New $10bn tech city to take shape in Morocco
* The 2,000-hectare city in Morocco to be developed jointly with China
* Industrial and technology hub to provide 100,000 jobs and house 300,000 inhabitants
* The $10 billion investment to be made over a 10-year period
Morocco said on Monday that a $10 billion project to build a new industrial and technology hub near the northern city of Tangiers will be financed by Chinese group Haite, BMCE’s Bank of Africa, and the Moroccan government.
Morocco and the Chinese government signed an initial memorandum of understanding last year for the 2,000-hectare city, which will provide 100,000 jobs and house 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 located in the north of the country and contain multiple industrial zones specialising in sectors including 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 commitment to the project.
Alamy said the project was expected to attract investment from 200 multinational corporations.
King Mohammed made an official visit to China last year, where several deals were signed, including a three-year currency swap agreement.
Chinese firms have been active in the Maghreb, especially in Algeria. In Morocco they have been involved in a number of infrastructure projects, including a suspension bridge connecting the capital Rabat with the neighbouring city of Sale that is among the longest in Africa and was completed last year.