Today, the United States and Tunisia signed a loan guarantee agreement which will allow Tunisia to access up to $500 million in affordable financing from international capital markets. The loan guarantee underscores the United States’ commitment to the people of Tunisia and their democratic transition. The loan guarantee agreement is designed to support Tunisia as it pursues important reforms that will provide the foundation for economic growth and prosperity.
The signing of this agreement reaffirms President Obama’s commitment to Tunisia’s economic development made during his meeting with Prime Minister Joma’a in the Oval Office on April 4, 2014. At that meeting, President Obama said, “We want nothing more than for Tunisians to determine their own destiny, for the economic reforms to take place to allow Tunisia to be not just self-sufficient but thriving in the world economy. And we are confident that with the Prime Minister’s guidance that, in fact, Tunisia can meet some of its reform goals and lay the foundation for great success in the future.”
Prime Minister Joma’a added, “We are very proud of our new constitution, of our shared values in democracy and rights. As we set this road map, we need to think about economic and social aspects, and also about teaching and learning, because we are eager to develop our youth and to develop new technologies.”
The signing of today’s agreement is evidence of the U.S. commitment to help Tunisia build an economic foundation that supports sustainable and inclusive economic and job growth, bolster international confidence in the Tunisian market, and support and expand U.S.-Tunisian economic relations.
This is the second U.S. loan guarantee the United States has provided to Tunisia. The earlier guarantee for $485 million in 2012 was successful in facilitating Tunisian access of global capital markets for the first time since 2007. These loan guarantees are one component of broader ongoing U.S. support for Tunisia. Since 2011, the United States has committed an additional $400 million in assistance to support Tunisia’s transition.