Nibal Zgheib, EBRD BUSINESS
The FINANCIAL — The EBRD is strengthening its outreach in Morocco with the opening of a second office, in the city of Tangier in the north-west of the country. This is the first office of a multilateral development bank to open in the northern city. The office will target the local economy of the Tangier-Tétouan-Al Hoceima and Oriental regions.
Tangier is the capital of the Tangier-Tétouan-Al Hoceima region. The local economy is based on a network of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and manufacturing firms in the textile and leather, agribusiness and automotive industries. In addition, the port of Tangier Med is the second-largest in Africa and located 14 km from Europe.
The second EBRD office in Morocco was opened by EBRD Vice President, Banking, Alain Pilloux, in the presence of Philip Mikos, Head of Cooperation at the European Union Delegation to Morocco, Nezha El Ouafi, State Secretary at the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Sustainable Development, Janet Heckman, EBRD Managing Director for the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean region, and Marie-Alexandra Veilleux-Laborie, EBRD Director, Head of Morocco.
EBRD Vice President Pilloux said: “The opening of our new office in Tangier confirms our determination to strengthen our activities in Morocco and specifically in the north of the country. One priority will be to promote regional inclusion and job creation.”
Mr Mikos said: “The European Union, which finances the EBRD’s Advice to Small Businesses programme, welcomes the creation of this new Tangier office. It will rely on the EBRD’s know-how and will offer day-to-day consulting services to SMEs in the northern regions of the country, in order to boost their economic potential. The competitiveness of the local economy is not only crucial for Morocco but also for the whole Euro-Mediterranean basin.”
The new office will support a broad range of opportunities for development partnerships, with a focus on promoting the EBRD’s know-how and best practices. The office in Tangier is an important step to extend the EBRD’s business reach, identify local partners, boost the creation of high-quality private-sector jobs and develop a resilient economy, according to EBRD.
The EBRD has been investing in Morocco since 2012 and has funded more than 30 projects in the private sector, for a total of over €1.2 billion. In parallel with private and public-sector financing, the EBRD attaches particular importance to supporting SMEs through its Advice for Small Businesses programme. In Morocco this EU-funded initiative is providing technical and financial support with tailor-made consultancy services and expertise. To date, more than 340 support projects have been carried out.