Tunisia: A new legal framework for Islamic finance?

Jul 21, 2011

A conference on Islamic finance and the opportunities for the Arab Maghreb region was held on July 15th and 16th in Gammarth, Tunisia.

The objective was to promote this type of financing, which currently has a low penetration rate on the Tunisian market.

Currently, Zitouna
Bank - created in 2009 - is the only institution to invest in Islamic finance in the area.

However, on the global stage, this type of banking has progressively imposed itself as an interesting alternative to traditional financing, with one of the reasons for this success being that it resisted the effects of the financial crisis well.

It now attracts around $1,000 billion (€703 billion) on the international market, La Presse newspaper reports.

One of the obstacles to its development in Tunisia is apparently linked to the current framework, which needs to be adapted for Islamic finance, particularly within the tax system, said Tunisian Finance Minister Jalloul Ayed.

"Investment in Tunisia requires co-financing mechanisms and not traditional borrowing" said Mahfoudh Barouni, Chairman of Zitouna
Bank, quoted by TAP news agency.

"Funds and Islamic banks are able to provide financing based on participation in order to stimulate investment," he added.ADNFCR-2976-ID-800629840-ADNFCR