Tunisia a loan of 200 million euros (about 206 million dollars), which will be allocated to support the budget and to help it face the difficult economic conditions.
This came on the sidelines of the launch of the 18th Francophone Summit on the island of Djerba, southeast of Tunisia, with the participation of 31 heads of state and government, according to a statement by the Tunisian Ministry of Economy and Planning, seen by Anadolu Agency.
The statement said, “Tunisian Minister of Economy and Planning Samir Said and French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna signed a financing agreement between Tunisia and France (represented by the French Development Agency / government) at a value of 200 million euros, which will be allocated to support the budget, within the framework of support for activating the reform program.”
According to the statement, the Tunisian minister expressed his “satisfaction with the level of bilateral cooperation between Tunisia and France, which is Tunisia’s first partner at all levels.”
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He pointed out that the agreement “reaffirms keenness to continue accompanying and supporting Tunisia in the implementation of its reform programmes, in a way that helps it restore balances, create opportunities for growth and achieve a viable and sustainable economic recovery.”
The statement pointed out that the Tunisian minister “reviewed the most important reforms recently approved by the Tunisian government and what it is working on at the present time, especially reforms related to improving the business climate and liberalizing the initiative, as well as reforms to improve the efficiency of the completion of public and private projects and other measures.”
For her part, Colonna stressed, according to the statement, “the strength and deep-rooted relations between the two countries,” stressing “the importance of the reform program that has been set, which will help Tunisia to gradually overcome economic and social difficulties.”
She reiterated “the French government’s readiness to continue providing the necessary support to Tunisia at all levels so that it can achieve its goals in economic and social development.”
It is noteworthy that the reform program pursued by the Tunisian government and stipulated by the International Monetary Fund includes financial and fiscal (tax) reforms, aimed at stimulating growth and investment and improving the business climate, including restructuring public institutions and controlling the wage block.
Tunisia is witnessing a severe economic crisis, exacerbated by the repercussions of the outbreak of the Corona pandemic, and the high cost of importing energy and basic materials as a result of the Russian-Ukrainian crisis.
Inflation in Tunisia continues to rise, reaching 9.1 percent last September, up from 8.6 percent in the previous August, amid the continued fluctuation of the abundance of basic commodities locally, and the rise in their prices globally.