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UPDATE 1-AFDB to lend Tunisia up to 2 bln euros over next five years -official
November 30, 2016 / 12:31 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-AFDB to lend Tunisia up to 2 bln euros over next five years -official

(Adds details, background)

TUNIS, Nov 30 (Reuters) - The African Development Bank (AFDB) will lend Tunisia between 1.5 billion euros and 2 billion euros ($1.6 bln-$2.1 bln) over the next five years, the bank’s North Africa director Jacob Kolster said on Wednesday.

Kolster announced the loan at an investment conference in Tunis at which regional and Western partners have pledged billions in financial assistance to shore up Tunisia’s economy.

“The AFDB will remain in Tunisia and will continue to support Tunisia,” Kolster said as he announced the deal.

Tunisia is seeking financial support and foreign investment as it struggles with weak growth, high levels of unemployment and a large fiscal deficit.

“This major announcement by the AFDB comes after several months of negotiations,” said Fadhel Abdelkefi, Tunisia’s investment minister.

On Tuesday, Tunisia received pledges including $1.25 billion in aid from Qatar, and loans of 2.9 billion euros ($3.1 billion) from the European Investment Bank and $1.5 billion from the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development.

Tunisia’s government is pushing measures in its 2017 draft budget aimed at cutting public spending and raising new revenue to reduce the deficit, but is facing resistance from unions over the moves. (Reporting by Tarek Amara; Writing by Aidan Lewis; Editing by Catherine Evans)

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