Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean

Partnership goes without saying for the Moroccan water sector

Written by Michel Neumuller avec le FME on Friday, November 2nd 2012 à 09:45 | Read 855 times

MOROCCO. Abdellaziz Taariji represented the Kingdom’s water and sanitation SMEs at the World Water Forum in Marseilles. He urges Moroccan companies to make a great effort at exporting and at co-operating in multinational partnerships.

Is the time for protection of companies on their national territory already past? In Morocco, the players in the water and sanitation sector are putting their faith in the international network effect and consensus between companies to co-operate in conquering export markets. These are the words of Abdellaziz Taariji, vice-president of AMEPA (Moroccan Drinking Water and Sanitation Association). Along with other national networks such as the Provençal Ea Ecoentreprises you have just created a global “network of networks” at the World Water Forum in Marseilles. Could you tell us about AMEPA  ? 
Abdellaziz Taariji - First of all, indeed we have created I-NOWS (International Network Of Water SME) in Marseilles, which will bring together SMEs from ten countries and, I hope, twenty countries by the end of 2012. One of the purposes is to be able to work together when we try to present solutions in foreign markets. And, indeed, this is what we are encouraging in Morocco with AMEPA. The association represents 150 companies and institutions, and we are the point of contact with public authorities, especially when it comes to discussing the rules for public tenders. What’s the latest on the opportunities in Morocco? 
Abdellaziz Taariji - Most large European companies in the water and sanitation sector are established there, which intensifies competition. Morocco is a privileged partner of the European Union, so it fully supports free competition. This situation encourages Moroccan companies to react in terms of strategy, especially by seeking foreign markets. Our companies have know-how, and AMEPA tries to foster that mind set: all the more reason not to wait to be forced, by going on international missions of our own accord, and if possible in co-operation with others. In concrete terms Moroccan companies are looking for French partners, in particular in the areas of treatment and purification. Right now we can jointly target markets in Mauritania, where the government programmes are funded by international aid, which secures them commercially. 

Abdellaziz Taariji: “The SMEs must rise to the challenge of exporting” ( Photo MN)
Abdellaziz Taariji: “The SMEs must rise to the challenge of exporting” ( Photo MN) – Does the Moroccan market itself represent an opportunity for the companies in the sector? 
Abdellaziz Taariji - Without a doubt! There is enough work for the next twenty years. The country is just completing a vast national programme of dam construction, and all this surface water needs treatment. A large number of treatment plants need building all over the country. That’s not all, water stress, common in Morocco, also assumes production of freshwater using seawater desalination plants. Right now a tender is underway for the design of two units in Agadir: one for irrigation with a capacity of 100,000 l/day, and one for drinking water, also 100,000 l/day. They need to be commissioned in one year. 

Neighbouring Mauritania is benefiting from a sanitation programme assisted by the EU (photo XDR)
Neighbouring Mauritania is benefiting from a sanitation programme assisted by the EU (photo XDR)

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