Morocco wants to develop an industrial city that will host about 300,000 locals and to achieve the project, estimated at $10 billion, they are partnering with the Chinese group Haite.
Morocco’s industrial city, which will be built from scratch, is envisioned as 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.
King Mohammed VI, Morocco’s leader, helped to work on Moroccan-Chinese ties which had to be in place for the deal to go through. King Mohammed VI met with China’s President Xi during an official visit to Beijing that held this year. There, the two had agreed to the partnership on the industrial city.
The park, which will be fashioned like some in China, should have industrial sites as well as apartment towers. Three hundred thousand Moroccan employees will be hosted in the industrial sites and a lot of them would also concurrently live on the site.
The industrial city still remains unnamed, and is intended to be built near Tangiers, Morocco’s fifth-largest city, which is still economically backward.
China’s development model centered around such industrial cities. By the 1980s, China had started reforming and opening these special economic zones which soon opened the Chinese economy up to outside investment. It would seem that Morocco is hoping to follow a similar growth path.
Morocco would not be the first African economy to attempt China’s development model. It does, however, have the advantage of being close to the European Union which is an extra incentive for Chinese investors.
The $10 billion dollar project is just another way that Morocco is attempting to make improvements to its infrastructure to attract investment.
The kingdom’s national highway network grew from 100 kilometers in 1999 to 1,772 kilometers in 2016. There are also plans to open Africa’s first high-speed rail line between Tangiers and Kénitra by 2018.