WB's continued support to Tunisia and close accompaniment during this delicate period

March 21, 2021

(TAP) - Vice-president of the World Bank Group (WB) in charge of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, Ferid Belhaj renewed, on Thursday in Tunis, the commitment of this financial institution to continue supporting Tunisia and accompanying it during this delicate period so that it can overcome the economic difficulties it faces.

During a meeting with President of the Tunisian Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts (UTICA), Samir Majoul, Belhaj stressed the importance of the role of the private sector which remains the main engine for economic growth and wealth creation as well as the country's need for fruitful relations between the administration and the business world, which is likely to achieve the expected economic growth, according to a press release issued Thursday by UTICA.

Outlining some cooperation programmes between Tunisia and the WB, including the specific program to support vulnerable groups and the contribution to the financing of the vaccination campaign against COVID-19, Belhaj stressed the total conviction of the WB to establish dialogue and coordination with the Employers' Organisation since it represents the private sector in the country.

The meeting, which was attended by members of the UTICA executive board and assistants of the WB vice-president, was an opportunity to discuss the economic and social situation in the country and the difficulties it suffers from, which reached their peak during the last year due to the coronavirus.

The participants referred to the important contribution of the private sector to the country's economic growth, stressing the need to further boost it through the facilitation of private initiative, the resolution of problems related to the business climate and economic activity as well as to public institutions and administrative reform.

They considered that overcoming these difficulties required regaining confidence and instituting a recovery programme and reforms that could help strengthen the competitiveness of the national economy.

The participants insisted on the need to work to limit the country's major financial imbalances, to optimise subsidies and to direct them towards those entitled to them, in addition to the materialisation of an effective partnership between the public and private sectors, the intensification of investment in the field of renewable energies, the reform of the exchange code and the fight against smuggling and parallel trade which cause great losses to the organised economy.

They also stressed the need to solve the logistical problems that paralyze investment and exports, to strengthen the image of Tunisia as an investment destination and boost economic diplomacy.

The representatives of UTICA called on the WB to contribute actively to the programme of the achievement of projects especially among young people and to materialise the initiative launched by UTICA under the sign 'a project for each family'.

Vice-president of the WB, Ferid Belhaj announced on March 16, 2021, the reservation of 100 million dollars, or 275 MD for the vaccination campaign against the Coronavirus.

Previously (March 15, 2021), he announced the allocation of 300 million dollars, in favour of one million Tunisian families.


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