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Eximbank extends $600 million to Tunisia for digital infra project

Bang Moon-kyu (right), head of the Export-Import Bank of Korea, and Tunisian Finance Minister Ali Kooli (on screen) pose during an online signing ceremony at the bank‘s headquarters in Seoul on Wednesday. (Eximbank)
Bang Moon-kyu (right), head of the Export-Import Bank of Korea, and Tunisian Finance Minister Ali Kooli (on screen) pose during an online signing ceremony at the bank‘s headquarters in Seoul on Wednesday. (Eximbank)

The state-run Export-Import Bank of Korea said Thursday it had agreed to extend a $600 million loan to Tunisia to support the North African country’s digital infrastructure development projects.

Tunisia plans to use the fund to digitize some 4.5 million maps and land-related documents to build a database and develop a comprehensive land information management system there.

“We expect that our support for Tunisia’s land management infrastructure innovation, which is the country’s top-priority national project, will play a role of catalyst for Africa’s digital transformation,” Bang Moon-kyu, chairman and president of Eximbank, said during an online ceremony after signing the loan agreement with Tunisian Finance Minister Ali Kooli on Wednesday.

The loan will be provided under the Economic Development Cooperation Fund, South Korea’s lower-interest loan scheme aimed at supporting economic growth in emerging countries and promoting bilateral economic exchanges.

It marks the first EDCF loan agreement that South Korea has inked with a North African country.

The policy lender expects that the contract with Tunisia will help Korean small and midsized companies developing information and communication technology and related equipment to enter the African market.

Under the agreement, the recipient country should procure goods and services associated with the project from the donor country, according to an official at Eximbank.

“We will work on follow-up procedures in a swift manner like helping Tunisia to find and hire consultants and infra developers for the projects,” he said.

By Park Han-na (hnpark@heraldcorp.com)
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