finance & economy

Bill on approval of guarantee agreement between Tunisia and ITFC adopted-

June 9, 2021

(TAP) - The House of People's Representatives (ARP) adopted, during a plenary session held on Tuesday, the sole and amended article of the bill relating to the approval of the guarantee agreement concluded on February 12, 2021, between the Tunisian Republic and the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), member of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) group, relating to the Murabaha agreement concluded between the Tunisian Chemical Group (GCT) and the ITFC to contribute to the financing of the import of ammonia and sulphur exclusively.

The whole bill was approved with 85 votes in favour, 17 abstentions and 9 votes against.

Minister of Trade and Export Development, Mohamed Boussaid considered that the recourse of the GCT to borrowing to import raw materials, notably phosphate, is not logical, it is even an unhealthy phenomenon. He said that the deterioration of the Group's situation is the responsibility of all parties.

He recalled that the difficulties that GCT is going through date back to 2012, and that today it has become unable to ensure its needs in raw materials.

In 2020, the losses of the GCT amount to 400 million dinars, knowing that the cumulative losses are about 1200 million dinars. GCT's activity does not exceed 40% of its production capacity, while the objective is to increase this activity to 75% so that it can achieve financial balance, repay its debts and cover its expenses.

Boussaid said that the ministry will soon present a file on the real situation of the GCT during a cabinet meeting, which will detail all the factors that caused it, such as the social protest movements. He argued that 'Tunisians have the right to claim their rights, but without depriving citizens and future generations of the benefits of the exploitation of production sites and natural resources.

The minister stressed that the difficult economic situation of GCT is the result of a combination of factors and is representative of the situation of the rest of the public companies. He approved the proposal made by the MPs to draw up a clear roadmap and a national plan to save these companies.

On the other hand, he said that the ministry has launched a study to evaluate the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA), stressing the need to revise the international agreements related to trade with the European Union and with neighbouring countries.

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