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European Union: Maghreb investment bank opens end of year, New AMU bank based in Tunis


The Maghreb Bank for Investment and Foreign Trade (Bcmice) will be operational by the end of December in Tunis, Rabat Kouider Lahoila, expert of the direction of economic affairs at the Arab Maghreb Union (AMU), has announced. He stressed that UMA taking a concrete step in the financial sector signified evolution for it.

This is good news for Maghreb states, businessmen and entrepreneurs who will thus gain access to a new funding source for their activities. The new bank, with a capital of 500 million dollars, will have as a fundamental mission to finance projects promoting common infrastructures for the five UMA member states - Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya and Mauritania - develop commercial exchanges within the Maghreb area, considering the strong potential of a market of 90 million consumers.

The agreement that set up UMA dates back to 1989 but the Union only became effective in 2006. Its implementation, however, was long halted due to tensions over western Sahara between Morocco and Algeria. The new bank should allow to harmonize trade between the whole Maghreb area and European Union nations, currently regulated by accords with single states.

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