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The leading economy
in North Africa

Morocco stands out in a volatile

region for its remarkable political
stability ands its forward-looking
economic policy. Now the kingdom
is on its way to becoming
an African superpower.

The Mohammed VI Bridge, which connects Rabat with Sale,

is the longest cable-stayed bridge in Africa
2 Tuesday, 20th November 2018

MOROCCO The leading economy in North Africa

Morocco on its way

to becoming an
African superpower
The kingdom envisions deep regional integration
based on south-south cooperation.

hat a beautiful day Morocco is now the second of the Africa Committee at
it is when you come largest African investor in the the General Confederation of
back home after continent, with Dh17.5 billion Moroccan Enterprises, quot-
a long absence. I’m com- (£1.4 billion) of investment ed by Jeune Afrique.
ing home and it is a joy for over the 2008-2015 period. The seemingly unstoppa-
me to meet you all again. I Among the most recent proj- ble march of Morocco Inc. in King Mohammed VI has travelled to more than 30 African countries over the past two decades
missed you!” King Moham- ects are the establishment Africa has so far largely been
med VI chose the language of eight fertiliser production spearheaded by the country’s
of the heart to celebrate his plants in sub-Saharan Afri- largest groups. For exam- increased significantly. Ac- with Africa, aware that even
country’s reintegration into ca and two industrial sites ple, Maroc Telecom is now cording to the Exchange though it is becoming an in-
the African Union, which in Ethiopia and Nigeria by present in nine countries. Office (Office des Changes), creasingly important partner
gathers 55 countries, when Morocco’s giant phosphate Moroccan banks such as At- imports and exports have the volume of trade remains
he addressed its general as-
sembly in January last year,
company Office Chérifien des
Phosphates (OCP). Another
tijariwafa Bank, BCP and
BMCE BOA have now more
grown on average by over
9% a year between 2008 and
Morocco has low at about 3% of its total
trade volume. This is part-
in Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia. important project is the reha- than 40 subsidiaries in Africa 2016. About 60% of these become the second ly why it has applied to join
Morocco’s reintegration
into the pan-African bloc,
bilitation of the Cocody Bay
in Abidjan, the capital of Côte
with over 1,400 branches in
25 countries. And in turn, the
exchanges concerned West
Africa, where Moroccan
largest African the Economic Community of
West African states (ECOW-
three decades after it had d’Ivoire, by the public compa- presence of Morocco’s major exports trebled since 2008 investor in the AS), which would enable it to
left, is the most recent sign of
its steadfast commitment to
ny Marchica.
“The first wave of invest-
banks has paved the way for
more Moroccan companies to
to more than Dh10 billion
(£819.7 million). But Morocco
continent with a trade freely with this part of
Africa, which is manifest not ment was in the service explore the African market, is also increasingly targeting total of Dh17.5 But Morocco’s African am-
only through its diplomacy —
the king has made more than
sector but now other sectors
are also targeted such as in-
as they can now more easily
raise capital directly in the
East Africa, outside its tra-
ditional sphere of influence,
billion (£1.4 bition goes far beyond the
economy: it is a long term vi-
50 trips to some 30 African dustry and real estate, and countries where they operate. where trade has increased by billion) between sion to increase south-south
countries during his reign —
but also through its growing
they are set to grow strongly
in the years to come,” noted
Besides the dynamism of
Moroccan investments on
28% in the same period.
Now, Morocco ambitions
2008 and 2015. cooperation and to position
Morocco as a regional hub
economic presence on the Abdou Diop, Managing Part- the continent, trade with to develop further its politi- contributing to the overall de-
continent. ner at Mazars and President sub-Saharan Africa has also cal and economic relations velopment of Africa.

Exporting Morocco’s civil engineering know-how to Africa

evolved into an independent company with African States (ECOWAS), which is based
Leading firm CID ambitions to realise 50% of its mixed public and private capital. in Lomé (Togo) and gathers 15 West African
Having recently been awarded a landfill and countries. Underpinning this drive is also the
turnover abroad, in particular in Africa. waste management project in the regions of fact that there are currently a great number
Casablanca-Settat and Marrakech-Safi, CID is of infrastructure projects under development
forecasting 5% growth for this year. In 2017, throughout Africa, hence a large market that

any of Morocco’s most important in- CID (Conseil, Ingénierie et Développement). it signed new contracts for a total of Dh330 CID is eager to tap into.
frastructure projects over the past Set up in 1982 as a publicly owned company, million (£27 million), of which 25% were for For most of the projects it works on abroad,
three decades, such as roads, bridg- CID is a leader in civil engineering in Moroc- exports. “In a very competitive environment, CID forges alliances with foreign civil en-
es, airports, ports, water treatment facilities co and is rapidly expanding its international CID obtained new contracts in Morocco for gineering firms, mostly from Europe. This,
and tourism equipment, have been carried presence. With a staff of some 450, including a total of Dh220 million, as well as new con- coupled with its reputation for reliability and
out with the input of engineering company top-notch engineers and technicians, CID has tracts in West and Central Africa for a total excellence, gives CID an edge in a highly com-
of Dh110 million,” said the company in early petitive environment. “Our African friends
2018. It also announced that the objective for are well aware of the benefit of working with
2018 would be to realise 40% of the turnover Moroccans. Apart from bringing our expertise
abroad. and transferring know-how, what we see hap-
With 35 years of CID began its international expansion in pening more and more often now is that we
experience in 20 tunisia lebanon 2003 and is now present in 20 countries in Afri- are also consulted on the financing of projects,
countries, CID leads Morocco
ca, the Middle East and Europe. To this end, it especially those that concern infrastructure,”
the way in engineering has established subsidiaries in Abidjan (Côte adds Ziani. He believes that apart from banks
Africa’s future Saudi Arabia
d’Ivoire), Djibouti, Dakar (Senegal), Muscat and other financial institutions, the financing
(Oman), and Tunis (Tunisia). “By 2026, we of such projects could also be managed by a
mali Niger
ambition to triple our turnover to €90 million special fund or other public organism that
chad sudan and to realise half of it abroad,” comments would support Moroccan enterprises expand-
CID’s CEO, Moncef Ziani. ing into Africa.
benin Djibouti It is in Africa that CID is particularly keen Already present in most of French-speaking
sudan to grow, capitalising on the know-how and ex- West Africa, CID is now keen to develop into
pertise acquired in managing large projects East Africa. Cooperating with British engi-
gabon Democratic kenya at home, but also on Morocco’s strong push neering firms would be the best way to do so,
of congo burundi towards increasing its political and economic explains Ziani: “We are currently looking for
CID Parc Technopolis, Rocade role on the continent. The fact that Morocco British firms with which we could have win-win
Rabat-Salé, 1340 Rabat RP MADAGASCAR has recently rejoined the African Union, which alliances. We can help them enter the Moroc-
Tel : +212(0)5 37 57 95 00 it had left 33 years ago, is the most recent can market and expand into French-speaking
Fax : +212(0)5 37 71 10 87 manifestation of this outward-looking policy. West Africa, and they can help us expand into The kingdom is also in the process of apply- East Africa and the Middle East.”
ing to join the Economic Community of West
Tuesday, 20th November 2018 3 The leading economy in North Africa MOROCCO

A wealth of A spotlight on 6 sectors of

opportunity in Morocco
reasons to invest The automotive industry is
booming and the country

in Morocco is well on its way to being

among the top 15 vehi-
cle-producing nations in
the world. Renault already
A new investment and export has two production plants,
PSA Group is building one
agency makes it easier to invest in and China’s BYD will start
making electric vehicles
a country with many advantages. that is rated the best in Af- VAT and customs duties, and
and their batteries in Morocco
soon. The government aims to
rica by the World Economic a business climate that is con-
attract a fourth major player by 2021 and has gener-
Forum, which includes world- tinuously improving as the
ous incentives in place to achieve this.
class roads, airports and government aims to make in-

orocco has a new tors such as the automotive Tanger Med Port, the largest vestment even easier.
Aerospace is also growing
one-stop-shop for in- industry, aerospace, agricul- transshipment hub in the As part of this, in 2017 it
rapidly. The Moroccan
vestors and exporters: ture and fisheries, tourism, Mediterranean and Africa. merged various investment
aviation industry is cur-
The Moroccan Investment and renewable energy, logistics, The country’s economy is and export agencies into AM-
rently based around four
Export Development Agency information and communi- growing, driven by local de- DIE, but other measures are
ecosystems — assem-
(AMDIE), which is responsi- cation technologies, textiles mand and public investment, also being taken to improve
bly, electrical wiring
ble for promoting national and and leather, retail and add- and costs of doing business investment laws, simplify ad-
interconnect systems,
foreign investment, as well as ed-value services. are small. For example, in- ministrative procedures and
maintenance and repair,
the export of goods and ser- Not least of its attractions flation is only rising by about make doing business even
and engineering — which
vices, and is committed to are its proximity to Europe, 1.5% a year, it has a low-cost, more straightforward. For
together involve 110 compa-
supporting all economic ac- the Middle East and Africa, highly skilled workforce and example, in 2018, it was an-
nies employing 11,000 people.
tors throughout their projects’ and free trade access to one boasts the 12th most compet- nounced that the country’s
By 2020, there are plans in place
life cycle. billion consumers through itive export rate in the world, regional investment centres
to double the number of companies.
AMDIE will make it even agreements with, for exam- according to the World Bank. would be united into one body.
easier for investors to take ple, the European Union, the Arriving businesses also As these measures take effect,
Logistics companies will find many opportunities
advantage of the many bene- US and Africa. find low tax rates and addi- it is a foregone conclusion that
in Morocco. At the crossroads of Africa, Europe
fits the country offers and the Cementing its status as an tional incentives, such as 0% the number of foreign inves-
and the Middle East, it has the biggest port and the
numerous opportunities that excellent base for exports is tax for the first five years of tors arriving in Morocco will
best transport infrastructure in the region. This is
continue to open up in sec- a transport infrastructure operation, big reductions on continue to grow.
set to get even better, due to a government scheme
to build 70 new logistical hubs in cities around the
country that will be directly connected to ports,
roads and railways.
Building the ‘Made Renewable energy develop-
ment is a high priority for the
in Morocco’ brand government and Morocco
has abundant solar and
wind resources, and
AMDIE is carrying out activities export connections to
Spain. An example of its
at home and abroad to promote advanced strategy in this
area is its commissioning
the country and its products. of Noor I, the largest con-
centrated solar power plant in
the world. The country’s current
projects include more large-scale solar facilities and

developing solar water heaters.
n order to assist busi- AMDIE is actively organ-
nesses, and consolidate ising and attending events
Information and
systems and resources, around the world; whilst in
AMDIE — the “super agen- Morocco, it has an extensive,
AMDIE: At the service cy” in charge of promoting
and developing investment
dedicated and expert team
providing free services to any
technology is another
sector the government is
targeting. Morocco has an
of investors and exporters and export in Morocco — was
launched in December 2017.
potential investor or exporter
in all industrial sectors, across
excellent telecommunica-
tions infrastructure, which
The new face of the “Made every stage of a venture’s life.
the government wants to
in Morocco” brand, overseen This means offering support
build on to put Morocco in
by the Ministry of Industry, throughout project prepara-
the global knowledge econo-
was created by merging three tion, financing, business set
my. To help attract investors, one
Supports investors throughout their entire project, government bodies: Invest in up, partnership formation,
of the countries special economic areas, the Tech-
from preparation to financing and execution. Morocco, Maroc Export and operations, sales and ex-
nopolis park, is specifically for technology ventures.
the Office of Fairs and Exhibi- port development. Example
tions of Casablanca. AMDIE services include supplying
Tourism in Morocco has great potential for develop-
combines their services and technical and market infor-
ment. The country has a wide variety of contrasting
acts as a one-stop-shop for mation, providing a database
landscapes, including unspoilt coastline, mountains
Helps identify the best partners in Morocco investors and exporters. of available investment proj-
and deserts. It also offers a rich cultural heritage that
and assists during deal-making processes. Under Acting Director Gen- ects, suggesting locations for
allows visitors to experience, for example, grand cit-
eral Hicham Boudraa, the businesses, recommending
ies, ancient towns, traditional markets, and a distinct
organisation intends to focus local partners and acting as
and delicious cuisine.
on attracting businesses in an interface with government
various sectors, as a way of authorities for its clients.
Facilitates access to international markets developing and supporting In addition, AMDIE anal-
and provides guidance when signing export contracts investment into, and exports yses investment and export
with local players. from, Morocco. In addition, it performance indicators, and MOROCCAN INVESTMENT AND EXPORT
intends to push for a greater puts that together with its DEVELOPMENT AGENCY
presence of Moroccan prod- on-the-ground experience to
ucts and services in their advise the government on new MOROCCAN INVESTMENT AND EXPORT DEVELOPMENT AGENCY
traditional markets, particu- legislation and regulations Complexe de la Fondation Mohammed VI, avenue Allal El Fassi,
Helps identify the best export opportunities for a product larly the EU, before turning its that could make Morocco and Madinat Al Irfane, Hay Riad- Rabat
or service and provides support throughout an invest- attention to new markets with Moroccan products even more Tel.: +212 537 22 64 00 | Fax : +212 537 67 34 17 / 42
ment process, regardless of the nationality of an investor. a high export potential. attractive to investors. E-mail : |
4 Tuesday, 20th November 2018

MOROCCO The leading economy in North Africa

Transport upgrades
transform Morocco
into an African hub
The past two decades have seen record investment Abdelkader Amara Othman El Ferdaous Nasser Bourita

in the kingdom’s road, sea, rail and air transport. Minister of Equipment,
Transport, Logistics and Water
Secretary of State
for Investment
Minister of Foreign Affairs
and International Cooperation

nhanced connectivity is a year in 2003 to 1.6 billion in manufactured at its Kenitra donors” (21%), reports LGV an Organisation for the Safety increase of 11.6%” over the
an important pillar of 2017, according to Autoroutes plant, situated 200 km south Maroc. of Air Navigation, which gath- previous year. Casablanca’s
Morocco’s economic de- du Maroc (ADM, see article p. of there, when it becomes fully Last but not least, air trans- ers 41 countries. According Mohammed V Airport re-
velopment strategy,” says the 11). operational in 2019. port has also undergone a to the National Airport Office ceived for the first time more
Minister of Equipment, Trans- Another key asset is sea Morocco’s rail system is complete overhaul following (Office National des Aéro- than nine million passengers.
port, Logistics and Water, transport. In this respect, the considered the best in Af- the signing of an open skies ports, ONDA), “2017 was a Air freight is also on the rise
Abdelkader Amara. Connec- Tanger Med port complex, rica and 33rd in the world, agreement with the EU in record year for the kingdom’s with 81,408 tonnes, an in-
tivity also plays an important situated near the Strait of according to the 2018 World 2006, and integration (in 2016) airports, which received crease of close to 19% over the
part in Morocco’s drive for bet- Gibraltar and inaugurated in Economic Forum report. Mo- into Eurocontrol, the Europe- 20.3 million passengers, an previous year.
ter regional integration. “We 2007, has given Morocco an rocco’s flagship project is
are increasingly involved with unrivalled strategic facility, the fast-speed train (Ligne à
our West African neighbours
and across the continent as
which now handles 51.3 mil-
lion tonnes of cargo a year,
Grande Vitesse, LGV), which
will link Tangiers and Casa-
GDP growth, 2008-18F (%)
we continue to expand our re- on par with the Port of Lon- blanca along a 350-km route
gional leadership role,” adds don. With 750 companies and that will also connect Rabat. 7
for his part the Minister of For- thousands of employees, it The line was to be officially 6
eign Affairs and International generated $6.8 billion of rev- inaugurated mid-November
Cooperation, Nasser Bourita. enue in 2017, according to by King Mohammed VI and 5
Over the past two decades, Agence France Presse. French President Emmanu-
Morocco has invested heav- Tanger Med is a vital com- el Macron. At a cost of Dh20 4
ily in its road, sea, rail and ponent of car manufacturers billion (£1.6 billion), this
air transport system and has Renault and Peugeot’s busi- line, which will eventually
emerged as an African trans- ness model. The former be prolonged southward to 2
port and logistics hub. opened a plant in Tanger-Med link Marrakech and Agadir,
Considerable investment in 2012 and exported more is financed by the French 1
has been poured onto the road than 300,000 cars in 2017 to government (51%), the state
system, and notably motor- the 74 countries served by of Morocco and the Hassan 0
ways, with traffic increasing the port. Peugeot will also use II Fund (28%), and “brother 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018F
from 53.7 million kilometres Tanger Med to export the cars countries and multinational SOURCE: IMF

Towards a record
the World Bank’s Doing Busi- proved investments and the ment is a pillar of Morocco’s
ness ranks Morocco 69 out industrial strategy focussed economic policy and push for
of a total of 190 countries, on the development of spe- industrialisation. Indeed, for-
eign direct investment flows

year for investment

well ahead of all its MENA cialised clusters, as well as
neighbours, except the Unit- the territorial strategy aimed have consistently represent-
ed Arab Emirates. Elalamy at spreading investment ed between 4% and 6% of the
said that industry concen- throughout the country, in GDP over the past decade,
trated the largest share with particular in the southern according to the Ministry of
Morocco is considered among the top investment 37% of the approved projects
(Dh21.5 billion). The tele-
part. He said the southern
region of Laayoune Sakia El
In a recent Twitter post, El
destinations in the MENA region. coms sector received about
19% of the projects (Dh11 bil-
Hamra would receive almost
30% of these new invest-
Ferdaous noted that, “in the
2000s, Morocco was in a logic
lion), followed by energy and ments, ahead of the regions of peripheral Fordism, i.e. a
renewables with 13% (Dh8 of Rabat-Salé-Kénitra (14%), subcontractor of low added

he Minister of Indus- firmed for the current year lion). These figures highlight billion), and tourism and lei- Casablanca-Settat (14%), value components. Today, it
try, Trade, Investment to 68 for a total of Dh57.6 bil- once again that Morocco is sure, with 10% of the projects and Souss Massa (12.6%). El has come out of the low cost-
and Digital Economy, lion (£4.7 billion). These are considered a safe and profit- (Dh6 billion). Ferdaous added that a new low value equation and is in
Moulay Hafid Elalamy, an- forecast to generate 9,200 able investment destination, Also present at the press Investment Charter due in a logic of co-localisation of
nounced on 23 October that direct and 21,300 indirect certainly in the top league conference, the Secretary of the coming months will give complex programmes,” such
the Investment Committee jobs, 53% of which in the in Africa. Indeed, the World State for Investment, Oth- new incentives encouraging as between Casablanca and
(Commission des investisse- industrial sector. Elalamy Economic Forum ranks man El Ferdaous, highlighted companies to invest in the Toulouse in the aerospace
ments) had greenlighted 20 said he was confident Mo- the kingdom 75 out of 140 the synergy between the ap- regions. Attracting invest- sector.
new projects, thus bringing rocco would break the 2017 countries in its 2018 Global
the total investments con- record of Dh62 billion (£5 bil- Competitiveness Report. And
Total internet connections,2010-Q3 2017 (m)
0 5 10 15 20 SOURCE: ANRT 25
Tuesday, 20th November 2018 5 The leading economy in North Africa MOROCCO

Telecoms regulation: ANRT leads the way in Africa

The telecoms regulator ANRT is consistently
ranked among the most transparent in the region

orocco boasts one of although it has effective com- authoritative research and
the most advanced petition in the mobile sector. consultancy firm on the infor-
telecommunications A key regional player, Orange mation and communication
markets in Africa, the result Group, entered the market in technology sector worldwide.
of years of forward-plan- 2016 through the acquisition According to ANRT, there
ning by the government. “As of a major stake in Méditel, are 2.3 million fixed-line
early as in 1999, we had the which has since been re- subscribers, 43 million mo-
most expensive telecommu- branded as Orange Morocco. bile- phone subscribers, and
nications license buyout in seven million 4G subscribers.
the history of Morocco, at Set up in 1998, a year
more than one billion dir- before Moroccan authori-
hams (the equivalent of $92 ties opened up its telecoms
million at the time). market, ANRT has since
“This deal was revolu- ANRT is aligned consistently been ranked
tionary, even on a global among the most transpar-
scale, and was testament with the European ent regulators in the region.
to the confidence investors Union’s directives Since its creation, its
placed in Morocco,” says main objectives have been
Azzelarabe Hassibi, General and all its to promote competition and
Director of the National Tele- regulations follow expand network coverage.
communications Regulatory “Morocco’s leadership in
Agency (ANRT according to the EU model. Africa in terms of telecom- The headquarters of partly-privatised Maroc Telecom, the market leader in telecommunications
the French acronym), the munications regulation is
public body responsible for The third large player is undisputed today. We have
the control and regulation of Wana Corporate. aligned ourselves with a Apart from regulating ments with 14 countries in for increased development
the telecommunications sec- The country has one of the large majority of the di- the market and ensuring Europe, Africa and Asia. of infrastructure in Africa.
tor. highest mobile penetration rectives in place in Europe transparency, another im- In addition, in August This step will see Morocco
The part-privatised incum- rates in the region (131%) and all of our regulations portant activity for ANRT 2018 it rejoined the Afri- and ANRT play a growing
bent telco Maroc Telecom as well as some of the lowest have been developed on is to develop relations with can Telecommunications role in the future of telecom-
remains the dominant play- prices for broadband internet the European model,” adds its counterparts abroad. As Union, made up of 46 mem- munications throughout the
er in the fixed-line sector, access, notes, the Hassibi. such, it has trade agree- ber states, which advocates continent.

Flying high in Africa and Europe totals exports of $1 billion
HighProfile is setting Morocco’s aerospace industry is one of the most
striking successes of its “ecosystem” industrial policy,
new standards in the which consists in creating specialised clusters of
upstream and downstream providers around manu-
private aviation sector facturers. The country’s cheap labour costs and its
proximity to the European Union with which it has a
free trade agreement, have added clout to this policy

hether it is a simple business and earned Morocco a stellar position in the global
flight from London to Paris aerospace sector.
to attend a board meeting, or Started practically from scratch 15 years ago, it now
a weekend jaunt from Casablanca to comprises 115 enterprises, 12,500 employees and
the dunes in the Moroccan Sahara, total exports of $1 billion, according to the Moroccan
HighProfile offers the fastest and best aerospace industry association Gimas (Groupement
solution that caters for and satisfies the des industries marocaines aéronautiques et spatia-
needs of the most demanding inter- les). Furthermore, it is growing at a rate of 15% a year.
national travellers. All major players are present in Morocco, such as
Headquartered in Paris, and Bombardier, Boeing, Safran, and UTC Aerospace
with offices in Casablanca, Systems, to name a few. Bombardier opened a new
Nice and Dubai, HighProfile manufacturing plant in Casablanca in 2015, a project
specialises in on-demand that will require a total investment of $200 million by
private-jet services and 2020. And in 2016, Boeing signed an agreement with
has years of experience in the government for the creation of its own ecosystem,
the private aviation indus- Karim Berrandou, CEO, HighProfile which will bring some 120 suppliers, raise Morocco’s
try. With more than 25,000 aeronautics exports by $1 billion and create 8,700
jets at your disposal, only set: time,” explains pay particular attention to safety, quality jobs, reported Reuters. Boeing already has a joint
a few hours are needed to Karim Berrandou, and confidentiality using aircraft with av- venture with France’s Safran in Casablanca to build
organise an international pri- CEO of HighProfile. erage age of less than five years.” wire bundles and harnesses for aircraft makers,
vate flight for you. “We are glad to see The company does not only take care of including Boeing and Airbus.
The company, which is constant- Morocco growing and tak- the sophisticated flying needs of its cus- The sector is organised in four branches : Assem-
ly increasing the frequency of its flights ing a leading position within tomers. It also provides luxury yacht and bly, Electrical Wiring Interconnection Systems (EWIS);
worldwide, especially in Morocco, sees a Africa, thanks to the vision of King Mo- private concierge services, complement- Maintenance; Repair and Overhaul (MRO); and En-
very bright future for both the continent’s hammed VI. HighProfile is excited to be ed by limousine and helicopter transfers. gineering. But both Gimas and the government want
economy and its aviation sector, as Mo- playing a key role in the efficient trans- All of which combine to ensure an exclu- to broaden and deepen it. “Our challenge over the
rocco adopts the roles of gateway to the port of the Moroccans and foreigners who sive travelling experience over every mile coming years is to create an engineering ecosystem
African continent and international busi- are shaping this country,” he adds. of a client’s journey. and boost research and development and innova-
ness hub. HighProfile’s new generation of dif- tion,” Gimas president, Karim Cheikh, told Euronews.
“The private aviation business is no ferent capacity jets fly and connect its Already a key engine of growth for the economy, the
longer a restricted service for the wealth- clients to thousands of airports world- aeronautics sector is set to reach a turnover $2.8 bil-
ier, it is now a management tool and an wide. It offers a fleet that is constantly lion and create 23,000 jobs by 2020 under the current
investment into life’s most precious as- being upgraded, states Berrandou: “We Industrial Acceleration Plan (2014-2020).

HighProfile 188 Rue des Chardonnerets, 95700 Roissy en France

6 Tuesday, 20th November 2018

MOROCCO The leading economy in North Africa

Building a future
for company, country
and continent
Leading Moroccan construction company is
supplying Africa with homegrown expertise.

ith Morocco back in ceeded as chairman by his economic boom that led to
the African Union son, Joseph Roger Sahyoun. substantial infrastructure
of countries and With a turnover in 2017 of development, the company
a signatory of the recent over £103 million, SOMAGEC was able to grow, learn from
African Continental Free is now the first option for its employers and operate to
Trade Area agreement, one Morocco’s most important international standards. The Adrar football stadium in Agadir was build by SOMAGEC in 2013
company that provides a infrastructure projects. Within time, it advanced
blueprint as to how Moroc- For example, it has been to the point where it could
can businesses can build responsible for the construc- go it alone and compete example, its many contracts full order book of contracts
connections within the con- tion of Tanger Med Port; against major international in progress include devel- for construction projects
tinent and help construct a repairing Hassan II Mosque, developers for entire Mo- oping protection against in Morocco at the time,
prosperous future for Africa the world’s third largest roccan projects, which it coastal erosion, a major which had required heavy
is Société Maghrébienne de
Génie Civil, more commonly
building of its type; the large
urban development project
soon started winning due
to its high-quality practices,
marine outfall for the city
of Salé, a wind farm near
With a turnover investment in, for example,
equipment and staff, so any
known as SOMAGEC. at Bouregreg Valley; the local knowledge and, as a Boujdour, a shipyard in in 2017 of over slowdown in the country’s
It is one of Morocco’s
leading construction and
multi-use Casablanca Mari-
na project that is benefiting
domestic company, very low
comparative costs.
Casablanca and phase two
of Tanger Med Port.
£103 million, infrastructure development
would impact on profitabil-
civil engineering companies, tourism; the 45,480-seat Successful completion About fifteen years ago, SOMAGEC is now ity.
with a focus on building,
expanding and modernis-
Adrar football stadium; and
the 301MW Tarfaya wind
of these works resulted in
SOMAGEC gaining a solid
however, Joseph Roger Sa-
hyoun made the visionary
the first option Having developed unpar-
alleled know-how about
ing strategic infrastructure, farm. reputation, the trust of Mo- decision to expand out of for Morocco’s various aspects of construc-
such as ports, airports,
roads, electrical power lines,
SOMAGEC began life as a
local Moroccan contractor
rocco’s authorities and the
market-leading position it
Morocco and the company
has since become a major
most important tion in one African country,
SOMAGEC has been able to
water pipelines, hospitals for European and other West- has today. player in a number of other infrastructure take this expert knowledge
and wind farms. SOMAGEC
was founded in 1966 by the
ern companies, principally
in the maritime sector, where
The company remains
heavily involved in the in-
African countries as well.
Part of the rational for do-
projects. and successfully export it
to an increasing number of
entrepreneurial Rizkallah it faced few competitors. As frastructure development of ing this was pragmatic. The others. The company is also
Riad Sahyoun, who was suc- the country underwent an Morocco. At the moment, for company had a particularly making inroads into Latin

SOMAGEC: 50 years A focus on port

of achievement in Africa
•1966: construction and civil engineering
and maritime
company SOMAGEC is founded

• It becomes the leader in Moroccan port and

maritime infrastructure, having helped develop
every port in the country
Tanger Med Port is just one of
SOMAGEC’s many contributions
• And the first choice for all important
Moroccan infrastructure projects, including to developing sea transportation
transport, urban development, tourism,
monuments, health, education and energy

orocco’s most im- had. It was opened in 2008
• 2003: Work is started on SOMAGEC’s first portant transport and has enabled, for exam-
wind farm, a 140MW plant in Tangier infrastructure proj- ple, Renault to export over
ect — and central to its 300,000 cars to the 74 coun-
economic development tries directly served by the
• 2004: SOMAGEC is one of the first plans — is Tanger Med port in 2017. The Tanger Med Port 2 extension
Moroccan companies to expand into Africa by Port. By 2019, the largest It is probably also SOM-
extending the port of Dakar in Senegal transshipment port in the AGEC’s flagship project in In fact, it has developed country with coastlines that
Mediterranean is scheduled Morocco and the company all of Morocco’s current present large challenges for
to triple its container capac- has been at the heart of both port facilities. Much of this infrastructure development
• 2005: SOMAGEC subsidiary is set ity to 9 million twenty-foot phases of the port’s construc- is down to the complexity and it was the company’s
up in Equatorial Guinea equivalent units (TEUs), tion. It came as no surprise of maritime work in a coun- proven expertise in this area
thanks to a major expansion to anyone that SOMAGEC try that has a difficult and that won it the tender to ex-
• 2009: SOMAGEC completes its work on programme. was given responsibility for challenging coastal terrain. tend Senegal’s port of Dakar
Tanger Med Port 1 The Tanger Med 2 ex- the scheme — since winning With decades of experience in 2004. Other projects it has
tension is set to eclipse the its first contract in the sec- working in these conditions, carried out on the wider con-
significant impact on the tor for work on Casablanca SOMAGEC has a highly tinent include extending the
• 2016: Work begins on the second phase country’s ability to attract Port, the company has gone trained team that clients’ dock at Equatorial Guinea’s
of Tanger Med Port 2 investors and act as a hub on to become the Moroccan trust to deliver repeatedly port of Malabo from 204 to
for logistics that the origi- market leader in port and successful results. 1,240 metres, which required
nal port, Tanger Med 1, has maritime infrastructure. But Morocco is not the only the reclamation of 27 hect-
Tuesday, 20th November 2018 7 The leading economy in North Africa MOROCCO

SOMAGEC leads the way in investing

to help develop African infrastructure
Morocco recognises that its own
economic growth will be enhanced by the
advancement of the continent as a whole.

ithin a relatively short pe- first big win being for the exten-
riod of time, Morocco has sion of the port of Dakar in 2004.
become the second-big- Next, SOMAGEC invested in
gest investor in Africa and about Equatorial Guinea, something
85% of its foreign spend is now other international firms had not
directed at its continental neigh- done, and it established a subsidi-
bours. Much of the impetus for this ary there in 2005. The risk paid off,
has come from King Mohammed as the country’s economy started
VI, who believes that the advance- growing and the government de-
ment of his own country will be cided to dramatically increase its
enhanced by the development of port capacity as well as to develop
the country as a whole. other infrastructure. SOMAGEC
The king played a fundamental now employs thousands of staff in
America and 2014 saw it role in Morocco’s rejoining of the Equatorial Guinea and has been
opening a subsidiary in Par- African Union in 2017, and makes involved in most of its largest in-
aguay. countless promotional and rela- frastructure projects — it has
Projects carried out in that tionship-building visits to other
country include building a member states. On these trips,
drinking water treatment he has overseen the signing of
plant and aqueduct that more than a thousand partnership
benefits 70,000 people, and agreements that have enabled
developing high-voltage a growing number of Moroc-
transmission lines to move can companies to export their
electricity from Paraguay’s products and services to the
hydropower plants to the continent.
In these projects, as with Joseph Roger Sahyoun SOMAGEC has been developing grid-scale wind farms for 15 years
all of its work in Africa, SO- Chairman, SOMAGEC
MAGEC is contributing to
the generation of socio-eco-
nomic growth in the same
In a speech given at the
way that it always has done
signing summit for the Afri-
in Morocco.
can Continental Free Trade
Area agreement, he explained
that, “Morocco believes in a
kind of co-development which is
based on intra-African coopera-
tion, economic complementarity,
active solidarity, and the pooling
of resources and efforts. These constructed 80% of its ports, for
are prerequisites for any inclusive example, as well as airports, roads
growth.” and tourist facilities.
He described the agreement as, Other African countries that
“a defining moment in history. The SOMAGEC has operated in so far
creation of the largest free trade include Mauritania, Benin and
area in the world, with the young- Ghana. The most recent country
est population on the planet, is a to benefit from its experience is
landmark event which attests to Mozambique, where it is currently
our shared determination to build working on the development of two
an Africa for the future.” SOM- power plants for the state-owned SOMAGEC won the contract to expand the port of Dakar, Senegal in 2004
AGEC is equally determined to energy company Electricidade de
contribute to the region’s sustain- Moçambique. The projects, one in
able development and was one of the northern city of Nacala and the the ability of young entrepreneur- it needs more companies with SO-
the first Moroccan companies to other in the province of Tete, both ial Moroccan companies to follow MAGEC’s expertise.
follow his lead by exporting its involve coal and have a combined in SOMAGEC’s footsteps and com- As King Mohammed VI said at
technology and expertise in infra- capacity of 1.4GW. pete against large Western and 2017’s World Policy Conference
structure construction. Sahyoun thinks that SOMAGEC Chinese enterprises, due to a lack in Marrakech: “There is no ignor-
Under the leadership of Joseph has seen success and continued of financing options available and ing the fact that we urgently need
Roger Sahyoun, SOMAGEC’s first international expansion in Africa the financial risks involved. He to solve, definitively and prag-
move was into Senegal. As in its because of its size, stability, pro- advocates the setting up of an ex- matically, the issue of the lack of
home country, the company’s ser- fessionalism and a wide portfolio port insurance body and funds for infrastructure on our continent.
ares of land from the sea.
vices proved to be much cheaper of realized projected carried out Moroccan businesses helping to We all know that where there are
SOMAGEC shows no sign
than those of its European compet- over 50 years that provides securi- develop Africa. roads, connectivity and networks,
of slowing down its efforts
itors and they were soon awarded ty to clients and financiers. What is certain, is that if Africa development takes hold and pre-
to boost port facilities in
with major contracts, with their He is, however, concerned about is going to reach its full potential, cariousness ceases to exist.”
Morocco and across Africa.
As well as Tanger Med 2, it
is currently working on proj-
ects at five other Moroccan Morocco believes in a kind of co-development
ports, one of which takes which is based on intra-African cooperation, Société Maghrébienne
it back to where it started de Génie Civil (SOMAGEC)
— Casablanca, where it is economic complementarity, active solidarity, Rue Mohamed El Mesfioui & Corbi,
building a new shipyard as and the pooling of resources and efforts.” Casablanca, Oukacha, Morocco
part of a huge five-year de- Tel: +212 5 22 35 45 91
King Mohammed VI of Morocco
velopment scheme. Website:
8 Tuesday, 20th November 2018

MOROCCO The leading economy in North Africa

Moroccan women
prove they too can
be entrepreneurs
As women’s rights stand high on the King’s agenda,
female entrepreneurs are making strides.

orocco has a well of society in Morocco and ly 2000s, whereas there are
deserved reputation indeed elsewhere in the Mus- now 67 female MPs thanks
for being among the lim world. in part to a quota of 60 re-
most progressive countries In 2004, he launched served seats out of a total of
on women’s rights in the the most wide-reaching 395. And in government, it is
Arab world. Mohammed VI reform since Moroccan in- worth mentioning the Sec- The Hassan II mosque in Casablanca
set the tone as soon as he be- dependence by revising the retary of State for Tourism,
came king, in 1999, when he Moudawana, or family code, Lamia Boutaleb.
asked in a landmark speech: granting women a host of But it’s probably in the of Women Entrepreneurs in Apart from the govern-
“How can we talk about the new rights. business sector that their Morocco (Association des ment, many NGOs and
progress and development In 2006, he started a rad- rise is most spectacular. In femmes entrepreneurs du international institutions
of society when women who ical plan to train women as its 2018 report on the 50 most Maroc, Afem). It’s an encour- have programmes aimed at
constitute half of this soci-
ety are being denied their
“mourchidats,” or commu-
nity counsellors, to educate
influential African women,
The Africa Report distin-
aging figure but there is still
a long way to go. Women en-
There are boosting women’s participa-
tion in all areas of society,
rights? Our true religion, Is- people about Islam as a mod- guished nine Moroccans, trepreneurs only represent 15,000 women such as the American cam-
lam, has granted them rights
that are not respected. They
erate and tolerant religion.
And in February, a new law
including Mama Tajmouati,
who at 81 is CEO of the di-
10% of the total, says Afem.
The main obstacle is edu-
entrepreneurs paign for education “Let
Girls Learn” or the European
are equal to men.” was passed that criminalis- versified Ynna Holding; and cation, in particular in rural in Morocco, an Bank for Reconstruction and
His vision is that Morocco
cannot prosper if it leaves
es harassment, aggression,
sexual exploitation and ill
Ghislane Guedira, Executive
Vice President of the all im-
areas where illiteracy is still
rife among girls. Further-
encouraging figure Development’s (EBRD) “Mo-
rocco Women in Business”
half of its population be- treatment of women. portant Office Chérifien des more, only 10% of girls go to although it still programme. Funded by the
hind. But also, he claims that
women’s equality is part and
Women have also made
progress in the political are-
In total, there are
university. Another hurdle
is access to credit, which is
represents only European Union under its
EU Initiative for Financial
parcel of Islam, contrary to na: they represented only some 15,000 women en- more difficult for women as 10% of the total. Inclusion, the programme
the long-held views of the 1% of MPs at the Chamber of trepreneurs in Morocco, banks sometimes request provides women with financ-
most conservative parts Representatives in the ear- according to the Association additional guarantees. ing and business advice.

Showing the nation how to do-it-themselves

Allegedly, Moroccans are not natural born many supporters as we were
bringing a new concept to
he was then venturing into a
yet-to-be-built market, he did
decade, as well as to set up
a central purchasing body
handymen, but this is changing thanks to Bricoma. the country. Do-It-Yourself
didn’t exist here back then,
so well tooled up: “We already
had a lot of experience as our
that will cater to the whole
network and a corporate
as Moroccans are not natu- company had been importing headquarter.
rally handymen, unlike the tools and other utensils since Another interesting as-

round Morocco, in since grown from strength of Dh700 million (about £56 French or the British. It was the 1980s.” Before opening pect about Bricoma is that
particular the bustling to strength. It now boasts 17 million) in 2017. Its CEO, Mo- hard,” confides Chahad. the first store in the capital, it has been part of the Lon-
cities of the north- stores, a total of 2.5 million hamed Filali Chahad, targets With the general improve- “we carried out an intense don Stock Exchange Group’s
ern half of the country, the clients each year, a staff of a Dh800 million (about £64 ment of the economy in the market research on the sec- (LSEG) Elite programme
Bricoma brightly coloured about 1,000 with about 300 million) turnover for 2018. year 2000s and the growth tor in Europe, which gave us since 2016. This programme
DIY stores are becoming additional, indirect jobs, Fourteen years ago, the of the urban middle class, ideas on how to create and carried out by LSEG in
ubiquitous. This is a 100% and a leading position in odds seemed stacked against people started to care more develop a DIY culture in Mo- partnership with Imperi-
Moroccan business set up the relatively new Moroccan Bricoma. “At the beginning about the comfort and look rocco based on our cultural al College Business School
in 2004 in Rabat, which has DIY market with a turnover of the project, we didn’t have of their home, in particu- characteristics compared to seeks to to facilitate long-
lar women who took to DIY Europe,” he adds. term structured engagement
shopping on their own or They then waited two between fast growing com-
Bricoma’s expansion gives it a presence in all regions of Morocco, accompanying their hus- years until opening a second panies, industry experts and
band. And for a nation of store in the popular tourist the corporate advisory and
allowing it to get even closer to its potential customers (allegedly) clumsy handy- city of Agadir, in 2007, and investor community.
men, Bricoma’s concept was another two years for the LSEG launched the Elite
bang on: not only does it third one in Casablanca, the programme in Morocco in
The first offer a huge range of uten-
sils and products (a total of
economic capital of the coun-
try. “After that, the growth of
2016 in partnership with
the Casablanca Stock
network 30,000 per outlet) but also,
more importantly, a knowl-
the company went much fast-
er,” says Chahad.
Exchange, enrolling Bri-
coma among two dozen
of DIY stores edgeable staff who can guide
and advise clients. Today,
Now the leader of this mar-
ket, Bricoma has just opened
high-growth local compa-
nies. “The programme has
in Morocco 70% of Bricoma’s employ-
ees are directly in contact
an 18th store in Rabat — the
second one in the capital —,
been very helpful in enabling
us to raise capital and insti-
Bricoma, Angle Road Casa-Rabat with customers. “The staff is in the residential neighbour- tutionalize the company, as
and Av. Med Jamal Adourra Ain Sebaâ regularly trained and we are hood of Hay Ryad for a cost well as for training. It has
Casablanca, Zip code 20250 also always careful to recruit of Dh25 million (£2 million). given us new opportunities
Tél: +212 5 22 34 33 56 people from the local area, Furthermore, in accordance to grow as an SME,” says
Fax: +212 5 22 34 33 03 which contributes further to with Bricoma’s 2016-2020 Bricoma’s CEO. “Our plan a good customer service,” development plan, the com- is to develop the Moroccan adds Chahad. pany ambitions to open two market before going else-
He recalls that even though more stores by the end of the where.”
Tuesday, 20th November 2018 9 The leading economy in North Africa MOROCCO

Kettani Law Firm: credibility and a stellar record

British businesses looking to operate in arbitration and litigation.
Professor Azzedine Ket-
Morocco can rely on the country’s leading tani is widely recognized as
an expert arbitrator both
business law practice. nationally and internation-
ally. In particular, he is or
has been arbitrator for the
International Chamber of
Commerce (ICC Paris), and

s Morocco hopes to European Bank for Recon- the International Centre for
boost economic re- struction and Development Settlement of Investment Dis-
lations with the UK (EBRD) and the Internation- putes (ICSID, which is part of
after Brexit, one leading Mo- al Finance Corporation (IFC) the World Bank group).
roccan law practice, Kettani for their projects in Morocco. A family-run enterprise,
Law Firm (KLF), is ready A more recent area of ex- KLF also counts two of Nadia
to accompany British firms pertise is Islamic Finance. In Kettani’s sisters as heads of
looking to expand their inter- 2017, KLF was involved in a department. Rita Kettani
national operations. The fact major joint venture between and Zineb Kettani manage
that KLF is led by one of the the Islamic Corporation for the litigation department,
50 most powerful Arab wom- the Development of the pri- which has a portfolio of some
en (Forbes, 2014), says a lot vate sector (ICD, part of the 25,000 cases for a total re-
about its innovative spirit Islamic Development Bank covery amount of close to
and business acumen. group) and Crédit Agricole Dh20 billion, as well as the
Nadia Kettani, 48, the to establish a new Islamic labour law department.
daughter of KLF’s founder Nadia Kettani
bank. In the aviation sector, KLF has earned many
(in 1971), the reputed law- Senior Partner and co- KLF counselled the national accolades in all its areas of
yer and professor Azzedine manager, Kettani Law Firm carrier Royal Air Maroc, as expertise, the most recent
Kettani, is a trailblazer not well as Air Arabia, Embraer being, in 2018, Best Lawyer
only because she is a female and Boeing for their aircraft of the Year for Nadia Kettani
business leader in a region companies operating in a financing. (Morocco by M&A Today -
where women remain by and wide range of sectors. In the telecoms sector, Global Awards) and M&A
large confined to a tradition- In the energy sector, KLF KLF notably advised Viven- Law Firm of the Year-Mo-
al role, but also because she advised lenders and spon- di when it sold its shares in rocco (M&A Today - Global
is decidedly international sors in the financing of major Maroc Telecom, a €4 billion Awards). This recognition
oriented. Moroccan power station pro- deal, as well as France Tel- has helped the 120-strong
Speaking fluently English, jects between 1996 and 2016. ecom. firm, of which 50 are attor-
French and Arabic, she has In the banking and finance Another area where KLF neys and legal consultants,
been qualified by Chambers sector, KLF advised the Mo- is a leader is mergers and create an international net-
and Partners, a firm which roccan state investment acquisitions, providing as- work, with alliances in the The Palace of Justice on Mohammed V Square in Casablanca
identifies and ranks law bank as well as several com- sistance to international and UK, the USA and in Asia.
firms and lawyers in over 180 mercial banks in relation to domestic clients for their op-
jurisdictions worldwide, as a bond issuance for a total of erations both in Morocco and
“well-regarded lawyer who $2.5 billion between 2012 abroad. “We are recognized
comes highly recommended
for her astuteness and cor-
porate experience.” Brexit will allow us to renegotiate Morocco’s market-leading independent
After the UK exits the EU, more freely bilateral agreements law firm speaks your language and
in March 2019, “business
relations between our two with the UK, creating a win-win understands how to help you succeed
countries will improve,” says situation.
Kettani. “Brexit will allow
Nadia Kettani, Senior Partner and Co-manager
us to renegotiate bilateral
Kettani Law Firm
agreements more freely, cre-
ating a win-win situation.
KLF can assure British and 2014, and private banks as deal makers: we make
investors in many ways, and companies for a total things happen. We provide
backed by a credible and so- of Dh5 billion between 2011 local know-how to our inter-
phisticated legal system.” and 2018. It advises banks in national clients, not only in
Indeed, KLF has been in- large hospitality projects, the terms of law but also in doing
volved in some of the most upgrading of refineries, and business in Morocco,” notes
important business deals the construction of industri- Kettani.
made in Morocco in the past al units and infrastructure. Apart from its expertise in
two decades, involving both It also advises internation- business law, KLF provides
national and international al institutions such as the services in international

Market capitalisation, 2011-17 (Dh bn) Kettani Law Firm’s team of over 120 staff has been
providing award-winning multilingual and integrated
legal services to national, international and multina-
800 tional companies and institutions since 1971.



8, Lahcen Basri Street, Casablanca 20000, Morocco
0 Tel : +212 522 438 900 | Fax: +212 5 22 205 925
2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 E-mail : | Website:
10 Tuesday, 20th November 2018

MOROCCO The leading economy in North Africa

The first law firm set

up by three women
A top business law firm, Bassamat & Laraqui is also
uniquely owned by three reputed female lawyers.

he Bassamat & Lara- systems in order to process
qui Law Firm is yet cases swiftly and with qual-
another example of ity: we have a cutting edge
the progress made by Mo- in-house information sys-
roccan women in the past tem, our clients can monitor
two decades: this thriving their file online in real time,
law firm was established and we provide our domes-
in 1989 in Casablanca by tic and international clients
three women, Asmâa Lara- with the best 2.0 solutions,”
qui Hossini, Rokia Kettani says Bassamat Fassi-Fihri.
and Bassamat Fassi-Fihri. The firm’s stellar list of
Today, it gathers some 100 clients is testament not only
employees, of whom some 40 of its quality of service, but
are lawyers, and is reputed also of the degree with which
to be one of the best inde- Bassamat Fassi-Fihri
the Moroccan economy has
pendent business law firms Managing Partner opened up in the past 20
in the kingdom. Bassamat & Laraqui years.
Backed by a 30-year ex- “The kingdom has been
perience, it advises and widely commended for its
represents some of the larg- (part of the BNP Paribas efforts to attract investment
est Moroccan companies and banking group), Attijariwafa and our legal framework has
international corporations Bank, CIH bank, the consum- been reformed to this aim.
operating in Morocco around er credit specialist Sofac, the In particular, there have
11 areas of expertise: litiga- telecom company Inwi, and been numerous reforms in
tion; commercial law; social the national air carrier Roy- the area of corporate law
law; banking law; business al Air Maroc. since the early 1990s. The
law; corporate law; collective Apart from its deep business environment is
procedures; real estate law; knowledge of Moroccan law, healthy and reassuring for
enforcement procedures; Bassamat & Laraqui is also investors,” notes Fassi-Fihri.
competition, distribution well known for solving issues “This also presents new in-
and communication law, and faster than many compet- vestment opportunities for
Marrakech Menara International airport connecting Morocco to the world lastly new technology law. itors. “We have developed British businesses after
Among its clients are BMCI state-of-the-art management Brexit.”

The automotive industry

Shutterstock / Jenson
dustrial exports.
The kingdom is also becoming a major pro-
vider for European car plants, in particular

at full throttle
Ford’s high-tech facility in Valencia, Spain,
which imports from Morocco seats and inte-
riors, cables and other components.
In the past few years, the country has be-
Morocco has become a hub for manufacturers come a major investment destination for some
of the world’s leading car manufacturers, the
aiming at the European and African markets. first and foremost being the French-Japanese
Renault-Nissan group, which signed a deal
with Morocco in 2007 to boost its presence
in the country, leading to the building of an

n 2017, Morocco’s automotive industry industrial revolution centred on creating environmentally-friendly production site in
emerged as the leader in Africa, surpass- “ecosystems” of manufacturers and suppli- Tangiers for a cost of €600 million. A second
ing for the first time South Africa with a ers, said the kingdom seeks to exceed Dh100 agreement was made in 2016 between Re-
production of 345,000 passenger vehicles billion (£8.1 billion) in export sales by 2020 nault, which holds 40% market share in the
over the latter’s 331,000. It is also expected and reach a production capacity of one mil- region, and the kingdom to further develop
that Morocco will soon produce more cars lion vehicles by 2025. the group’s automotive ecosystem, including
than Italy as Africa and the Middle East are Speaking at the 2018 Automotive Subcon- manufacturing 450,000 vehicles in the coun-
on the road to outpace the United States tracting Fair held in Tangiers, he added that try.
and Europe, said The Wall Street Journal the automotive industry is the leading export France’s second largest manufacturer,
in October. In April, the Minister of Industry, sector with sales reaching Dh70 billion (£5.7 Peugeot, is also investing heavily. In Decem-
Moulay Hafid Elalamy, widely recognised for billion) in 2017, over Dh40 billion (£3.2 billion) ber 2017, it signed an agreement with the
being the visionary architect of Morocco’s in 2014 , and accounting for 44.5% of total in- government for an investment of Dh6 billion
(£487.7 million) for the construction of an in-
dustrial complex in Kenitra that will produce
from next year onwards 200,000 vehicles and
200,000 engines. The same day, the Minister
of Industry also signed agreements with 26
automotive suppliers from China, France, It-
L A W f i r m aly, Japan, South Korea, Spain and the United
States, which will mainly provide Renault and
30 Rue Mohamed Ben Brahim al Mourrakouchi - Casablanca 20040. As Africa is fast becoming a booming
Tel: +212 522 496 850 | Fax: +212 522 266 807 automobile market, other leading global man-
Email: ufacturers are eying Morocco as their African
Web: | hub, in particular Volkswagen, Hyundai and Morocco will soon produce more cars than
Italy and has already surpassed South Africa
Tuesday, 20th November 2018 11 The leading economy in North Africa MOROCCO

On the road to profitability

and expansion abroad
Morocco’s motorway network is well developed
and modern, connecting all the main cities and
totalling some 380,000 customers a day.

naugurated in 2016, the Mohammed paytolls, and ADM has put in place a state-of-
VI bridge on the motorway bypassing the-art system, called Jawaz, which is already
Rabat across the Bouregreg River is a used by 200,000 clients (versus only 50,000 in
feat for the eyes with its elegant lines and 2016). “It is a good way to finance our needs
its two towers in the oval shape of a tradi- but we have to be careful about the price,
tional Arab door, as well as a testament to, which must be in line with the average pur-
well, many things: the country’s push for chasing power here,” says Benazzouz.
modernity, the significant public invest- 2017 has been a good year for ADM, which
ment of recent years in infrastructure, and has returned a profit in large part thanks to
the ambition of becoming a trade hub for financial restructuring. According to the of-
the whole continent. It is a signature mon- ficial figures released in April, the turnover
ument that embodies King Mohammed VI’s amounted to Dh3.6 billion (£293.9 million), a
vision of his country’s future: connected, 10% increase over 2016; the Ebitda was Dh1.9
outward looking, modern. billion (£155.1 million), a 4% increase over
The cost of this spectacular equipment, the 2017; and the net result reached Dh45 million
longest cable-stayed bridge in Africa, amount- (£3.6 million), compared to a deficit of Dh3.9
ed to Dh3.2 billion (£260.9 million) and was billion (£318.4 million) the previous year. ADM
financed by the European Bank for Recon- said these encouraging results are due to op-
struction and Development (EBRD) and the erational streamlining, the optimisation of
national motorway company Autoroutes du operational costs, and measures to restruc-
Maroc (ADM). It is used by 23,000 vehicles a ture the debt.
day on average.
A public limited company set up in 1989,
ADM is in charge of building and running the
2017 has been a good
motorway network and as such plays a key year for ADM, with a
role in the expansion and modernisation of
Morocco’s already good transport infrastruc-
turnover of 3.6 billion
ture. Nowadays, the network totals 1,800 km, dirhams and a return Essaouira, on the Atlantic coast, is known as “The Wind City of Africa”
which puts Morocco on par with Portugal. ADM
says that 60% of the population is directly con-
to profitability with
nected to the network, which also connects all a net result of 45
the cities of over 400,000 inhabitants and 22
out of the 27 cities of over 100,000 inhabitants.
million dirhams. Guess Esthetic Clinic: A passion for perfection
“We have some 380,000 users per day, with

a peak of about half a million in the summer,” “We managed to increase the maturity of
eaded by the renowned
explains ADM’s General Manager, Anouar some debts and benefitted from lower interest
Benazzouz. This is a figure that has been rates. Furthermore, we replaced expensive Dr Mohamed Guessous,
growing year on year as the network expands debt with cheaper one, and we also convinced who graduated in 1995
and Moroccans are increasingly able to afford investors to subscribe to our 25-year bond is- from the French College of Plas-
a car. In 2016, the average number of users per suance, which was a novelty two years ago. tic and Aesthetic Surgery in Paris,
day was 350,000. Now, we are issuing 30-year bonds,” says
Guess Clinic is located in one
A characteristic of ADM is that it is a mixed Benazzouz.
company whose status is that of a public-pri- Now on sound financial ground, ADM is of Casablanca’s most exclusive
vate partnership (PPP). For the authorities, pursuing its development plan at home and is neighbourhoods, and is consid-
this is the only viable business model in a sec- ambitioning to export its know-how in building ered a national and international
tor that is by nature capital intensive. “Our and operating motorways throughout Africa. reference for plastic surgery.
role is not to create profit for the company but To this end, it signed in September an agree-
Dr Guessous’ five-floor state-
to reinvest it to build more motorways,” adds ment with French giant Vinci Autoroutes,
Benazzouz. “The government has already which is already a partner since 2017 (notably of-the-art clinic, which includes
made significant investments and we are now for the paytoll system), to share their experi- luxurious and comfortable accomodation for its patients, is one of Morocco’s most advanced
hoping the private sector will take the lead.” ence and jointly export their expertise on the clinics. With a large number of patients coming from all over Europe, the Middle East and the US,
One way to finance the costs is through whole continent. Guess Clinic offers all types of aesthetic treatments and the highest international quality standards.
Dr Guessous, who carefully evaluates, guides and advises on the most appropriate treatments
or surgery, directly attends to all patients. The clinic also contains the latest innovations in medical
Comfort and convenience in Casablanca equipment and exceptionally qualified staff, who give equal consideration to all procedures, from
the most demanding, complex operations to the simplest.

cean Park Appart Hotel, near trendy Ain Diab Dr Guessous is known for providing his clients with unique tailor-made and creative solutions that
beach and the Corniche district, is the ideal match their expectations. For example, his personal adaptation of the in-vogue Brazilian buttock lift
luxury location for those wanting to be close procedure, the Moroccan butt lift, is proving extremely popular. As a demonstration of the clinic’s
to Casablanca’s centre, but away from its noise. diverse skills, its newest division — Hollywood Smile — specialises in offering thorough and per-
The apartments offer modern, functional accom- sonalised treatments to design brand new smiles that give patients a fresh look within hours. Male
modation with great sea views, a spa, pool, gym clients receive equal attention, with an entire area devoted to hair transplants using cutting-edge
and events facilities. Whether visiting for leisure or direct hair implantation (DHI), as well as other complementary treatments. After surgery, patients
business, its staff are the essence of Moroccan hos- can head back to the comfort of their luxury rooms within the clinic; or relax, recover and unwind
pitality, ensuring a memorable experience in an oasis in its fully equipped spa before heading home on one of the many short flights between
of tranquility. Casablanca and London.

Ocean Park Appart Hotel Guess Esthetic Clinic Morocco

126 lotissement Al Mountazah, Ain Diab, Casablanca, Morocco
Boulevard de la Grande Ceinture Lot Salaj AIN DIAB Casablanca 20180
Tél : (+212) 5 20 47 89 14 | Fax : (+212) 5 20 47 89 15 | Tel: +212 522-797-911 |
12 Tuesday, 20th November 2018

MOROCCO The leading economy in North Africa

Leisure, business
and religious travel:
Transatour offers all
The second largest tourism agency in Morocco,
Transatour has a 20% average annual growth.

ven though Morocco, like other MENA sia, Thailand, Turkey, Singapore), the Middle
countries, has been hit in the past few East (Egypt), and the USA.”
years by the terrorism threat that drove Apart from leisure tourism, Transatour has
foreign visitors away, tourism is now recov- also two other specialties: meetings, events and
ering and continues to play a key role in the incentives (MICE) and religious tourism. Con-
economy, representing about 8% of the GDP cerning MICE, a growing segment in Morocco The Gnawa Festival in Essaouira is a unique blend of world, pop and rock
and accounting for 5% of the total employ- in line with the trend worldwide, Transatour
ment. The rebound has been noticeable since is the exclusive representative in Morocco of
last year. Indeed, according to figures avail-
able at the Ministry of Tourism, foreign tourist
arrivals have increased by 8% in the first eight
American leading business travel agency BCD
Meetings & Events. One of the largest business
tourism agency in the world, with a presence
Getting in tune with
months of 2018 in comparison with the same
months the previous year.
One company that is thriving in this growing
in 40 countries, BCD Meetings & Events has an
annual turnover of some $620 million. Transa-
tour is its exclusive representative in Morocco,
Morocco’s contemporary beat
sector is the holding Air Invest, which owns organising on average some 700 MICE events a
the tourism agency Transatour as well as the year for a total clientele of some 30,000. About Travellers are increasingly attracted to Morocco’s
car rental agency Aircar and the bus company 60% of Transatour’s MICE turnover is realised
Localbus. Employing 200 people and with an through their American partner. thriving art and music scene.
annual turnover of Dh300 million (£24.5 mil- Another important segment concerns peo-
lion), it is headquartered in Casablanca and ple who go on pilgrimage to Meccah in Saudi

has offices in nine Moroccan cities, as well as Arabia. Transatour is leader in Morocco in ew countries in the

Shutterstock / Olga Kot Photo

in the main 10 airports. It also has two branch- Hajj and Umrah, the pilgrimages that Muslims world have such an
es in France, in Montpellier and Paris. do to Meccah on a certain date on the Islam- enduring appeal to
Transatour is Morocco’s second largest tour ic calendar (Hajj) or any time during the year travellers and a mystique
operator with an average annual growth of (Umrah). In this fast-growing segment — Sau- around them as Moroc-
20%. “We are the only Moroccan travel agency di Arabi expects 20 million pilgrims by 2020 co. Ever since the French
that is certified ISO 9001, ” explains Transa- — which is covered by some 800 operators launched in Paris the Ori-
tour’s General Manager, Anas Rouissi. “We in Morocco, Transatour holds an 8% market entalist vogue in the 19th
offer our customers our professionalism, ex- share. century, Morocco has occu-
perience and creativity in organising trips that Lastly, Air Invest also holds Aircar, the pied a unique place in our
are tailored to their needs We cater to foreign largest independent car rental company in Western psyche, full of sen-
tourists who visit Morocco, but also to Mo- Morocco with a fleet of some 850 vehicles, and suous odalisques, rugged
roccans who travel abroad. As such, we offer Locabus, which has a fleet of luxury coaches légionnaires, dazzling souks,
tours in Europe (France, Italy), Asia (Malay- for the transport of tourists. and of course a certain Rick
whose pianist plays it again
and again in some café in
Air passengers carried, 2006-16 (000) A few clicks will guide any-
body to Morocco’s most well
9000 known tourist attractions: the
mesmerizing Jemaa el-Fnaa
8000 square in Marrakech, the
7000 fascinating and medieval Fez,
the beaches of Agadir, and Chefchaouen, the famous blue city, is a must
6000 the spectacular landscapes
5000 of the Atlas mountains. But
apart from the wealth of land- cently opened in Marrakech, aouira is home to the Gnawa
4000 scapes and age-old culture, which is fast becoming an Af- World Music Festival, held
3000 there is also a contemporary rican contemporary art hub. each year in June. Now in its
side of Morocco which is Now, another renowned 22nd year, it is a unique and
2000 worth exploring. destination is Essaouira, also exciting blend of contempo-
1000 For those who wish to known as “The Wind City of rary world music, jazz, pop
start their trip in Marrakech Africa” and a must for the and rock, with the added ad-
0 (which, even though a cliché, surfing community. What vantage that, given Morocco’s
06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 is highly recommended), we might be less known to the warm weather, it is 100% wel-
SOURCE: WORLD BANK advise you take the time to average traveller is that Ess- lie-free.
visit the new Musée Yves There are many other
Saint Laurent. The famous ways to experience modern
French fashion designer was Morocco while keeping at bay
hitherto known locally as the the hords of tourists. For ex-
owner of the Majorelle gar- ample, you could head to the
den, which is famous for the southern coast and try your
striking blue of its buildings.
Morocco has a luck at surf. Or stay in the
But last year, a new Saint unique place cities and go full foodie: Mo-
Laurent Museum opened in rocco’s cuisine is deservedly
Marrakech, a tribute to the
in our Western considered one of the best in
town’s most famous contem- psyche as a the world. And then, if you
porary resident who passed really want peace and quiet,
in 2008.There are also a host
mesmerizing travel you also have the Sahara des-
of new galleries that have re- destination. ert right there at your feet.