The FINANCIAL — The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has awarded Banque Tuniso-Koweïtienne (BTK) two prizes for its outstanding performance in 2014 under the EBRD Trade Facilitation Programme (TFP).
BTK won EBRD awards for the most active issuing bank in Tunisia and for Deal of the Year 2014 in the southern and eastern Mediterranean (SEMED) region. The awards were presented at the EBRD Annual Meeting in Tbilisi, during the Trade Facilitation Programme (TFP) Annual Awards Ceremony on 13 May 2015, according to EBRD.
Irina Kravchenko, EBRD Acting Head of Office in Tunisia, said: “We are very proud and happy to recognise the achievements of BTK with these awards. The bank joined the TFP almost a year ago and has become an important partner of the EBRD. Together with BTK we are working to expand exports and imports and helping to increase intra-regional trade.”
BTK Managing Director, Houssein Mouelhi, said: “We are delighted about the support offered by the EBRD, especially at a time when Tunisia needs more than ever to diversify its sources of funding. BTK and the EBRD are active in many fields: supporting SMEs, trade finance and training for BTK managers.”
One example of this work is the 2014 Deal of the Year. This involved a guarantee issued by the EBRD covering a letter of credit issued by BTK for just over €96,000 which was confirmed by Turk Ekonomi Bankasi. The EBRD guaranteed the political and commercial payment risk. Under the transaction, a Tunisian entrepreneur was able to import olive oil extraction equipment from Turkey to modernise his business, thus increasing capacity and the quality of his products.
Radhouane Houria, Head of the BTK Trade Finance division, is enthusiastic: “The EBRD-BTK collaboration under the TFP is promising. The product is convenient and the teams show great technical know-how and professionalism. This programme expands new horizons for Tunisian companies; they will be able to develop commercial operations with their traditional partners and also in new regions.”
The EBRD has been investing in Tunisia since September 2012, providing financing of close to €250 million in 17 projects to date. The Bank has also provided technical assistance support to more than 130 small and medium-sized Tunisian enterprises.