The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) has provided a US$280mn trade finance facility to the government of Tunisia for the import of gas, oil and raw materials.

The facility is made up of three separate financing agreements, the first of which is a €120mn loan to the Tunisian Electricity and Gas Company for the import of natural gas.

The second deal is for US$100mn to finance the import of crude oil and petroleum products by the Tunisian Company for Refining Industries, while the remainder is a US$50mn loan to aid the import of raw materials by phosphate miner and processor Groupe Chimique Tunisien. Tunisia is a major exporter of phosphate and associated products.

The ITFC, the trade finance arm of the Islamic Development Bank, says the financing would buttress Tunisia’s energy security and “revitalise” the country’s industrial sector.

“ITFC remains committed to building on its successes to be a greater catalyst for trade development among Organisation of Islamic Cooperation member countries,” says the lender’s CEO Hani Salem Sonbol.

“The support provided to Tunisia is part of this commitment to strengthen local and regional economies through the advancement of trade. The three signed financing agreements are aligned with ITFC’s strategy to provide trade solutions, with trade financing that are also accompanied by technical assistance and trade development support.”

A memorandum on capacity-building between the ITFC and Technological Pole Sidi Thabet, an organisation focused on developing the biotechnology and pharmaceutical sectors in Tunisia, was also signed.