` Tunisian Producer Gets $26M Loan from IFC - Olive Oil Times

Tunisian Producer Gets $26M Loan from IFC

Jun. 26, 2015
Isabel Putinja

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An olive oil pro­ducer in Tunisia has received a loan pack­age of $26 mil­lion from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) aim­ing to increase olive oil pro­duc­tion and develop exports.

The ben­e­fi­ciary of the loan is Conditionnement des Huiles d’Olive (CHO), a lead­ing olive oil pro­ducer located in Sfax, a coastal city in cen­tral Tunisia. IFC is a mem­ber of the World Bank Group which pro­vides financ­ing and advice to projects and pri­vate sec­tor ven­tures in devel­op­ing coun­tries.

The loan pack­age is expected to increase pro­duc­tion and exports while encour­ag­ing the devel­op­ment of the country’s olive oil sec­tor and the pro­file of Tunisian olive oil abroad. Thanks to this loan from the IFC, we can con­tinue our devel­op­ment and rein­force the pos­i­tive image of Tunisian olive oil in inter­na­tional mar­kets which will have an impor­tant impact on the local sec­tor as a whole,” declared Abdelaziz Makhloufi, CEO and founder of CHO.

The loan pack­age is part of a larger IFC pro­gram in Tunisia amount­ing to $62 mil­lion which aims to sup­port small busi­nesses, tech­nol­ogy firms and the agri­cul­tural sec­tor to stim­u­late employ­ment, eco­nomic growth and investor con­fi­dence in the North African coun­try.

The Tunisian econ­omy is full of poten­tial,” stated Mouayed Makhlouf, direc­tor of IFC for the Middle East and North Africa. IFC is sup­port­ing the real­iza­tion of this poten­tial by invest­ing in promis­ing com­pa­nies like CHO while encour­ag­ing job cre­ation and pro­vid­ing sup­port for growth.”

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Following the Tunisian Revolution in early 2011 which sparked off the Arab Spring upris­ings across the region, the country’s econ­omy has been unsta­ble and marked by high unem­ploy­ment in some regions.

Olive oil cur­rently makes up 40 per­cent of the country’s agri­cul­tural export and 10 per­cent of its total exports. Tunisia had an excel­lent olive har­vest dur­ing the past crop year with a 400 per­cent increase in pro­duc­tion, putting it in sec­ond place as the largest olive oil pro­ducer after Spain.



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