The EBRD Managing Director for the southern and eastern Mediterranean (SEMED) region, Hildegard Gacek, visited Tunisia this week to hold high-level meetings with the authorities in which she confirmed the EBRD’s strong support for the country.
During the two-day visit Gacek met for the first time ministers from the new government, including Minister of Economy and Finance Hakim Ben Hammouda, Minister of Transport Chiheb Ben Ahmed, Minister of Industry, Energy and Mines, M. Kamel Ben Naceur and the State Secretary for Development and International Cooperation Noureddine Zekri.
During her discussions with the Tunisian authorities, Gacek confirmed the EBRD’s commitment to supporting the economic development of Tunisia, highlighting areas where the Bank can make a difference in line with the government’s own priorities. The EBRD is also continuing its dialogue with the authorities to launch the key reforms needed for Tunisia.
Gacek said: “We are committed to supporting the country’s transition towards democracy and a market-based economy through continued dialogue with the authorities and our engagement with the private sector.”
The EBRD is supporting the private sector in Tunisia and initiated its investments in the country with the Maghreb Private Equity Fund to support small and medium-sized enterprises, followed by projects in the agribusiness, energy, banking and knowledge economy sectors.
Marie-Alexandra Veilleux, EBRD Head of Office in Tunisia, said: “The new constitution is a key milestone for Tunisia as it demonstrates the country’s commitment to transition. The new government has an important role to play in building the country’s future and leading structural reforms. Tunisia has great potential and we are happy to contribute to its economic growth throughout our investments in the private sector.”
Since September 2012, the start of EBRD operations in Tunisia, the Bank has invested €133 million in the country across nine projects.