The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group announced, Wednesday in a statement, it is providing a credit line of EUR 25 million (about 61.3 million dinars) to the Tunisian bank BTK (Banque Populaire Caisse d’Epargne -BPCE- Group ) to support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and drive economic growth in Tunisia.
The financing is expected to help BTK expand its loan portfolio and reach out to a greater number of smaller businesses. Those firms historically have struggled to secure financing, limiting their ability to grow and create jobs.
“This loan will help our entrepreneur clients access the financing they need to expand their businesses,” said Wajdi KOUBAA, the acting CEO of BTK. “That is crucial because SMEs are the backbone of the Tunisian economy and vital for job creation.”
Nearly 30 percent of micro, small, and medium enterprises in Tunisia do not have access to bank loans or lines of credit. That has hampered growth in a country hungry for development and job creation.
“The private sector has a vital role to play in the development of the Tunisian economy,” said Antoine Courcelle-Labrousse, IFC Country Representative in Tunisia. “By supporting financial institutions, like BTK, IFC aims to expand the amount of capital available to smaller businesses and unlock the potential of Tunisia’s entrepreneurs.”
IFC committed $60 million in Tunisia in fiscal year 2015, supporting businesses in the agribusiness, IT, private funds and microfinance sectors and helping to create jobs and spur economic growth. The work is part of broader IFC efforts in the Middle East and North Africa to improve the business climate and restore investor confidence in the region.