In one of his last statements as the Tunisian central bank governor, Mohamed Beji Hamda has said that the country’s local dinar currency is on its way to becoming fully convertible. But, he added, the country’s economy was still not mature enough to take the final step.
Hamda said the partial convertible currency system, which is used at present, adequately satisfies the business sector’s needs. Even foreign operators and investors are not compromised, he said, because they are allowed to repatriate their profits each year and their capital and benefits when they decide to leave.
However, Hamda will not be around to usher in the convertible dinar. On Tuesday, Tunisian President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali replaced him with Mohamed Ali Daouas, the deputy governor of the central bank. The presidential statement announcing the change gave no reason for move, but analysts said it was part of a general policy of appointing younger people to key economic posts to further economic liberalization.
The change at the central bank was just one indication of a general reshuffle of the Tunisian leadership. Also on Tuesday, Ben Ali appointed new heads to a dozen ministries, including the key ministry of defense. – (Albawaba-MEBG)
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