MOROCCO / EUROPE. By signing a loan for €130 million on Tuesday 9th October 2012 with the Office Chérifien des Phosphates (OCP), the European Investment Bank (EIB), via the Facility for Euro-Mediterranean Investment and Partnership (FEMIP) is confirming its support for Morocco.
OCP is the world’s largest exporter of crude phosphate and phosphoric acid (20,000 employees) and operates on five continents using its ninety years of experience in mining and forty-five in chemistry. The EIB budget will enable them to modernise their infrastructure, including the construction of two low phosphate washing and enrichment plants in Khouribga and replace sulphuric acid production sites with two plants in Safi.
On Thursday 4th October 2012, the European Institution unblocked €100 million for the MEDZ techno-hubs (a branch of CDG Developpement ). Seven techno-hubs designed "to provide infrastructure and services internationally and support development and competitiveness by taking into account training and R&D needs", will benefit from this sum throughout Morocco. As part of the Pact for Industrial Emergence of the Kingdom of Morocco (2009-2015), MEDZ is planning an investment programme of 3 billion dirham (€270 million) for the Atlantic Free Zone (Kénitra), Parc Haliopolis (Agadir),MidParc (Nouasser),Technopole Oujda, Parc Technopolis (Rabat-Salé), Agropolis (Meknès) and the Agropole (Berkane).
€450 million for Morocco in 2012
On Friday 5th October 2012, EIB Vice-President Philippe de Fontaine Vive, also signed off a loan for €42.5 million for irrigation and agriculture with Moroccan Minister for the Economy and Finance, Nizar Baraka, as part of the Maroc Vert (green Morocco) plan.
This will allow the conversion of 21,405 ha of collective irrigation to drip irrigation with equipment from farms with more efficient irrigation systems (drip irrigation). Nearly 8,000 small farms will benefit from this in the regions of Gharb-Kenitra, Haouz-Marrakesh and Souss-Massa-Agadir. For Philippe de Fontaine Vive, "the goal of this funding is to develop modern, sustainable and profitable agriculture that is an engine for growth and employment in Morocco. By promoting responsible agriculture in irrigation, we are preparing the future for younger generations."
With €450 million committed since January 2012, the EIB and its financial arm FEMIP have already doubled financial assistance to the Kingdom of Morocco compared with 2011 (€200 million). "An historic record for the country" according to EIB officials; other ongoing projects should be completed by the end of 2012.
The Luxembourg bank has been investing in Morocco for thirty-five years with, to date, loans totalling €4.7 billion in the areas of energy, transport, telecommunications, water, SMEs, urban infrastructure and industry.
FEMIP, which celebrates its tenth birthday in October 2012, has granted €13 billion of loans (to end of 2011) to support the economic and social development of nine Mediterranean countries.