EIB to lend Tunisia 450 mln euros

EIB to lend Tunisia 450 mln euros

Cash-strapped Tunisia will get 450 million euros from the European Investment Bank to fund small and medium-sized enterprises and infrastructure projects, the bank said.

The financing deal will be signed on Thursday at the Tunisia Investment, the bank said in a statement, adding that the loan will benefit “high-impact projects for the population and the country’s economic and social development.”

The funding “will play a crucial role in the creation of jobs, stimulating innovation and promoting balanced development to benefit all Tunisians”, the EIB’s new vice-president in charge of financing in the Maghreb region, Ioannis Tsakiris, said in the statement.

The financing includes a line of credit worth 170 million euros for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, “which make up 90 percent of the country’s businesses and employ 60 percent of the workforce”, according to the bank.

It will also provide 210 million euros to develop the “strategic” route between Tunisia’s second city of Sfax on its eastern coast and the remote, underserved Kasserine area in the west.

A loan of 45 million euros will be granted to finance the ELMED electricity linkage project between Tunisia and Italy.

Tunisia has struggled to access funding by international financial institutions following the power grab of President Kais Saied who objected to carry out reforms preconditioned to receive a $2bln lifeline from the IMF.


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