Belhadj: the repayment of 74% of Tunisia’s external debts for 2023 is a positive indicator

The doctor in economic sciences, teacher-researcher at the University of Carthage and consulting expert, Aram Belhadj, commented on the information which circulated last weekend and according to which Tunisia has repaid 74% of these external debts for 2023, and this without the agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Speaking to Hatem Ben Amara in the Sbeh El Ward show on Jawhara Fm, the economist estimated that this is a positive indicator given the significant difficulties in public finances. He explained the improvement in foreign currency assets to the good tourist season, the improvement of exports and financial transfers from Tunisians living abroad (TRE). He also recalled that certain financial institutions and countries have granted loans, deposits and donations to Tunisia, notably the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), Algeria and Saudi Arabia.

“  All these factors meant that the country’s foreign currency reserves were at a good level and this allowed the country to repay these debts  ,” said the expert.

And to recall that Tunisia has always kept its commitments despite the difficulties of public finances.

“  When we talk about public finances, we talk about the capacity of the State to respect all of its commitments. The fact that we have paid a good part of our commitments is a positive element, but in no way represents an indicator of an end to the crisis. Certainly, the country has repaid its foreign creditors. But the budget is not only made up of the debt section, in particular the importation of medicines, the payment of salaries, the payment of suppliers, etc.  “, he explained.

And to recall the problems observed at the level of supply, payment of suppliers in addition to the exorbitant domestic debt which is essentially intended for the payroll.

For him, public finances are experiencing significant difficulties: “  we do not know how the government will complete the 2023 state budget, as was the case in 2021 and 2022, and we will not know,  ” he argued, noting that the latest figures on the execution budget have not been published.

Aram Belhadj insisted: “  The situation of public finances is difficult despite the positive indicators recorded  .” And to estimate, in response to a question from the host, that the country will need a complementary finance law.


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