April 21, 2017 / 8:45 AM / in 6 months

Tunisia will restrict some imports to tackle trade deficit: prime minister

Tunisia's Prime Minister Youssef Chahed speaks during a news conference with his French counterpart Manuel Valls in Tunis, Tunisia November 28, 2016. REUTERS/Zoubeir Souissi

TUNIS (Reuters) - Tunisia will restrict some imported goods to tackle its widening trade deficit and protect foreign reserves as the local dinar currency slides to historic lows against the euro, Prime Minister Youssef Chahed said on Friday.

“The fall of the dinar reflects this enormous trade deficit but there is no need to panic. We will take some decisions.. We will limit some random imports. We have a lot of unnecessary imports,” he told reporters at an event in Sfax city.

He said a cabinet meeting next week would decide on the details of the restrictions. Tunisia’s trade deficit expanded by 57 percent to reach $1.68 billion in the first quarter of this year because of a jump in imports.

Reporting by Tarek Amara; writing by Patrick Markey

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