Tunisia and the European Investment Bank (EIB) signed, on Tuesday in Tunis, a letter of intent and a guarantee contract under which this European institution will grant a line of credit of EUR 100 million or 222.2 million Tunisian dinars (MTD), for Tunisian small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
This new line of credit (second) will make EIB financing available to entrepreneurs and project developers, while consolidating the Tunisian banking sector, said Roman Escolano, vice president of the institution.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, the official said that the almost immediate injection of EUR 100 million for Tunisian SMEs aims essentially to support employment, especially of younger generations.
According to Yassine Brahim, Minister of Development, Investment and International Cooperation, the 2nd instalment will fund, like the previous one, key sectors of the real economy in different parts of the country.
This credit will be allocated primarily to finance new investments, expansion, modernization or rehabilitation of firms operating in productive sectors of manufacturing industry, agriculture, trade, production and energy distribution and the service sector, the minister said.
The disbursement of the first tranche of the credit line, in record time, has financed 500 companies and generated three thousand jobs.
Regarding the letter of intent, the minister told TAP that it will strengthen the EIB’s commitment to the Tunisian public banking sector.
“Specifically, the EIB will grant credit lines tailored to our public bank,” explained the minister.
For Escolano, the letter of intent will facilitate the development of innovative products designed to promote SMEs’ access to bank financing, in addition to the development of key sectors (agriculture, commerce …), in collaboration with public structures (Banque de l’Habitat / BH /), (Banque Nationale Agricole / BNA /) and the Société tunisienne de banques Tunisian / STB /).