World Bank loan 'to improve access to finance for Tunisia's SMEs'
The World Bank has approved a $50 million (€35.2 million) loan to Tunisia, it has been confirmed.This loan marks the launch of a new
World Bank Gourp
to improve access to finance for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
Currently, just ten per cent of companies in this area are financed using loans from banks.
Shamshad Akhtar, Vice-President for the MENA region at the World Bank, said the decision to approve the loan is a response to this, describing it as a "critical pillar" of the organisation's Arab initiative.
She also pointed out that regulation, good governance and transparency within the sector will be required to ensure the project succeeds.
"A dynamic, open and growing MSME sector can create jobs and open up access to market opportunities at a rate that keeps pace with this growth," Ms Akhtar added.
The World Bank provides interest-free loans, credits and grants to developing nations to support positive investment in areas such as education, health and private sector development.