Tunisia asks donors for $1bn loan

2012-08-10 22:29


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Tunis - Tunisia is seeking a $1bn loan from foreign donors, including the World Bank and the European Union, Investment and International Cooperation Minister Riadh Bettaieb said on Friday.

"We are negotiating a loan of more than $1bn with the World Bank, the African Development Bank and the European Union," he said.

The money would be used to finance the budget, after the deficit in the first half of 2012 reached 4.8% of GDP and with the likelihood that the official deficit forecast (6.6% of GDP over the year) will be surpassed.

The minister, separately, confirmed a strong recovery in foreign direct investment, which rose by nearly 45%in the first half of the year, compared with the same period of 2011.

FDI between January and June reached 1.064 billion dinars, higher than pre-revolution levels.

Tunisia went into recession last year, following the mass protests that ousted former dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, recording negative growth of 1.8%.

Despite a tentative recovery this year, the economy remains fragile and unemployment, a key factor behind the revolution, persists.

The government is targeting 4.5% GDP growth in 2013, up from the 3.5% forecast for this year.

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