In a bid to hasten its industrialisation by attracting Chinese investment, Morocco has signed an agreement with Chinese aerospace company Haite to build a $10bn industrial and technology city near Tangier.
Called Mohammed VI Tanger-tech in honour of Morocco’s king, the city would be a 2,000ha development housing 300,000 people, with a target of industry creating 100,000 jobs.
It would be divided into zones that specialise 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.
Finance will be accessed over the next 10 years, and will come from Haite, Moroccan private bank BMCE and the Moroccan government.
Moulay Hafid El Alamy, Morocco’s minister for industry, said the government’s strategy was to emulate China by first becoming an industrial power before developing its scientific, technological and financial sectors, reports French-language Moroccan news site, Lesiteinfo.com.
Ilyas Omari, the chairman of the Tangier-Tetouan region, pointed out that that the city would be only 15km from Europe, and would 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, reports Moroccan news site, L’Observateur.
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."
A YouTube video of the signing ceremony can be viewed here.
Image: Morocco’s King Mohammed VI with Haite chairman Li Biao (Government of Morocco)