Plans to construct a mega tech city in Morocco have gone a notch higher after the North African country said that it has signed a $10 billion deal for the project.
The new industrial and technology hub close to the northern city of Tangiers will be funded by Chinese group Haite 002023.SZ, BMCE’s Bank of Africa and the Moroccan government.
Morocco and the Chinese government signed a preliminary memorandum of understanding last year for the 2,000 hectare city, which will deliver 100,000 jobs and accommodate 300,000 inhabitants, Industry Minister Moulay Hafid El Alamy said in a presentation.
The $10 billion investment will be made over a 10-year period, the minister said. The city will be situated in the north of the state and contain multiple industrial zones specializing in sectors as well as aeronautics, automobiles, telecommunications, renewable energy, and transport equipment.
In a ceremony presided over by King Mohammed VI, senior officials from the government, BMCE and Haite group signed a new pledge to the project.
Alamy said the project was estimated to attract investment from 200 multinational corporations.
King Mohammed made an official visit to China last year, where numerous contracts were signed, including a three-year currency swap agreement.
Chinese firms have been active in the Maghreb, particularly in Algeria. In Morocco they have been involved in a number of infrastructure projects, counting a suspension bridge linking the capital Rabat with the neighboring city of Sale that is among the longest in Africa and was completed last year.
“Chinese economic operators are searching for competitive platforms and they have selected Morocco as one of those platforms,” Industry Minister Moulay Hafid Elalamy.
“The project is planned to take 10 years” and work will begin in the second half of 2017, he said.
Morocco has launched an industrialization drive centered on Tangiers which is being transformed into a hub with a free trade zone and deepwater harbour.