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Arab Monetary Fund grants Tunisia $147m loan

Tunisia needs to reduce its budget deficit as political and social unrest cut into its foreign currency reserves

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The Arab Monetary Fund (AMF) has lent Tunisia 147 million dollars to support fiscal and financial reforms planned by the Islamist-led government, the Tunisian central bank said on Friday.

The government needs to take more steps to reduce its budget deficit at a time when two years of social and political upheaval has cut into the country's foreign currency reserves, exports and foreign investment.

New fiscal measures to be introduced in 2014 will include the imposition of a 10 percent tax on exporting companies, which have been exempt from taxes, the government said last month.

The government expects the economy to grow 3 percent this year and next. It estimates its budget deficit will be 6.8 percent of GDP for 2013.