The EBRD has agreed a US$10mn trade finance facility for Banque Tunisio-Koweitienne (BTK) in Tunisia.

Under the terms of the facility, the EBRD will provide BTK with guarantees to enable it to offer more long-term financing to its clients. Alternatively, BTK can draw funds directly from the EBRD, enabling the bank to provide more cash advances for its transactions when necessary, facilitating imports and exports as well as the local distribution of imported goods.

Commenting on the financing, BTK’s general manager Houssein Mouelhi says: “Expanding trade will strengthen Tunisia’s SME sector and create new jobs.”

“With EBRD’s trade finance facility we will be able to support the import and export business of Tunisian SMEs and their ability to target new opportunities, especially in countries with which there are no trade links yet,” he adds.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti said: “This transaction underscores our commitment to Tunisia, by providing finance that will help it pursue crucial trade-led growth.”

“With BTK we will reach out to Tunisian exporters and importers and help increase the volume of trade between Tunisia and other countries.”

This latest deal follows the two EBRD financing agreements secured by Amen Bank, another Tunisian lender, earlier this month. BTK joins Amen Bank on the EBRD’s Trade Facilitation Programme (TFP) which includes over 100 partner banks in 22 countries where the EBRD invests. Launched in 1999, the TFP has limits exceeding €1.5bn in total.