Tunisia gets North Africa’s first financial park

Tunisia-2Tunis Financial Harbour project will soon be implemented after being shelved for more five years, the Islamic Investment Bank stated. The $3 billion financial park real estate development is to be built by Bahrain’s Gulf Finance House (GFH). It will be located in the Raoued suburb of Tunis and cover a total area of 450 hectatres. The project is one of the largest private foreign investments in the North African state and the first financial park in North Africa.
Lotfi Zar, the executive director of the project, said the “practical implementation of the project” will be this week. The delay of the project has been linked to the financial constraints the Islamic Investment Bank has been faced with and the 2011 uprising against President Ben Ali. A political transition following the revolution is almost complete. The country is preparing for elections later this year.
Tunisia hopes to attract more foreign investment to drive economic growth and create jobs in a country where unemployment is at 15.1%. Lacking any major natural energy resources like neighboring Algeria and Libya, Tunisia’s economy is heavily reliant on agriculture, tourism and foreign remittances. The project is expected to create employment for 17,000 people.
The site will contain a corporate center, investment banking and advisory center and an insurance area. It will also include homes, offices, a golf course, a business school and trade centers.
Although the implementation of the project is highly welcomed, Tunisia continues to be faced with economic hardships. High cost of living and lack of economic opportunities have been major challenges. The government is hoping to acquire more aid and attract more investors to ease woes. Economists are urging it to improve an outdated banking sector to make the most of new investment.

About Khalid Al Mouahidi 4384 Articles
Khalid Al Mouahidi : A binational from the US and Morocco, Khalid El Mouahidi has worked for several american companies in the Maghreb Region and is currently based in Casablanca, where he is doing consulting jobs for major international companies . Khalid writes analytical pieces about economic ties between the Maghreb and the Mena Region, where he has an extensive network