Sumitomo’s move comes in the wake of post-Brexit agreement between the UK and Morocco.
Rabat – Japan’s leading conglomerate Sumitomo is poised to drive up its investments in Morocco with the business giant looking to make the most of the North African country’s increasing international appeal.
With Britain set to leave the European Union and Morocco having recently signed a tariff-free, “continuity agreement” with London, Sumitomo is joining forces with Tanger Med, Morocco’s newly completed game-changer port, to establish a Europe-bound export hub in Morocco.
“Sumitomo corps is setting Morocco to be an alternative manufacturing hub in the post-Brexit world,” read a report from a Japanese paper. “Tanger Med and Sumitomo aim to attract manufacturers operating in Britain that are hunting for a new export base in the European Union as the UK’s drawn-out divorce from Brussels threatens to disrupt trade.”
The report went on to wittily describe Morocco as “Europe’s Mexico,” referencing the tariff-free deals between the US and its Latin American neighbor, as well as the enormous trading transactions between the two countries.
The initiative, which entails the acquisition by Sumitomo of five industrial parks near Tangier, is set to serve as bait for “luring” more Japanese manufacturers into exporting to Europe. Shipments from Tanger Med to EU countries can reach destination in a week, making the Moroccan port an ideal export base for Europe-bound products.
Morocco’s own investments in key sectors like automotive and aeronautics have made it a valued market and a regional hub. With the added advantage of its geographical position as a bridge to different markets, the North African kingdom has cemented its place as a cherished place for investors.
Speaking of how “Japan greatly values its partnership with Morocco,” a high-profile Japanese diplomat recently said that an increasing number of Japanese companies are setting their sight on the North African kingdom. In terms of international exchanges, the Japanese officer argued, Japanese investors consider Morocco as “a gateway to Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.”