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The President of the Government inaugurates head office of Maghreb Bank for Investment and Foreign Trade

Published the:  09/05/2017

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(TAP) - The President of the Government Youssef Chahed Tuesday inaugurated the Tunis-based head office of the Maghreb Bank for Investment and Foreign Trade (BMICE).

The bank coming into being demonstrates a real willingness of Maghreb governments notwithstanding economic and regional difficulties, Chahed said at a ceremony.

The BMICE has the task of strengthening ties among Maghreb countries and capitalising on opportunities on offer so as to stimulate economic growth and attain social development objectives.

"The Bank should not only be a new financial institution but essentially a catalyst for Maghreb financial integration," the Premier indicated.

The BMICE is also commissioned to build partnerships with national and regional financial institutions so as to attract funding for innovative projects, digital networks, intelligent and multi-modal transport, small and medium-sized enterprises in addition to education and training in the Maghreb region, Chahed said.

The bank saw light of day after a lengthy process that started in 1991 that is two years after the establishment of the Arab Maghreb Union (AMU). Issues relating to Maghreb integration hampered the process and it was on December 21, 2015, that a Constitutive General Assembly was held and one quarter of the $150 million capital paid.

BMICE Director-General Nouredine Zekri told TAP the first financing operations will commence in Q3 of 2017; Mauritania will be home for the first agency in 2018.

The bank will fund projects of common interest focusing primarily on industry, services, agriculture and basic infrastructure and will seek to develop trade. It will likewise come up with solutions to address obstacles impeding trade between Maghreb countries.

Fourteen executives were picked to be the first experts of the bank, Zekri indicated. Staff will be hired on the basis of an employment ratio of 20% for each country.

Chairman of the Board of Directors Mohamed Jalleb said the BMICE wants to be a benchmark in the financial integration of the Arab Maghreb region through coordination among national and regional financial institutions keen to secure the development of Maghreb countries.

The AMU Secretary-General attended the ceremony along with the finance ministers of Mauritania and Libya, the Minister of Development, Investment and International Cooperation and Acting Finance Minister and the Arab Maghreb ambassadors in Tunis as well as chairs of financial institutions.