Morocco and China wants to build a new city in northern of Morocco

By on November 22, 2016

Morocco is working on a $10 billion project with the Chinese group Haite to develop an industrial city that will host some 300,000 locals.

The project envisions a large Chinese-style industrial park on the edge of the Mediterranean, built on about 2,500 acres with room to expand up to nearly 5,000 acres.

Morocco’s King Mohammed VI has been personally involved in the improvement in Moroccan-Chinese ties that preceded the deal. The King met with president Xi of China during an official visit to Beijing early this year, which led to the signing of a strategic partnership.

The park is expected to include both industrial sites and apartment towers. The site will host 300,000 Moroccan employees many of whom will live on site. The plan draws a lot from Chinese development strategy. China’s reform and opening of the 1980s began “special economic zones” like Shenzhen in southeastern China, slowly opening the Chinese economy to outside investment.

The city-project  will be built near Tangiers, Morocco’s fifth-largest city, which remains economically backward.

Other countries in Africa have tried to copy the Chinese development model, but Morocco’s strong infrastructure, its transparent legal framework organizing foreign investments, and its proximity to Europe are extra incentives for Chinese investors. Morocco is just 9 miles across the straits of Gibraltar from Spain.

Morocco has made significant improvements to its infrastructure to attract investment. The national highway network grew from 100 kilometers in 1999 to 1,772 kilometers in 2016. Morocco also plans to open Africa’s first high-speed rail line between Tangiers and Kenitra by 2018. The railroad is expected to reduce the travel time from Casablanca, Morocco’s largest city, to Tangiers from nearly five hours to a little more than two.

“The Chinese looked very carefully at Morocco before they began making such large investments and picked a location to invest, infrastructure was one factor in the investment,” Mohamed Boussaid, Morocco’s minister of economy and finance said in an interview with the American Media Institute in October. “They looked at what Boeing, Peugeot, Ford and other companies were doing before they made their move.”

According to the Moroccan expert professor el Mostafa Rezrazi, ¨ these projects will be very beneficial to both parties, since Morocco  has decided to turn east and south and to generate a new multi partnership, and then china is working on its reconstruction of its presence in china based on the chain  approach. So both countries will find their interest¨.

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