Rabat - Morocco has signed an agreement with the Chinese aerospace company Haite on the construction of an "industrial city" near Tangier, which will host some 200 Chinese companies.
Rabat – Morocco has signed an agreement with the Chinese aerospace company Haite on the construction of an “industrial city” near Tangier, which will host some 200 Chinese companies.
Named Mohammed VI Tangier Tech, this new industrial and residential city will be built on 2,000 hectares of land in northern Morocco and is expected to house nearly 200 Chinese factories in the next ten years, making it the largest Chinese industrial platform on the continent.
Without further ado, here are 5 crucial things to know about this major Chinese investment in one of Morocco’s biggest industrial cities:
1. A $10 billion tech city
From an initial investment estimated at USD 1 billion, the realization of this intelligent city will generate investment of USD 10 billion as well as the creation of 100,000 jobs in the next decade. It is one of the biggest Chinese investments in the kingdom and confirms Morocco’s strategy to remake itself as a regional hub for Chinese investments destined for the African and European markets.
2. A true industrial hub
Mohammed VI Tangier Tech city would be divided into zones specializing in aerospace, automobiles, telecoms and other sectors. The aim is to attract as many as 200 transnational corporations, many of which will be Chinese attracted to Morocco’s proximity to European markets.
3. Where’s the money coming from?
Finance will be accessed over the next 10 years and will come from Haite, Moroccan private bank BMCE, and the Moroccan government.
4. Two steps away from Europe
Morocco’s gateway to Europe, the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, Tangier has been an industrial hub since the creation of the Tangier Exportation Free Zone in 1999 and Tanger-Med, a deep-water port, in 2007.
Ilyas Omari, the chairman of the Tangier-Tetouan region, has pointed out that that the tech city will be only 15km from Europe and will be supported by a number of infrastructure projects, including the modern port of Tanger Med, the motorway network, a high speed train line and industrial and logistics areas.
5. At the heart of the Silk Road
This new city will serve as the North African base for Chinese companies operating in the sectors of automobile manufacturing, aeronautics and textiles.
Othman Benjelloun, president of BMCE, said that the project will contribute to “the revival of the Silk Road, so dear to our Chinese partners and friends. This road now [goes] through Tangier and, from this blessed land, to the rest of Africa, Europe and America.”