The new strategy of financial inclusion (2016/2020) will be finalized by late 2016, said Finance Minister Slim Chaker.
Two thirds of Tunisians cannot access banking and insurance services for they have not the needed income or are not familiar with these services, he Monday told participants in a symposium on “a New Strategy for Financial Inclusion in Tunisia.”
A study conducted in 2015 by the World Bank and the Centre of Arab Women for Training and Research (CAWTAR) showed that the rate of financial inclusion in Tunisia does not exceed 36% of the adult population.
Financial inclusion is of capital importance as it helps the population and firms access financial services such as savings, payment methods, loans and insurance.
Though, there are 12 million bank and postal accounts in the country, 2.5 million to 3.5 million individuals with income-generating projects (that is 30% to 40% of adults) and 245,000 to 425,000 very small and micro firms sought access to mircro-financing.
The strategy will help promote economic and social development and the proper functioning of the social and solidarity economy, trigger job generation and improve access to financing for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and small, medium and micro-enterprises (SMMEs).
Some 40,000 micro-credits worth 53 MTD (less than 2,000 TD each) were extended in 2015 to farmers and small craftsmen, the Finance Minister indicated.
Financial inclusion indirectly contributes to the stability of the financial system, business formalization, reduced access to informal or unregulated financial services and the emergence of new economic models.