Rabat – Habanos, the arm of the Cuban state tobacco company, will invest 1 billion dirhams in a cigar and cigarette factory in Morocco.
The Economist, in its September 21st edition, reported that Habanos is preparing to implement the first factory for the manufacture of tobacco products in the Casablanca region.
According to the same source, the company scheduled to launch in December 2015, intends to invest no less than 1 billion dirhams in this factory. The new plant will produce cigarettes, cigarillos and cigars, most of them will be exported to the African market.
Moulay Omar Zehraoui, President of Habanos, quoted by the newspaper as saying that “80 percent of the production will be exported mainly to Sub-Saharan Africa”.
“With a total production of over 40 million packs of cigarettes per day, the plant will target primarily Senegal, Ivory Coast, Benin, Mali and Nigeria. The remaining 20 percent of production will be for the local market,” Zehraoui added.
The company is expected to create about 600 jobs at its inception.
The Economist informed that “cigarettes that will carry the Moroccan label will be sold for between 15 and 35 dirhams” with respect to the Moroccan market prices.
Despite the brand-wide increase in cigarette prices since last year, the number of tobacco users in Morocco reached “about 7 million smokers, representing one fifth of the population,” with minors making up half a million of these figures, according to Rachida El Mokrie Al idrissi, Head of the National Coalition for the Fight Against Drugs.