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Tunisia bank chief: Country is open for business

Tunisia bank chief: Country is open for business

The governor of Tunisia's central bank said Saturday that his country is back in business, welcoming back investors and will instill transparency as attempts to allay any fears about commerce there.
Mustapha Kamel Nabli, appointed governor of the country's central bank earlier this week, said on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum that the mere fact he was there was a clear indication that "things are under control economically."
He pledged that corruption and cronyism in the North African nation would be replaced by transparency.
It has been two weeks since the North African nation ousted longtime strongman President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who fled to Saudi Arabia on Jan. 14 after 23 years in power.
"Tunisia has gone through a major transition over the last two weeks and we have gone a long way," Nabli said. "I think we are coming out in a quite good situation. ... Democracy is taking root even given the lack of democratic traditions in the country."
Many protesters had been angry over the lack of jobs, corruption and repression under Ben Ali, but Nabli emphasized that security conditions in the country are returning to normal. He said some political demonstrations are to be expected, and they are even welcome because they are allowing people to express themselves again.
"Revolutions always create some instability. It is the way you deal with them and the way you resolve them that is important," Nabli told reporters. "We think it is an ongoing process and the stability is coming back. We think it will be consolidated in the next weeks and months."
Nabli said that even in the midst of major change, Tunisia's financial system is stable and the central bank is providing the liquidity needed by the economy. He said some businesses have been disrupted but officials expect it to be very transitory.
"I would like to convey this message to investors, that the country is back to business. ... It is going to be a much more favorable business environment. Democracy is good for investors. It is good for investment because democracy brings the rule of law," he added.
Tunisia's new interim Cabinet, its second in 10 days, is a caretaker government intended to prepare for elections in six to seven months.
The new Cabinet includes 12 new ministers and nine holdovers from the prior interim government that had been named on Jan. 17.
Nabli said despite the recent protests there, it was not something that would deter investment or commerce.
"It does not worry me that people protest, that is part of democracy. But, it is really (important) that people start going back to work, and people are, almost everywhere, people are back to work," he said. "Public services are being delivered, people are doing their daily business almost normally.
"And protests, they will continue, so fine, we don't see any problem with that."


Updated : 2021-05-12 01:48 GMT+08:00