The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has reached an agreement with Tunisia to provide a two-year $1.75bn stand by arrangement (SBA) to support its home-grown economic reform agenda, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde announced on 19 April. The agreement will need the approval of the IMF Executive board, which is expected to consider Tunisia’s request in May.

The SBA will provide support “aimed at preserving fiscal and external stability, fostering higher and more inclusive growth and addressing critical vulnerabilities of the banking sector,” Ms Lagarde said, adding that the implementation of an appropriate policy mix will help to preserve macroeconomic stability and restore fiscal space for priority capital and social spending. She also noted that prudent monetary policy will help to contain inflation whilst safeguarding the stability of the banking sector and that exchange rate flexibility, coupled with structural reforms to improve the competitiveness of the economy, will help to improve the country’s external position and rebuild its foreign exchange reserve buffers. (CONTINUED - 369 WORDS)