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Tunisia: Export Development Project to be launched November 24

The third Export Development Project (EDP) will be launched on Tuesday, November 24, 2015 in Tunis, with the aim of substantially increasing the volume of Tunisian exports in the long term.

The total project cost is $ 74.5 million (about 152.9 million dinars) with funding from the World Bank of $ 50 million (nearly 102.667 MD).

The project to be completed in late December 2020 is being developed jointly by the World Bank and the Ministry of Commerce.

It aims “to help companies to produce and export goods and services with higher added value and expand into new markets.”

Senior Private Sector Development Specialist at the World Bank Jade Salhab said, at a roundtable meeting held Monday at the seat of the bank in Tunis, this project would help enterprises export better and more. Increased exports would generate new jobs, a priority for Tunisia, he indicated.

Upgrading infrastructure for exportation is the first component of the WB’s EDP III to which
$10 million were committed; this includes customs modernisation, a better logistics infrastructure (including the Port of Rades) and business registration.

The second component, “Tasdirplus,” is the direct support to businesses ($22 million); it consists in co-financing for firms so that they may access new markets and up their exports to traditional and other markets.

“Dhamen Finance” ($ 8 million) is an additional component; it is a pre-export guarantee that allows exporting firms to borrow from commercial banks.

Three million dollars are likewise earmarked for the revamp of the Exports Promotion Centre
(CEPEX)’s services to meet the needs of enterprises.

Moreover, a $4 million budget support will be granted to the Ministry of Trade and Handicrafts under EDP III.

The project is the latest in a series of undertakings including FAMEX 1 and 2 which WB experts deemed beneficial for the development of exports.

Project Team Leader at the WB Mariem Mezghenni Malouche said it is important to create a domino effect so that the increase in the exports of some businesses may have an impact on other sectors and firms.

The project is aligned with the priorities of the development plan (2016-2020), said EDP III Coordinator General Samir Abid.

For the WB, Tunisia should move from sub-contracting that consists in assembling products on behalf of foreign companies to direct exporting to a large number of markets.

The WB’s funding essentially goes to small- and medium-sized enterprises (47%) as well as to domestic and foreign trade (40%).

The project will be appraised in parallel with its implementation.


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