The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is supporting Tunisia's expansion of international and intra-regional trade by providing a US$ 20 million trade facility to Banque de Tunisie under the EBRD’s Trade Facilitation Program (TFP).
The trade finance line will allow Banque de Tunisie to issue guarantees in favour of international commercial banks covering the commercial payment risk of the transactions undertaken by Banque de Tunisie.
EBRD Managing Director for the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean region, Janet Heckman, said: “We are very pleased to welcome Banque de Tunisie into the Program. This EBRD facility will help Banque de Tunisie to support its Tunisian clients and allow international trade flows to grow, which will contribute to the overall economic growth of the country.”
Mohamed Habib Ben Saad, CEO of Banque de Tunisie, commented: “We are pleased to engage with the EBRD in this new operation as part of the financing of foreign trade. This line will allow us to better support our customers in their international transactions in these difficult times of repeated falls in the national rating of Tunisia. It will also contribute to strengthening the Bank of Tunisia's international trade finance activity, an activity that has already been honored at the CommerzBank Trade Finance Awards in 2017.”
The TFP, launched by the EBRD in 1999, promotes foreign trade to, from and among the countries in which the Bank invests. Through the Program, the EBRD provides guarantees to international confirming banks and short-term loans to selected banks and factoring companies for on-lending to local exporters, importers and distributors.
The TFP currently includes 97 partner banks in 27 economies where the EBRD invests, with limits exceeding €1.5 billion in total and more than 800 confirming banks worldwide.
Since September 2012, when EBRD operations began in Tunisia, the Bank has invested €678 million in 33 projects in the country. Supporting regional development outside Tunis is a special priority for the Bank and the EBRD therefore opened a second office in October last year, in Sfax.