Gulf Finance House ("GFH"), the Bahrain based Islamic investment bank, and the Tunisian government have launched North Africa's first offshore financial centre as part of Tunis Financial Harbour, a US$3 billion mixed use waterfront development which will provide the physical infrastructure for the planned offshore financial centre. At a reception for financial services institutions and policy specialists in Washington, DC, USA, held during the International Monetary Fund's ("IMF") Annual Meeting, GFH senior management and the Governor of the Tunisian Central Bank briefed attendees on the project as well as the development of Tunisia's financial services regulatory environment. Tunis Financial Harbour will offer a bridge between the US$15 billion EU trade bloc, Tunisia's own dynamic economy and rapidly developing North African and sub-Saharan economies.
Tunis Financial Harbour will further develop Tunisia's vibrant economy, by offering commercial infrastructure and an array of waterfront living for financial services institutions seeking access to the opportunities Tunisia offers as a strategic gateway between Europe and Africa. The development is projected to have a permanent population of 110,000 residents across its 500 hectares and will create 16,000 jobs for the Tunisian economy.
Mr. Esam Janahi, Executive Chairman, Gulf Finance House, said, "Tunis Financial Harbour will be North Africa's first off shore financial services centre. Tunisia's strategic location means that it is the natural base for a financial services hub to cater for the growing demand for financial products and services created by the growth of not only the Tunisian economy but also African economies and international investment flows into the country. Tunis Financial Harbour will offer a world class centre for financial service institutions to base their operations whilst offering a range of modern, waterfront lifestyle options for employees and residents. Tunis Financial Harbour builds on our strategy of creating the economic infrastructure to support the development of economies and societies across the Middle East and we are proud to be partnering with the Tunisian government to support their national objectives."
Mr. Taoufik Baccar, Governor of the Central Bank of Tunisia, added, "We have a clear strategy of establishing Tunis as a leading regional financial services centre. Our policies have created an ever more open and liberal market environment which has seen the growth of our economy. In parallel with the development of a world leading financial services regulatory environment, we are now working with GFH to create the region's first off shore financial services centre that will offer a high quality location for businesses to locate to and for employees and residents to live."