An American startup has already announced plans for a $2.5 billion wind park in Dakhla, where the US is set to open a consulate.
Rabat – With a renewed focus on Rabat-Washington relations, the US is set to announce new trade opportunities and economic development projects with Morocco this week.
President Donald Trump issued a presidential proclamation on December 10 recognizing Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara. The recognition is related to Rabat’s agreement to establish diplomatic relations with Israel, which in turn will open a new chapter in Morocco-US relations.
At a press conference on Friday, the US Ambassador to Morocco David Fischer said the United States will open a consulate in Dakhla to support and encourage investment and development projects that bring “tangible benefits” to the region’s residents.
“I come from a business background in the United States, and I am 100 percent certain that Morocco has a strong economic future ahead of it as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic,” he added.
The development of the southern provinces is a pillar of King Mohammed VI’s vision for Morocco. During his 2020 Green March anniversary speech on November 7, the monarch shared his will to see the southern provinces transform into “an engine of development at the regional and continental levels.”
One of Morocco’s major 2016-2021 southern development projects is the Dakhla Atlantic Port. Morocco’s minister of transport announced on Friday the completion of technical studies for the port and the preselection process of the call for tenders for construction. The port will require an investment of $1.1 billion and is expected to become operational in under six years.
Foreign investment in the region from major economic powers such as the US will further accelerate Morocco’s vision for development.
In another statement on Saturday, Fischer said King Mohammad VI’s “bold leadership has expertly positioned Morocco as the economic ‘Gateway to Africa.’”
The ambassador noted, in particular, Morocco’s Free Trade Agreements with countries in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Morocco is also the only country in Africa to have a Free Trade Agreement with the United States, he pointed out.
“Next week, we plan to make a series of announcements that will strengthen the US-Morocco strategic partnership in economic development and trade, while also enhancing Morocco’s role as a regional economic leader,” he continued.
An American startup has already announced plans for a $2.5 billion wind park in Dakhla. Soluna Technologies AM WIND expects the construction of the 900-megawatt wind park to take around six years to complete.
The startup is also set to invest 1% of the wind park project’s revenue in local development initiatives to improve education, vocational training, entrepreneurship, and health programs in the region.