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IFA Partners with U.S. Government to Support Economic Growth in Tunisia

Matthew Haller, 202-662-0770
Jenna Weisbord, 202-662-0766 

WASHINGTON, Jan. 28—The International Franchise Association (IFA) today announced a partnership to support economic growth through the formation of franchise businesses in Tunisia with the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the international development finance arm of the U.S. Government, and the Middle East Investment Initiative (MEII), a non-profit organization dedicated to stimulating economic growth and job creation in the region. 

The partnership will include the development of a credit facility that will partially guarantee loans to Tunisian businesses to enable them to acquire and operate franchises, produce goods and services to supply the franchise businesses and establish Tunisian businesses as franchisors.  Further, technical assistance will be provided to local partner banks to build their capacity to effectively lend to franchise businesses.  MEII will manage the credit facility in which partner banks will lend to Tunisian business in local currency. 

“The franchising business model can support economic growth in Tunisia by leveraging the power of U.S. brands in many business sectors including food service, hospitality, retail and the service sector,” said IFA President & CEO Steve Caldeira. “There is a tremendous appetite for U.S. brands in developing countries. With the support of U.S. franchisors and partnerships with OPIC, MEII and qualified investors in Tunisia, franchising can help lead to economic growth in this important developing country.“ IFA members will participate in an upcoming Tunis Med Franchise Expo February 27 to March 1 in Tunis and the IFA is advising on the credit facility which allows, for the first time, franchisors to enter a foreign market with the backing of their franchisees by U.S. government funds. This program will advance President Obama’s National Export Initiative, which aims to double U.S. exports by 2015.  In December 2011, the IFA was recognized with the Department of Commerce’s “Peace Through Commerce” award for “fostering economic stability, prosperity and peace around the world” through the worldwide growth of US franchise businesses."



About the International Franchise Association
The International Franchise Association is the world's oldest and largest organization representing franchising worldwide. Celebrating over 50 years of excellence, education and advocacy, IFA works through its government relations and public policy, media relations and educational programs to protect, enhance and promote franchising. Through its media awareness campaign highlighting the theme, Franchising: Building Local Businesses, One Opportunity at a Time, IFA promotes the economic impact of the more than 825,000 franchise establishments, which support nearly 18 million jobs and $2.1 trillion of economic output for the U.S. economy. IFA members include franchise companies in over 300 different business format categories, individual franchisees and companies that support the industry in marketing, law and business development.