Chinese investments will add up to the MAD 70 billion Morocco has already allocated for development projects in its Western Sahara region.
Rabat – Moroccan and Chinese businessmen met in the city of Laayoune, southern Morocco, to discuss the economic potential and the opportunities present in the southern Moroccan region, especially in Laayoune-Sakia El Hamra, Western Sahara.
The meetings took place on Thursday, December 26, at a Morocco-China investment forum.
The regional council of Laayoune-Sakia El Hamra organized the event in partnership with the Moroccan Agency for Investment and Exports Development (AMDIE) and the Wilaya of Laayoune.
Several Moroccan investors and businessmen attended the forum, alongside Chinese investors who are interested in the region.
The meetings are part of the new economic dynamic in Morocco’s southern provinces that King Mohammed VI called for through a development program launched in 2015. The program allocated MAD 70 billion for development projects in the region.
In November, the Governor of Laayoune province Abdeslam Bekrate launched construction work on several socio-economic projects in the city of El Marsa, Laayoune province. The projects include an industrial park, four sports, and a market.
Another major project in the region is the Dakhla Atlantic Port. The Moroccan government allocated MAD 10 billion for the project and launched its construction works in September.
Not only does the forum aim to attract investors to the region, but it also hopes to strengthen economic cooperation between Morocco and China.
In recent years, and especially since King Mohammed VI’s official visit to China in May 2016, the two countries signed several cooperation agreements, allowing Chinese businessmen to invest in Morocco.
Morocco was the first country in North Africa to sign the Belt and Road Initiative memorandum, a development strategy consisting of partnerships between China and 152 countries.
Human and cultural exchange between the two countries has also increased exponentially, with 350,000 Chinese tourists visiting Morocco in 2019, more than five times the number of Chinese tourists in 2016.
In 2020, Morocco and China will celebrate the 60th anniversary of their diplomatic relations. To commemorate the occasion, both countries will organize special events in their capitals.