Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Tunisian Finance Minister Houcine Dimassi
today signed a declaration of intent to move forward on a U.S. loan guarantee
for Tunisia as quickly as possible.
The U.S. government would provide
this loan guarantee to enable the Tunisian government to access significant
market financing at affordable rates and favorable maturities with the backing
of a U.S. guarantee of principal and interest (up to 100 percent). The
ceremony took place at the World Bank immediately following the meeting of
Finance Ministers of the Deauville Partnership with Arab Countries in
“I’m pleased to sign this
declaration of intent with Finance Minister Dimassi,” said Secretary
Geithner. “Last October, President Obama made clear the United States’
commitment to supporting Tunisia’s historic transformation. This loan
guarantee will be a pillar of that support, helping Tunisia achieve key
development goals and advancing its economic transition.”
The support would consist of the
U.S. guarantee of Tunisian government-issued debt (or of bank loans made to the
Government of Tunisia). This guarantee will significantly reduce the
Tunisian government’s borrowing costs at a time when market access has become
more expensive for many emerging market countries. In the weeks ahead,
both governments intend to make progress on a loan guarantee agreement that
would allow Tunisia to move forward with a debt issuance.
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