Rabat - Morocco’s outstanding industrial activities were at the heart of the 2017 Economic Report on Africa, which described Tangier’s special industrial zones as positioning the region as a “promising growth hub” driven by manufacturing, trade and logistics sectors.
Rabat – Morocco’s outstanding industrial activities were at the heart of the 2017 Economic Report on Africa, which described Tangier’s special industrial zones as positioning the region as a “promising growth hub” driven by manufacturing, trade and logistics sectors.
Launched at The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) in Addis Ababa, the report entitled “Urbanization and industrialization for the transformation of Africa” highlighted the role of Tangier’s Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in enabling firms to gain access to location economies.
“Morocco has achieved success in the automotive sector through a special economic zone near Tangier, which has enabled it to benefit from the common advantages of infrastructure, access to European markets and location savings,” the report said.
The report notes that the revolution of the Moroccan automotive sector started in 2012, with a USD 2.1 billion investment by Renault on a 280-hectare site, 30 km from Tangier with a good rail and road link to the port of this city.
In 2015, Renault’s plant produced 288,053 vehicles. By the end of 2015, it directly employed 9,600 people recruited locally and trained in the Automotive Career Training Institute created with the common support of Renault and the public authorities.
According to the same source, Renault mainly exports vehicles to Europe, and will soon expand to South America, but also sells on the domestic market. By 2013, the French company had 39 percent of the market’s shares.
The rebirth of the automotive industry has greatly increased Morocco’s export capacity, fueled its port activities, and created a supply chain that includes a set of production equipment manufacturers, such as exterior and interior fittings, stamping, plastic injection, seating, electrical circuitry, safety, sealing and air conditioning systems.
The 2017 Economic Report of Africa also states that more than thirty international subcontractors have set up their plants near the Renault factory, establishing their production in Tangier, especially in the free zone of the automobile city.
The American multinational automaker Ford has also implemented its component manufacturing in the region, which supplies Ford car factories in Spain. 80 percent of Moroccan automotive companies are located in Tangier and employ nearly 60,000 workers, the report notes, stating that a smaller set of automotive plants are installed in Casablanca, but are mainly focused on domestic market production.
The automotive industry in Tangier is part of a larger industrial cluster that groups four free zones in or near Tangier: the Tangier Free Zone, the Melloussa area where Renault is located, the Tangier automobile city and the business free zone of Fnideq. These free zones cover nearly 3,000 hectares dedicated to industrial development, 1,200 of which are already serviced, the report says.
Two other industrial zones in Tetouan are devoted to light industry and include small and medium-sized enterprises and extraterritorial activities. These zones constitute an industrial development system within a radius of 80 km from the port of Tangier-Med.
The suburbs of Tangier also have several industrial parks, making it a promising center of growth driven by industry, trade and logistics, says the document which specifies that transport and logistics infrastructure include the port of Tangier- Med, with two terminals for the transport of automobiles and several rail links with Rabat, Casablanca and Marrakech in the south, and Meknes, Fez and Oujda in eastern Morocco.
There has also been a motorway since 2005 linking Tangiers to Rabat and other cities, Tangiers International Airport and regular maritime links with Spain, France and Italy, concludes the report.