The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has allocated 2 to 2.5 billion Euros to support countries of the Arab Spring (Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco and Jordan) in their transition to democracy by 2015.
Jan Fischer, Vice President of the EBRD, who is currently visiting Tunisia, said at a press conference, held Wednesday in Tunis, the EBRD has not yet set a share for each country, adding that project funding will depend on the progress of the implementation of reforms that these countries are engaging.
He indicated that the interventions of the Bank in Tunisia, which has completed the procedures for joining the bank, are in the short term, to fund projects that are able to strengthen the business climate in Tunisia, particularly development of SMEs, promotion of renewable energy and consolidation of the banking sector, further enhancing the competitiveness of the Tunisian economy and stimulating exports.
He stressed that the purpose in Tunisia is to help identify solutions to priority problems like unemployment, particularly of university graduates.
Fischer said, on this occasion, the EBRD will open an office in February 2012 in Tunisia which would bring together between 6 and 10 employees.
The purpose of this representation is to provide technical assistance to Tunisia, and this, with the help of experts and specialists in Tunisian and coordination with other international institutions active in Tunisia, such as the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the World Bank.
In the long run, the EBRD aims to help Tunisia to lay the foundations of local democracy and take action likely to consolidate decentralization and establish good governance in different parts of the country.
Fischer said that the interventions of the EBRD, which was created in 1991 to support countries of Eastern Europe in their transition to democracy and openness, focus mainly (80 pc ) on the private sector.
The EBRD announced in mid-January, it will maintain a high level of investment in 2012, despite the economic crisis in Europe.
EBRD total investments reached 9 billion Euros in 2011.