A team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will visit Tunisia in the upcoming weeks to assess the country’s latest economic and financial developments under Article IV, said Jihad Azour, Director of the IMF’s Middle East and Central Asia Department, at a press conference devoted to the launch of the IMF’s October 2023 Regional Economic Outlook for the Middle East and Central Asia, entitled “Building Resilience and Fostering Sustainable Growth”.
The official described the Tunisian government’s “home-grown” reform program as “a source of pride”, stressing that Tunisia should further tighten its monetary policy in order to curb inflation, which remains high despite its contraction.
The IMF has called on Tunisia to propose new conditions for its outstanding $1.9 billion loan, stressing the urgent need for subsidy reform. The call was made by Jihad Azour, IMF Director for the Middle East and Central Asia, at the IMF-World Bank Annual Meetings held in Morocco on Thursday.
Mr. Azour stressed the need for Tunisia to tackle fuel subsidies, which he said disproportionately benefit wealthy Tunisians, particularly in the context of high oil prices. He suggested that such reforms could redirect resources towards promoting financial inclusion and social stability in the North African nation.
In addition to these comments, Mr. Azour also unveiled plans for a forthcoming IMF mission to Tunisia. The aim of this mission is to assess the country’s recent economic progress. However, no precise date has been given for this mission.