Tunisia expects to sign a $1.7 billion loan deal with the International Monetary Fund by May, the country’s Finance Minister Elyes Fakhfakh told Al Arabiya.
The loan is needed to shield Tunisia’s economy from global economic woes, including the debt crisis in Europe.
An IMF team is expected to arrive in Tunisia for talks later this month, before another meeting in the U.S, it was reported.
Fakhfakh told Al Arabiya that Tunisia was hopeful of signing an accord by late April or early May.
He said the value of the proposed loan was $1.7 billion, although previous reports suggest a figure closer to $1.8 billion.
Fakhfakh also said that Tunisia is looking to issue a $700 million Islamic bond, or sukuk, later this year. Depending on whether Tunisia passes a sukuk law, he expects this to happen by the end of June or early July.