Tunisia’s foreign currency reserves have risen to almost $5bn (TD17.3bn), equivalent to 96 days import cover, according to the latest central bank data. This is up from August 2018’s 25-year low of just 70 days, with loans from the IMF, EU and World Bank helping bolster the struggling economy’s reserves (MEES, 28 June).
Tunis has sanctioned the opening of 25 foreign exchange bureaus since March with another 20 in the pipeline, according to a 15 August Reuters report. Tunisians and foreigners previously had to go to the bank or the black market to access currency. As for tourism, the government is targeting a record 9mn arrivals this year. But the fact that Tourism Minister René Trabelsi expects $1.3bn in revenues versus 2018’s $1.6bn (MEES, 12 July), suggests that a large number is made up of cross border traders rather than free-spending tourists. (CONTINUED - 138 WORDS)