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EBRD and UTICA to strengthen private sector in Tunisia

By Nibal Zgheib

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Union Tunisienne de l’Industrie, du Commerce et de l’Artisanat (UTICA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to further develop their cooperation in Tunisia.
Under this agreement, the EBRD and UTICA will strengthen their cooperation to foster opportunities for the EBRD’s technical assistance and financing activities in the Tunisian private sector. The Bank will contribute to strengthening selected UTICA structures, providing technical assistance and capacity-building. In addition, the two parties will conduct joint visibility actions and exchange information and experience, notably in terms of policy dialogue in Tunisia.
This signing took place at UTICA’s headquarters in Tunis, after an information session during which the EBRD presented its technical assistance and financing activities to UTICA’s members, positioning the Bank as a privileged partner for Tunisian corporates.
Marie-Alexandra Veilleux-Laborie, Head of the EBRD office in Tunisia, said: “Our cooperation with UTICA dates back to our first event in Tunisia at the end of 2011. We are very happy to anchor our mutual commitment through this agreement, to develop the country’s private sector and improve the business environment.”
Ouided Bouchamaoui, UTICA’s President, said: “This cooperation is important for us in the current difficult economic environment, in which our businesses need more support to meet the challenges they face.”
The EBRD has been operating in Tunisia since September 2012, committing over €210 million to more than 20 projects across various sectors. The Bank has also facilitated direct technical assistance through its Small Business Support programme, which has benefited approximately 130 Tunisian small and medium-sized enterprises to date.
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