OPIC and Tunisian Banks to Support Economic Growth in Tunisia
March 4, 2015
TUNIS – The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government’s development finance institution, today announced its support of the Tunisia Credit Guaranty Facility (TCGF) in partnership with leading Tunisian financial institutions Amen Bank, ATBandAttijari Bank.OPIC support will guarantee up to $50 million of lending through TCGF.
OPIC’s President and CEO, Elizabeth Littlefield, signed an agreement with the partner banks while speaking at the landmark Investment & Entrepreneurship Conference, which fosters business and commerce ties between the United States and Tunisia.
“A robust lending environment in emerging markets, specifically for SMEs, creates enduring employment and is one of the cornerstones of stable, inclusive economic growth,” said Littlefield. “Our cooperation 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.”
The TCGF will support the Tunisian economy by catalyzing lending to eligible Tunisian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), with specific support to those employing franchise business models. A similar OPIC-supported lending facility in the Middle East loaned over $132 million to regional SMEs, supporting 10,000 local jobs in the process.
By addressing the shortage of credit available to Tunisian SMEs, this facility will stimulate growth in Tunisia’s private sector resulting in job creation and improved supply chains. TCGF is expected to impact 250 SMEs over 10 years. TCGF’s support to Tunisian businesses will enable them to acquire and operate franchises, produce goods and services to supply franchise businesses, and support growth of the broader SME market.
The Middle East Investment Initiative (MEII), a non-profit organization dedicated to stimulating economic growth through innovative finance options for SMEs, will manage the credit facility and work directly with local banks to support additional lending to Tunisian SMEs in local currency. Enclude, an advisory firm dedicated to building more inclusive and sustainable local economies, will partner with MEII to deliver technical assistance and capacity building to TCGF’s partner banks.
OPIC is the U.S. Government’s development finance institution. It mobilizes private capital to help solve critical development challenges and in doing so, advances U.S. foreign policy. Because OPIC works with the U.S. private sector, it helps U.S. businesses gain footholds in emerging markets, catalyzing revenues, jobs and growth opportunities both at home and abroad. OPIC achieves its mission by providing investors with financing, guarantees, political risk insurance, and support for private equity investment funds.
Established as an agency of the U.S. Government in 1971, OPIC operates on a self-sustaining basis at no net cost to American taxpayers. OPIC services are available for new and expanding business enterprises in more than 150 countries worldwide. To date, OPIC has supported more than $200 billion of investment in over 4,000 projects, generated an estimated $76 billion in U.S. exports and supported more than 278,000 American jobs.
The Middle East Investment Initiative (MEII), a non-profit organization, leverages public and private resources to deliver innovative finance and technical assistance programs to stimulate sustainable economic activity and job creation in the Middle East and North Africa.
Recognizing the importance of financial inclusion, MEII designs and deploys finance programs that strike a balance between development and profits. MEII’s core capabilities revolve around finance using debt, equity, guarantees, insurance, and mortgage finance, coupled with technical assistance and capacity building for SMEs and local financial institutions.
Enclude is an advisory firm dedicated to building more inclusive and sustainable local economies. Their integrated capacity and capital services enable clients and partners to achieve sustainable business results, as well as positive social and environmental outcomes.
Through their capacity solutions division, they work with financial institutions and other intermediaries serving small businesses, entrepreneurs, low- and moderate-income consumers, and other underserved groups.