Tunisia-Spain Relationship Strengthens With Recent USD 28 Mn SME Agreement

By  |  February 26, 2019

Recently, Tunisia and Spain underwent an agreement which involved USD 28.3 Mn aimed at rejuvenating and bolstering small businesses in the North African country.

According to the Tunisian Ministry of Investment, Development and International Cooperation, the agreement will support the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) in the country by affording them access to certain relevant services while facilitating the supply of useful equipment and materials manufactured in Spain.

The statement revealed that USD 28.3 Mn deal is looking forward to a grace period of 50 years with 25 percent interest rate. Zied Ladhari, the Tunisian Minister of the concerned body, said that 63 companies from their European partner currently operation in Tunisia, providing more than 6,000 jobs across a variety of sectors. According to him the total investment from Spanish activities in the country have resulted in investments more than USD 1 Bn.

The recent compromise, which was signed in Tunis, is tailored to pump some value into the SME sector of Tunisia to help it upgrade productions and create more jobs.

Tunisia-Spain activities have been going on for some time. One of such is Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s official visit to the Tunisian capital on February 26, 2018.

While the first visit to the North African country by a Spanish head of government since 2011 was expected to support the country as it continued democratic transition, it was also reported that the event enhanced economic ties. Among the 12 cooperation agreements signed by the two countries, economy and financing were believed to be the most prominent.

1995, former Tunisian President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali and former Spanish Prime Minister Felipe Gonzalez signed a bilateral Treaty of Friendship, Good, Neighborliness, and Cooperation, which led to a tenfold increase in bilateral trade. Both countries agreed to strengthen ties in 2008 when the heads of government indicated their interest in developing closer and economic and commercial relationships.

Tunisia and Spain, who strive to remain “committed and close” in their dealings with the Union for the Mediterranean, have together helped Tunisia achieve significant economic development in a variety of sectors.

Spain, who invests multiplicities of dollar bills in Tunisia every year, is the African nation’s fifth largest exporter and sixth largest importer. It is reported that by 2016, 64 companies with Spanish participation operated in Tunisia, generating 6,554 jobs. At the time, no less than  4,000 Spanish firms engaged in trade activities with Tunisia.

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