TUNIS, (TAP) – The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the US Government’s development finance institution, on Thursday, signed a USD 50 million guarantee agreement with three Tunisian banks.
Under this agreement, signed on the sidelines of the Investment and Entrepreneurship Conference (IEU) held Thursday in Gammarth, OPIC will provide a 70% guarantee of the principle and interest of loans to be granted to Tunisian SMEs.
Elizabeth Little field, OPIC President said this win-win partnership agreement provides partner banks, namely Attijari Bank, Amen Bank and ATB, with a guarantee of up to USD 50 million through the Tunisia Credit Guaranty Facility (TCGF)
The TCGF will support the Tunisian economy to catalaysing lending to eligible Tunisian and small medium-sized enterprises with specific support to these employing franchise business models.
“A robust lending environment in emerging markets for SMEs creates enduring employment and is one of the cornerstones of stable, inclusive economic growth,” said Littlefield.”
She added: “our co-operation in this facility with established Tunisian institutions will not only boost growth in Tunisia’s franchise sector but also builds on previous similar OPIC-supported projects that created or sustained thousands of jobs in the region and produced lasting economic growth. »
Governor of the Central Bank of Tunisia (BCT) said this guarantee agreement that will cover loans granted to SME (employing less than 300 people and with a turnover of 100,000 to 1 million dollars) comes at the right time to help banks fund companies in the short, middle and long terms (5,7 or 10 years).
Established in 1971, OPIC helps U.S. businesses gain footholds in emerging markets, catalysing revenues, jobs, and growth opportunities both at home and abroad.