Tunisian Head of Government Habib Essid, accompanied by several ministers, visited the Bank on Friday 4th March, to discuss support for the country. It was the first time that a leader of Tunisia's government has visited the EIB.
President Hoyer and Vice-President Escolano welcomed the Head of the Tunisian Government Essid and the accompanying ministers: Minister of Local Affairs Youssef Chahed, Minister of Culture Sonia M’barek and Minister of Tourism and Handcrafts Selma Elloumi Rekik.
The Tunisian head of government highlighted the success of the democratic transition process in Tunisia, and stressed the importance of a rapid economic recovery in order to fight against radicalism and address social and economic challenges facing Tunisia. Also, He praised the role played by the EIB in supporting Tunisia during the transition and called for more EIB support.
In a statement to Tunisian television, President Hoyer said: “The EIB is the leading international financier in Tunisia and has always been present and ready to support Tunisia at critical moments in its history. Since the Jasmine Revolution in 2011, the EIB stepped up its activities and has signed new financing operations totalling 1.5 billion euros.”.
The head of the Tunisian government added: “Tunisia and the EIB have been partners for 40 years. We are very happy with this partnership. The Bank has been providing finance to many sectors, and as we discussed today, the Bank will support our projects in many sectors including those for underdeveloped regions in Tunisia."
Aware of the importance of the energy sector in Tunisia's sustainable economic development, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and Entreprise Tunisienne d’Activités Pétrolières (ETAP) have concluded a EUR 150m financing agreement (equivalent to 325m Tunisian dinars) to operate the "Nawara" concession in the south of the country. The loan contract was signed today, Tuesday 4 March 2014, by ETAP's Chairman and CEO Mohamed Akrout and EIB Vice-President Philippe de Fontaine Vive, in the presence of Kamel Bennaceur, Minister for Industry, Energy and Mining, Noureddine Zekri, Minister responsible for development and international cooperation, reporting to the Minister for the Economy and Finance, and H.E. Ms Laura Baeza, Ambassador to the European Union.
With this loan of EUR 166 million – nearly TSD 500 million – the EIB is supporting the “Autoroute du Centre” project, which is vital for Tunisia’s economic and social development: the project will centre on the construction of the motorway section between Sbikha and Jelma in the governorates of Kairouan and Sidi Bouzid.
As part of the summit between the European Union and Tunisia held in Brussels on 3 and 4 June, His Excellency Kais Saied, President of the Republic of Tunisia, met with European Investment Bank (EIB) President Werner Hoyer on Thursday 3 June. The meeting focused on the partnership between Tunisia and the EIB, the country’s main financial partner.