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IFC and APTBEF Help Expand Access to Finance for SMEs in Tunisia

In Rabat:                        
Catherine Gozard
Phone: +212 537 54 4381

Tunis, Tunisia, May 16, 2014—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has co-organized a workshop to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) gain access to finance, expand, and create jobs.

IFC held the three-day workshop in partnership with the Tunisian Professional Association for Banks and Financial Institutions (APTBEF), to demonstrate best practice and share international experience. Senior management representatives of Tunisian banks and other international organizations discussed ways to expand access to finance for SMEs, which are an important driver of economic growth.

“The SME segment has huge potential, and there is room for Tunisian banks to better adapt their financial services to meet the needs of SMEs,” said Mohamed Habib Ben Saad, APTBEF President.

The workshop was also an opportunity to present a recent IFC study of 1,400 Tunisian businesses and 17 banks, which highlights the banking and financial services needs of micro, small and medium enterprises.

“SMEs are still struggling to get access to banking services in Tunisia, even though they represent a large majority of companies and play a key role in job creation,” said Antoine Courcelle-Labrousse, IFC’s Resident Representative Tunisia. “This workshop furnished participants with a sound understanding of SME banking best practice in emerging countries. Tunisian banks can now design banking services for this very promising and profitable segment.”

This project was made possible with the support of Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATDC), UKaid, and the Japanese Ministry of Finance.

About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private enterprises in more than 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity. In FY13, our investments climbed to an all-time high of nearly $25 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges. For more information, visit

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The Tunisian Professional Association for Banks and Financial Institutions (APTBEF) accounts for 22 commercial banks, two investment banks, nine leasing companies and two factoring companies. APTBEF supports and represents its members’ interests to the Central Bank and public authorities.  APTBEF is also the main actor in charge of information policy implementation to raise awareness about the profession and participate in decisions relating to banking activities. For more information visit:

In Tunis:
Aicha Ben Haj Hassine
Phone : +216 71 951 903
E-mail :