US$ 280 Million Trade Finance Agreements
for the benefit of the Tunisian Electricity and Gas Company, the Tunisian Company for Refining Industries, and the Tunisian Chemical Complex
The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), member of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group, today signed three trade financing agreements totaling US$ 280 million in favor of the Republic of Tunisia to support energy security and revitalize the industrial sector, in addition to the agreement to support trade and exchange experiences between Tunisia and African countries, in cooperation with the technological pole of the pharmaceutical sector in Tunisia. The agreements were signed during an official visit by Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, witnessed by Mr. Samir Saied, Minister of Economy and Planning; in the presence of Ms. Neïla Nouira Gongi, the Minister of Industry, Mines and Energy, and the CEOs of the Tunisian Electricity and Gas Company, the Tunisian Company for Refining Industries (STIR) and the Tunisian Chemical Complex (Groupe Chimique Tunisien).
The first financing agreement amounts to 120 million Euros, or about 400 million Tunisian dinars, which will be allocated to contribute to financing the import of natural gas for the benefit of the Tunisian Electricity and Gas Company. As for the second agreement, it is estimated at US$100 million, or about 314 million dinars, which will be allocated to contribute to financing the import of crude oil and petroleum products for the benefit of the Tunisian Company for Refining Industries.
The third financing agreement, which amounts to US$50 million, or about 157 million dinars, will be allocated to finance the import of raw materials for the benefit of the Groupe Chimique Tunisien.
In the same context, an MoU was signed between the Technological Pole Sidi Thabet and ITFC regarding cooperation in implementing training programs and capacity building in the field of biotechnology applied in health and pharmaceutical industries included in the framework of the "Arab-Africa Trade Bridges (AATB) Program".
In this occasion, Mr. Samir Saied noted the level of cooperation between Tunisia and ITFC, which is a strategic partner for Tunisia at the financial and technical levels, given the financing it provides to support the activities of a number of national institutions active in strategic sectors such as the energy, chemical industries and refining sectors. Mr. Saied also stressed on the mutual trust that characterizes the relationship between the two sides, and on the joint keenness to further enhance and diversify cooperation, especially in these difficult circumstances at the local and international levels.
From his end, Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol renewed ITFC's commitment to supporting member countries, especially Tunisia, highlighting the corporation's readiness to continue providing the necessary support to Tunisia to secure its needs of raw and strategic materials and by adopting innovative approaches to promote trade within the framework of achieving regional integration.
Ms. Neïla Nouira Gongi, Minister of Industry, Mines and Energy, stressed the importance of the signed trade finance agreements, given their orientation to support important strategic sectors and activities, noting the strength of relations between Tunisia and ITFC and the keenness on both sides to further consolidate and develop them.
Commenting on the signing of the three financing agreements, the CEO of ITFC, Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, said: “ITFC remains committed to building on its successes to be a greater catalyst for trade development among OIC member countries. The support provided to Tunisia is part of this commitment to strengthen local and regional economies through the advancement of trade. The three signed financing agreements are aligned with ITFC’s strategy to provide trade solutions, with trade financing that are also accompanied by technical assistance and trade development support. Through the signed agreements and the ongoing AATB program activations, we look forward to strengthening our partnership with the Republic of Tunisia.”
It is worth mentioning that, since its inception in 2008, ITFC has provided a total financing of US$ 2 billion to cover the strategic energy sector in addition to other strategic commodities. ITFC also sought to support the development of relations between Tunisia and Africa and other Arab countries by accelerating trade exchanges and financing the commercial infrastructure specified within the framework of the Arab-Africa Trade Bridges Program.
Tunisia has also been able to develop the exchange of experiences within reverse linkage programs with other African member countries of the OIC such as Djibouti.