Tunisia pays 81% of its external debt for the year 2023

By:Mohamed Ben Abderrazek

At the close of the second part of September, Tunisia’s external debt service amounted to 7,264 million dinars (MD), representing 81.2% of the annual allocation of 8,945 MD for the year 2023. This signifies that Tunisia has successfully serviced a significant portion of its 2023 external debt obligations.

Remarkably, the tourism sector and the Transfers from Residents Abroad (TRE) have continued to surpass expectations, contributing substantially to foreign currency reserves. As of September 20, these reserves reached an impressive 11.2 billion dinars, a notable increase from the previous year’s 9.1 billion dinars, accounting for 42% of the country’s foreign currency reserves. These statistics are based on the latest monetary and financial indicators released by the Central Bank of Tunisia on Tuesday, September 26, 2023.

Foreign currency reserves have surged to 26,580.6 million dinars (MD), equivalent to 117 days of imports, marking an increase of 2,786.9 million dinars.

It is important to note that recent data from the Ministry of Finance, outlining the provisional results of the state budget execution for the first half of 2023, reveals a remarkable decline in Tunisia’s external debt. Specifically, it dropped from 5,607.7 MD at the end of June 2022 to 2,710.3 MD in the first half of 2023, marking a substantial decrease of 51.6%. This reduction is a significant milestone, as it is the first time since 2011 that Tunisia has seen such a decline in external debt.

These positive indicators clearly indicate that Tunisia has been successful in reducing its reliance on debt, particularly in the past decade. Consequently, the total volume of public debt has risen to 119.8 billion dinars, with external debt constituting approximately 57.7% of this total.

These favourable developments have had a positive impact on the state’s fiscal position, resulting in a budget surplus of nearly 58.8 MD. This surplus has been made possible by the improvement in state budget revenues, which grew by 6.6% in the first half of 2023, reaching a total of 20.6 billion dinars.

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