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The Republic of Tunisia, represented by H.E Samir Said, Minister of Economy and Planning endorsed the Arab Africa Trade Bridges (AATB) Program through a signing ceremony that took place with Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, CEO of the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) and Secretary General of the AATB Program. Both sides inked the 2022-2023 Country Program with the aim of developing a cooperation framework between the Republic of Tunisia and the AATB Program.

The agreement lays out a dedicated country program for Tunisia, that includes the implementation of projects for the benefit of the national economy, and supports various sectors and open opportunities to access African markets in coordination with the program’s partner institutions which includes International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC ), the Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit (ICIEC), the African Import and Export Bank (Afreximbank), the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) and the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD),.

Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol commended the successful relationship with Tunisia and the importance of the cooperation especially in view of the repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic on the local economy. He also referred to the signed Program that includes the four pillars: trade, insurance, investment, and infrastructure, the agreement also aims at strengthening cooperation between the Tunisian government and the AATB Program partners and stakeholders in supporting Tunisian entities in reaching new horizons in the African market; and provide technical assistance programs to support the competencies and tools needed to develop the export sector.

For his part, Mr. Samir Said emphasized on the objectives of the agreement, which range from providing opportunities, needed technical support to facilitate the access of Tunisian companies to promising African markets by developing export sector and supporting trade stakeholders. He also noted that the AATB Program, which is an important mechanism for establishing fruitful partnerships between Arab and African countries will facilitate projects of common interest and the growth of the economies of the countries concerned.

The program has therefore been designed with the ultimate objective of leveraging new trade partnerships and leverages on certain factors, including helping to select institutions or consultants specialized, and strengthening Tunisian-African cooperation. This will be achieved by encouraging the use of public and private training structures and institutions, promoting Tunisian expertise in various fields and organizing (B2B) Buyers/Sellers meetings for sectors with growth opportunities in the export of products and services, such as the pharmaceutical and food industries, health services, construction, digitization and information technologies. The program shall equally support the Tunisian companies’ capacity to grow their foreign trade volume; provide support for Tunisian exporters and investors abroad and help Tunisian institutions import basic and strategic materials such as gas and grains.

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