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Tunisia : Tunisia to become the first country in SEMED region to have EBRD office.

Suma Chakrabarti, the President of European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is to visit Tunisia on Monday to sign an accord concerning the opening of its imminent office in Tunisia.

After the signing of the accord, Tunisia will become the first country in the southern and eastern Mediterranean (SEMED) region to have a permanent representation office.

During his visit, Chakrabarti will meet with several senior officials, including President Moncef Marzouki, Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Riadh Bettaieb, and Central Bank Governor Chedly Ayari. He will also hold meeting with the heads of the largest employers union UTICA and business association CONECT.

This visit comes as the EBRD has begun to undertake a full-scale investment in the SEMED region especially in Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, and Jordan.

EBRD s shareholders agreed in May to set up a 1 billion Euro special fund to start investments Chakrabarti signed EBRD's first investment in SEMED countries that are undergoing political transition.

Chakrabarti signed EBRD s first investment on October 22 which totaled to 20 million Euros, in the Maghreb Private Equity Fund III (MPEF III). MPEF III, managed by the regional private equity investor AfricInvest-TunInvest is intended to provide equity and debt financing to small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). EBRD states that the SMEs, targeted by the MPEF III, will be established, family-owned companies that have the capacity to augment their activities at the regional or even international level.

Chakrabarti assumed office as EBRD s President on July 3, replacing Thomas Mirow. This is his first official visit to Tunisia. The former President has met Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali this May and has announced that the EBRD would start investments in Tunisia in September.

Established in 1991, the mission of EBRD is to support market economies and liberal democracies in former communist countries through investments in the private sector.

Following the Arab Spring s uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East, the EBRD is looking forward to increase the scope of its investments in the SEMED region.

2012 Al Bawaba (Albawaba.com)

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Title Annotation:southern and eastern Mediterranean; European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
Publication:Mena Report
Geographic Code:6TUNI
Date:Dec 5, 2012
Words:347
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