The moroccan press

Siemens To Inaugurate Moroccan Blade Factory In October

Western Sahara Worldnews - Thu, 09/28/2017 - 16:02

Renewables Now

Siemens wind turbine blades. Source: Siemens. License: All rights reserved

Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy SA (BME:SGRE) will officially open its wind turbine blade factory in Morocco next month.

The inauguration for the EUR-100-million (USD 117.5m) plant in Tanger is scheduled for October 11, Moroccan media report.

The investment was announced in 2016 after a consortium with Siemens won a tender to build five wind power projects with an overall generation capacity of 850 MW.

The blade production site spreads over 37,500 square metres near the Tanger Automobile City, TAC. It is operational since April this year and Nareva’s 200 MW, Aftissat wind farm near Boujdour is one of its first clients. However, nearly 85% of the current blade production is intended for export.

The blade factory is now producing 63-metre long blades but it is well equipped to produce even larger units,flexible to follow the trends in the wind energy technology development over the coming years.

The Tanger plant currently has a headcount of 600 and Siemens has established a training centre where trainers have been trained in Aalborg, Denmark.
(EUR 1 = 1.175)

Published Sep 28, 2017 12:29 CEST

Mariyana Yaneva

Mariyana is a founding member of the Renewables Now team. With nine years of professional experience in renewables she has built strong expertise in the wind industry and French-speaking markets.

More articles by the author

Morocco Summit Adopts Road Maps To Improve Women Leadership

Western Sahara Worldnews - Thu, 09/28/2017 - 11:46

Xinhuanet
Source: Xinhua

The first Women in Africa Club summit closed on Wednesday in the Moroccan city of Marrakech by adopting sectorial roadmaps for improving women leadership.

The roadmaps cover six areas, namely agriculture, energy, entrepreneurship, finance, nutrition and water.

The meeting launched call for applications for business women in Africa holding projects of over 5 million Euros to offer African women greater opportunities to develop their countries.

Held under the theme of “investing for better governance with African women,” the event attracted nearly 400 business leaders, from nearly 37 countries, mostly African nations.

The three-day summit aimed at highlighting the importance of women’s leadership in African societies, and to promote international and pan-African companies in support of women.

The event included conferences, master classes and collaborative laboratories featuring international experts to discuss various topics such as agriculture, energy, entrepreneurship, finance, water, and nutrition.

Morocco Steps Up Cooperation With European Bank

Western Sahara Worldnews - Thu, 09/28/2017 - 11:36

Xinhuanet
Source: Xinhua

The Moroccan Prime Minister Saad Eddine El Othmani and vice-president of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Alain Pilloux discussed expansion of bilateral cooperation on Wednesday.

The two sides vowed their satisfaction with the current level of cooperation, exploring prospects for cooperation and partnership between Morocco and the Bank, the PM office said in a statement.

They examined ways to join forces to develop local currency lending to small businesses and provide affordable loans to Moroccan banks and microfinance organisations.

During a visit to Morocco EBRD Vice President Pilloux, signed a Memorandum of Understanding today with Morocco’s Ministry of Economy and Finance and the Central Bank (Bank Al Maghrib) of Morocco which will pave the way for lending to local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in local currency, mitigating their exposure to exchange rate volatility.

Morocco is a founding member of the EBRD, which has invested about 1.41 billion U.S. dollars in 30 projects across the country since 2012.

Morocco Plays ‘Central' Role at the Head of FAAPA: AIP Central Director

The moroccan press - Thu, 09/28/2017 - 10:54

Morocco, which chairs the Atlantic Federation of African news Agencies (FAAPA), plays a “central role” in the promotion of this pan-African body and in the development of the media sector in the continent, Central Director of the Ivorian Press Agency (Agence ivoirienne de presse/AIP), Barry Sana Oumou, said.

Categories: The moroccan press

Morocco's Central Bank Maintains Key Rate at 2.25%

The moroccan press - Thu, 09/28/2017 - 10:48

The Board of Bank Al-Maghrib (Morocco’s central bank) decided, on Tuesday, to keep its key rate unchanged at 2.25 percent.

Categories: The moroccan press

Mogherini Underlines Strategic Importance of Relations with Morocco

The moroccan press - Thu, 09/28/2017 - 10:36

The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, underlined the strategic importance of relations between the EU and Morocco.
Mogherini Underlines Strategic Importance of Relations with Morocco

Categories: The moroccan press

Speaker of Lower House Meets with Hungarian Officials

The moroccan press - Thu, 09/28/2017 - 10:29

Speaker of the House of Representatives (lower house) Habib El Malki, who started on Monday a working and friendship visit to Budapest, met with several Hungarian officials on reinforcing cooperation between the two countries in several areas of shared interest.

Categories: The moroccan press

FM Receives Egyptian Candidate for UNESCO Director-general Position

The moroccan press - Thu, 09/28/2017 - 10:24

Moroccan minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Nasser Bourita, received, Wednesday in Rabat, the Egyptian candidate for the position of director-general of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Moushira Khattab, who on a visit to Morocco.

Categories: The moroccan press

Application of Migratory Standards Requires 'Immediate Return' of Polisario Separatist to Spain

The moroccan press - Thu, 09/28/2017 - 10:19

The application of Peruvian migratory laws requires the immediate return of polisario separatist, Khadijetou El Mokhtar, to Spain, from where she travelled to Lima, said the Foreign ministry of this South American country.
Application of Migratory Standards Requires 'Immediate Return' of Polisario Separatist to Spain (Peru’s Foreign Ministry)

Categories: The moroccan press

Morocco Starts EUR 200m Programme For Solar Energy In Agriculture

Western Sahara Worldnews - Thu, 09/28/2017 - 07:36

Renewables Now

Morocco is preparing to roll out a EUR-200-million (USD 240m) programme to spur solar power investments in the agriculture sector by 2021.

The Ministry of Energy, Mining and Sustainable Development has earmarked MAD 2.3bn (EUR 207m /USD 243m ) to promote the use of solar energy to power water pumps for irrigation, helping farmers to reduce consumption of butane gas in farming operations.

Morocco is chasing after a bold target of sourcing more than half of its electrical energy from renewable sources by 2030 and a firm plan to have 2,000 MW of wind and 2,000 MW of solar power plants by 2020.

The North African kingdom, which hosted in Marrakesh COP 22, the 2016 UN climate change conference, already has а pretty detailed plan as to how it will transform the country’s energy mix.

Fiat Signs Agreement With Morocco To Establish Automotive Production Plant

Western Sahara Worldnews - Thu, 09/28/2017 - 01:37

Asharq Al Awsat
Abdullah al-Tajani

Morocco continues its dynamism in attracting foreign investments and convincing them of establishing their own units in the country as Magneti Marelli, a subsidiary of the Italian investment group in this field ‘Fiat,’ and Morocco have signed an agreement building an automotive production plant.

The agreement was signed from the Moroccan side by Minister of Industry, investment, Trade and the Digital Economy Moulay Hafid Elallamy and Minister of Economics and Finance Mohamed Boussaid and on behalf of Magneti Marelli its CEO Pietro Gorlier.

It includes the installation of a manufacturing facility specialized in automotive components production, which will deliver shock absorbers in the first phase.

The industrial zone will be located in Tangier, in the free zone “Tanger Automotive City”, and it will cover an area of approximately 20,000 square meters, with the possibility of subsequent expansion.

The production capacity, when fully operational, will be approximately six million pieces, and the production is forecast to begin within 2019, with the progressive employment of approximately 500 workers by 2025.

The project will require a global investment of about 37 million euros and will benefit from the support of the Moroccan State as provided by its automotive industry policy.

The activity will initially focus on the production of shock absorbers for cars and commercial vehicles, with the possible extension of the scope to other products.

For Magneti Marelli, the localization of production in Morocco follows the logic of supporting locally the industrial sites and the business expansion of a number of important automotive clients in the North African region and marks the opening of a new market in the Maghreb area.

“We are delighted to be partners with the Moroccan State in one of the strategic objectives of the country, the development of the automotive industry,” said Gorlier.

For Magneti Marelli, “the creation of an industrial site in Morocco represents an opportunity to further expand its business, responding to the demands and needs of a number of key clients that are making important investments in the area.”

For his part, Elalamy, who welcomes this new facility installation, highlighted that “the Magneti Marelli project feeds the manufacturing and sourcing ecosystems in the context of the Industrial Accelerated Plan.

‘With this new project, a new craft is being developed in Morocco, the value chain is getting more complex and the sector is gaining from a successful integration,” Elalamy said.

The Magneti Marelli activity will benefit also to the network of the local suppliers to whom the Tangier factory will be getting its supply.

Peru Sends Defiant Western Sahara Independence Emissary On Flight To Spain

Western Sahara Worldnews - Thu, 09/28/2017 - 01:20

Reuters
by Marco Aquino and Mitra Taj

(Recasts with departure of activist)

Peruvian authorities sent an emissary of an independence movement in the Western Sahara on a flight back to Spain after she spent two weeks in the Lima airport and refused to leave, the national migration authority said on Wednesday night.

Jadiyetu El Mohtar, a Spanish citizen who describes herself as the ambassador to Peru for a disputed area in the Western Sahara known as the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), had been denied entry to Peru for alleged political activities on a prior visit, Peru’s foreign ministry said earlier on Wednesday.

Peru is one of a few dozen countries that has recognized the self-declared SADR, which the Polisario independence movement claims is a separate state from Morocco. SADR is not recognized as a state by the United Nations and Peru suspended diplomatic ties with SADR in 1996.

El Mohtar had hoped to help reestablish those ties, she told Reuters by phone from the international arrivals area of Lima’s airport before her departure on Wednesday. She said she was awaiting an appeal to the decision to block her entry.

Peru said El Mohtar had violated the terms of a tourist visa by taking part in political activities during a previous visit. It refused to grant her another visa and had urged her to comply with its order to fly back to Spain.

El Mohtar has denied any wrongdoing and said her stay in Peru in July and August included meetings with environmentalists and feminists and did not violate migratory laws.

“I am sleeping on an inflatable mattress,” El Mohtar said. “I have come to work to pave the way for re-establishing diplomatic relations with Peru.”

Peru’s foreign affairs ministry said it was not considering reestablishing diplomatic ties with SADR and does not recognize Polisario representatives as diplomats.

El Mohtar said she has visited Colombia, Ecuador and Cuba without any problem.

Earlier this year, Peru banned a Canadian activist and a U.S. journalist from Peru after they screened a film critical of a mining company in an Andean region while on tourist visas.

In April, the U.N. Security Council unanimously backed attempts to restart talks between Morocco and Polisario over the Western Sahara conflict, and extended its peacekeeping mission there for another year.

(Reporting by Marco Aquino and Mitra Taj; Editing by Rosalba O‘Brien & Shri Navaratnam)

Western Sahara Independence Emissary Refuses To Leave Lima Airport

Western Sahara Worldnews - Wed, 09/27/2017 - 16:12

Reuters
#World News
by Marco Aquino and Mitra Taj

An emissary of an independence movement in the Western Sahara has spent two weeks in Lima airport and refuses to leave, after she was denied entry to Peru for alleged political activities on a prior visit, Peru’s foreign ministry said on Wednesday.

Jadiyetu El Mohtar is a Spanish citizen who describes herself as the ambassador to Peru for a disputed area in the Western Sahara known as the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR).

Peru is one of a few dozen countries that has recognized the self-declared SADR, which the Polisario independence movement claims is a separate state from Morocco. SADR is not recognized as a state by the United Nations and Peru suspended diplomatic ties with SADR in 1996.

El Mohtar had hoped to help reestablish those ties, she told Reuters by phone from the international arrivals area of Lima’s airport. She said she was awaiting an appeal to the decision to block her entry.

Peru said El Mohtar had violated the terms of a tourist visa by taking part in political activities during a previous visit. It has refused to grant her another visa and urged her to comply with an order to fly back to Spain.

El Mohtar has denied any wrongdoing and said her stay in Peru in July and August included meetings with environmentalists and feminists and did not violate migratory laws.

“I am sleeping on an inflatable mattress,” El Mohtar said. “I have come to work to pave the way for re-establishing diplomatic relations with Peru.”

Peru’s foreign affairs ministry said it was not considering reestablishing diplomatic ties with SADR and does not recognize Polisario representatives as diplomats.

El Mohtar said she has visited Colombia, Ecuador and Cuba without any problem.

Earlier this year, Peru banned a Canadian activist and a U.S. journalist from Peru after they screened a film critical of a mining company in an Andean region while on tourist visas.

In April, the U.N. Security Council unanimously backed attempts to restart talks between Morocco and Polisario over the Western Sahara conflict, and extended its peacekeeping mission there for another year.

Reporting by Marco Aquino and Mitra Taj, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien

Business Brief: All good news in the energy sector; Cyber-security and cloud computing ramp up services in Morocco; growth in Aquaculture by the numbers; Steel Industry Opens Global Portal – Jean R. AbiNader

Morocco on the move - Wed, 09/27/2017 - 16:08

Jean R. AbiNader, MATIC
September 27, 2017

Jean R. AbiNader, Exec. Dir., Moroccan American Trade and Investment Center

Recognizing that solar and wind are only two components of its energy mix, Morocco presses forward on nuclear energy. A Moroccan firm is making a big splash in the region with cloud computing services while another focuses on cyber security. Latest reports project an increase in aquaculture’s growth potential.

The energy sector continues successful expansion. A close reading of Morocco’s energy strategy, beyond renewables, shows a diverse and complementary approach to meeting the country’s energy needs. As a result of around $40 billion worth of investment by 2030, 50% of Morocco will meet 50% of its demand from renewables, the balance from a mix of nuclear, coal, hydrocarbon, and other sources.

At a recent energy conference in Bahrain, Moroccan Minister of Energy Aziz Rabbah said, “The Kingdom has succeeded, through an ambitious strategy, to turn its challenges into genuine investment opportunities, through its commitment to projects aimed at developing the energy sector by 2030, 75% of which [investments] are devoted to renewable energies.”

By 2016, wind and solar energy production had already reached 30% of the country’s total energy output. In addition to energy production, Morocco is strengthening its interconnectivity to neighboring countries, most recently demonstrated by feasibility studies for reaching Portugal, an additional link with Spain, and the Trans-Africa offshore gas pipeline from Nigeria around West Africa to Morocco, linking to Europe.

LNG Gas supplies and production projects are garnering attention in the meantime, as the largest Russian energy companies, Gazprom and Novatek, are negotiating liquefied gas supply contracts with Morocco. This new thrust into the gas market in Morocco also has implications for the Morocco-Nigeria gas pipeline. Russia has extensive experience in the production and export of LNG that can be very useful to Morocco, which has the added benefit of inserting Russia into the region’s energy market.

While the size of the deals is not clear, media reports indicate that Morocco would import at least five billion cubic meters (m3) Russia once Morocco’s current agreement with Algeria ends in 2021. How this would play out with Algeria, Russia’s oldest ally in the Maghreb, is hard to tell at this point, given the uncertainty in Algeria’s energy industry. The point is that this large a deal would make Morocco a major client for the Russians. Of course, the US and Qatar are also well positioned to be players in this niche market.

Nuclear energy, meanwhile, is still on the agenda, according to reports out of the most recent conference of the IAEA. Director General of Morocco’s Center for Energy, Science, and Technology Khalid El Mediouri signed an agreement with the IAEA at the conference to expand their bilateral technical cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy, including triangular cooperation with developing countries in Africa and elsewhere. Morocco has similar agreements with partner institutions in the US, France, and Hungary.

A digital hub opens in Morocco with intentions of serving a regional market. The company behind the Morocco Data Center project is Medasys Group of Medafrica System, a Moroccan company started in 1995 that specializes in highly sophisticated IT based on cloud computing. Initially designed to handle sensitive data for the Moroccan government, it has the capacity to expand its services to other West African countries.

Medasys has already formed a partnership to do that with the UK company Zircom, which specializes in the construction and operation of data centers, with the goal of building a “Morocco International Gateway Datacenter” to address both the Moroccan and African markets. At a cost of some $85 million financed by European funds, the planned mega datacenter will be five times the size of the existing Datacenter. Feasibility studies begin shortly, and the Center will be commissioned no later than spring 2019. Medasys wants to serve public organizations and private companies, including small and medium-sized firms.

Moroccan entrepreneurs are already making a name in cyber-security, as became evident when the recent epidemic of “WannaCry” virus affected more than 230,000 companies in Europe and Asia. Fortunately, since the virus was launched on a Friday, Mohamed Amine Belarbi and Mohamed Zakariae El Khdime—founders of boutique cybersecurity firm, VUL9— had the “chance to secure the frontline throughout the weekend, preparing their clients for a virus-free week ahead, according to an article in Forbes.”

Since they had already inventoried the software used by their clients, they were able to install a protective shield before anyone was targeted. “As tech guys, we are always expecting the worst-case scenario, so our minds are wired to be prepared efficiently,” explained El Khdime. El Khdime, the winner of the 2015 Hackathon for Social Good in the Arab World held at the NYU campus in Abu Dhabi, met Belarbi there; they decided to work together and immediately designed the VUL9 platform.

Having successfully held two rounds of funding, the company is poised to extend its reach beyond Morocco and the UAE. “Barely a year old, VUL9 has entered the market at a time when the growing threat of cyberattacks is causing disruption across the world on a regular basis.” According to the Forbes article, “Figures from PwC’s Global Economic Crime Survey show that in 2016 cybercrime was the second most reported economic crime that Middle East organizations fell victim to, with 30% of businesses being targeted.”  “It’s a never-ending story because no one company is immune. Everyday can bring a whole new virus we’ve never encountered before,” says Belarbi.

Aquaculture in Morocco has a great future, according to the National Agency for the Development of Aquaculture (ANDA), targeting 200,000 tons of production, 40,000 jobs, and revenues of some half-billion dollars by 2020.  Morocco has some distinct advantages: more than 1100 miles of coastline; a commercially attractive fish stock; access to diverse markets; and an expanding aquaculture industry. Currently, there are 19 shellfish farms, a fish farm, a seaweed farm, and a shell mill, in addition to 5 marine aquaculture development stations, with other projects being introduced.

Iron and steel sector launches a publication for greater industry awareness. Called “Steel Impulse,” it will provide a portal for information and exchange to promote and develop the iron and steel sector in Morocco. With the continued growth in large-scale projects including social housing and tourism, it was considered critical to have a platform for to expose the sector more widely.

On the occasion of the launch, President of the iron and steel association (ASM) Amine Louali said, “Our sector is at the heart of the major structuring projects and the strategy of industrialization of the Kingdom. It is our duty to be proactive and to find solutions to the various problems encountered by our sector and to better contribute to the socio-economic development of Morocco. Steel Impulse is a value-added reflection tool and therefore represents an original initiative that must meet these objectives. “

The post Business Brief: All good news in the energy sector; Cyber-security and cloud computing ramp up services in Morocco; growth in Aquaculture by the numbers; Steel Industry Opens Global Portal – Jean R. AbiNader appeared first on Morocco On The Move.

Categories: The moroccan press

Mogherini Underlines Strategic Importance Of Relations With Morocco

Western Sahara Worldnews - Wed, 09/27/2017 - 15:41

All Africa
Maghreb Arabe Presse (Rabat)

The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, underlined the strategic importance of relations between the EU and Morocco.

Answering a question by a European deputy, Mogherini said that “Morocco is a key partner in the EU neighborhood with whom it has developed a sustainable and valuable partnership for many years.”

“The strategic importance of the EU-Morocco partnership remains important at the political and the economic levels,” she added.

“Political dialogue (with Morocco) is complemented by the important financial contribution provided by the EU to institutions and civil society to support the reform process and ensure its implementation in accordance with international standards and the Moroccan Constitution,” she pointed out.

Tour Morocco Like A Pro

Western Sahara Worldnews - Wed, 09/27/2017 - 15:17

Travel Pulse
Tour Operator G Adventures
Eric Bowman

PHOTO: An obvious tip when visiting Morocco is to ride a camel! (photo by Eric Bowman)

Morocco is a beautiful country worth exploring at least once in your lifetime.

But before you go, there are some essentials you absolutely need to know. Whether you’re visiting for a few days or a few weeks, it’s important to understand and respect the country’s people and culture.

For starters, I’d highly recommend you do your visit to Morocco through a tour company, such as G Adventures. They have multiple options, from the YOLO style to classic to even a National Geographic Journey partnership.

If you want to experience the entire country and do it right, G Adventures will not let you down.

Casablanca gets a great deal of hype because of its namesake movie, and the city is worth seeing if you have time. But Morocco has so much more to offer in other cities to truly get that authentic experience.

Fez is also an extraordinary city and worth a visit as well, but Marrakesh, the Sahara Desert and the Atlas Mountains are the top three things one must experience in Morocco.

Marrakesh is a gorgeous and vibrant city. The Sahara Desert and all it offers will take your breath away, while the Atlas Mountains will leave you with a huge (and perhaps newfound) appreciation for nature. You can knock all three of these out by starting in Marrakesh and then making the two-hour drive through the High Atlas Mountains to the desert.

The best time to visit Morocco is mid to late September and early October. It will still be warm, but not as crazy hot as July and August. Wait too long, and late October into November is busy season for tourism in the country.

As you prepare to pack for your trip, make sure to bring sunscreen, both for your body and your lips. I forgot the latter and paid for it dearly with chapped lips after the first few days.

The sun doesn’t mess around in Morocco, that’s for sure.

Also, bring travel size shampoo and conditioner if you know you’ll be staying in a Kasbah. Some places, even hotels, only provide soap. And if you’re out and about a lot, pack a roll of toilet paper. Some public restrooms do not provide toilet paper and might have someone at the door waiting to hand you some.

Be prepared to pay a couple Moroccan Dirham (MAD) to use the public restroom and to tip the individual who gave you toilet paper.

“But what would I wear?”, you ask.

For men, shorts are fine. Just make sure they go below the knee to be respectful if you plan to enter a mosque at all. For women, dresses and pants are recommended. However, it would be wise to make sure nothing is too revealing if you want to avoid potential harassment.

I did see some women in short shorts and tank tops, though, as the weather was quite warm. But as my tour guide, Mustapha said, it’s at the woman’s own risk if she wears revealing or tight clothing because local men (especially younger guys) are more likely to make remarks in her direction and possibly follow her around the city as well.

READ MORE 6 Great Places to Eat in Marrakesh, Morocco

If you’re the type who likes to stay plugged into social media and the internet, bring a SIM card you know will work internationally with your phone.

It’s best not to rely on the WiFi in some areas. Sure, some hotels are better than others at this, but you’re not always going to be in the hotel—especially if you’re doing a tour adventure.

So, either unplug or come prepared.

As for money during your Moroccan journey, you’re better off if you carry cash. There are plenty of ATMs in the bigger cities, so you don’t have to always have a ton on you at all times, but some of the places you might visit do not accept credit cards, particularly out in the desert and in the mountains.

Plus, every establishment much prefers you pay in cash anyway.

You will also need to make sure you tip people like waiters, drivers, tour guides, etc. Tipping is a big part of the culture in Morocco. Several locals don’t make that much money in their jobs, so tips are essential to their livelihood. (This is another reason having cash is so important during your journey.)

No doubt you will be doing some shopping in the markets of Marrakesh or Fez, so a word to the wise on handling vendors: don’t engage them unless you’re certain you will buy something.

It’s highly likely that one of them will follow you through the market as you walk making their sales pitch.

Keep your eyes forward and politely tell them you’re not interested. Chances are they’ll try a couple more times to get you to buy something but, if you show no interest, they will eventually stop and move on to someone else. For street performers, be ready to tip them at least a 10 MAD coin if you’re planning on engaging in their act.

And last but certainly not least, don’t drink the tap water. Sure, you might have some and ultimately be fine, but it’s not worth the risk of being sick and ruining your journey.

Fiat Chrysler’s Marelli Will Add Factory In Morocco

Western Sahara Worldnews - Wed, 09/27/2017 - 15:05

Automative News Europe

Magneti Marelli said it will add a shock absorber factory in Morocco, a move that helps the North African country further build up a supplier base to support a growing network of vehicle assembly plants.

Marelli, which is a subsidiary of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, is the second Italian supplier to announce expansion plans in Morocco. Sogefi said earlier this year that it will build a plant to produce engine filtration systems.

Both factories will be in the Tangier free trade zone. Marelli’s 37-million-euro, 20,000-square-meter factory is schedule to start production in 2019. Sogefi’s 10-million-euro 10,000-square-meter factory is expect to begin output next year.

Both suppliers, who are building their first factories in the country, said that their plants are likely to be expanded in the coming years to keep pace with an expected increase in orders from customers outside and inside Morocco, where local officials hope to announce the name of a third global automaker to build an assembly plant there before the end of next year.

In addition, the country is working to recruit a fourth major automaker plant before the end of 2021. A fourth project would help the country reach its stated goal of having the capacity to build 1 million vehicles a year by 2025.

The new players would join Renault, which has two factories in Morocco, and PSA Group, which will begin building cars near the coastal city of Kenitra in 2019.

Officials in Morocco know that to support those plants it needs a stronger supply base. Right now, 40 percent of the parts used to build vehicles in Morocco are locally made. The goal is to boost that level to 60 to 65 percent by 2020 by adding local output of electrical, steering and lighting systems, transmission parts, safety equipment, wheels and paint.

“In the last 12 months, we have taken big steps to attract new global players that will add key technologies,” Khalid Qalam, senior adviser with Invest in Morocco, told Automotive News Europe earlier this year.

He decline to reveal the names of any of the companies, but industry sources say that some of the other suppliers considering plants in Morocco include JTEKT (steering systems), Nexteer Automotive (transmission parts and steering systems) and Varroc Lighting Systems.

They would join companies such as Delphi, which makes advanced wiring systems and high-precision connection systems, and Denso, which manufactures air conditioning systems and instrument panels. Other global suppliers with operations in Morocco include glassmaker Saint-Gobain, seat maker Lear, wiring harness maker Leoni, interiors and exhaust system provider Faurecia and thermal energy management and electronics specialist Visteon.

Magneti Marelli CEO Pietro Gorlier said in a statement that the move into Morocco “represents an opportunity to further expand its business, responding to the demands and needs of a number of key clients that are making important investments in the area.”

Also in statement, Sogefi’s CEO Laurent Hebenstreit said: “This investment further strengthens the competitiveness of Sogefi’s manufacturing base and provides support for profitable growth in Morocco and in Europe.”

You can reach Douglas A. Bolduc at dbolduc@crain.com.

EBRD Provides €20 mln Loan to Morocco’s SMEs

The moroccan press - Wed, 09/27/2017 - 10:39

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is helping to further increase financing to small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Morocco by providing 217 million Dirhams (up to €20 million).
EBRD Provides €20 mln Loan to Morocco’s SMEs

Categories: The moroccan press

Morocco among Most Beautiful African Countries

The moroccan press - Wed, 09/27/2017 - 10:27

French Secretary of State for Economy and Finance, Benjamin Griveaux, highlighted the place that Morocco occupies as the first tourist destination outside Europe for the French traveling abroad.
Morocco among Most Beautiful African Countries (French Secretary of State)

Categories: The moroccan press

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