#TangerMed port essential for #Morocco – EU

| July 16, 2019

Morocco has become an even more important for the EU as a partner as well as a trade hub and a bridge to Africa thanks to its cargo port Tanger Med, now the biggest port in Africa and in the Mediterranean.

Located on the Strait of Gibraltar about 40 km east of Tanger, Morocco, Tanger Med 2 was launched on 28 June 2019.

The facility will include two new container terminals with a capacity of 6 million Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit (TEU) containers, which is twice the capacity of Tanger Med 1 which itself was launched in 2003 as a logistics, industrial, commercial and touristic complex.

Director of Tanger Med Port 1 and 2, Rachid Houari: told EU Reportrer “15 years ago, this area was very poor and underdeveloped but we chose it for its strategic importance, as it is the nearest point from Africa to Europe. The initial idea was to build a port with 1 to 3 million TEU container capacity but we were surprised by our own success as we surpassed our capacity in only 6-7 years… That is why we decided to build the new port Tanger Med 2.”

The new port already has an impressive list of customers.

Renault has a dedicated terminal. In 2018, the port handled 351,191 Renault’s for export from the Moroccan factories. PSA Peugeot Citroen, which inaugurated its first factory in Morocco on June 20 in Kenitra, will also export through the port this year.

In April, DHL Global Forwarding, the leading international provider of air, sea and road freight services, signed a deal with Tanger Med to set up its new Africa-Europe Logistics Hub in the Tanger Med port.

“The strategic location of Tanger Med presents a huge opportunity for us. Its ability to support multi-modal connectivity, especially its maritime, as well as road connections to Casablanca and the South, will allow us to expand and enhance our customer service offering,” said Christelle Fadel, General Manager, DHL Global Forwarding.

Tanger Med is one of the biggest projects of Moroccan King Mohammed VI.

In his inaugurating speech in 2003, the King said: “We are launching one of the largest economic projects in the history of our country… Morocco is consolidating its anchor in the Euro-Mediterranean area and in the in the Maghreb and Arab environment. It values its position as a trade hub between Europe, Africa, the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, and strengthens at the same time its major role as an active partner in international trade”.

There are 317 billion dirhams (€30bn) of products handled in imports and exports in Tanger Med hub. It is the 45th out of 500 container ports in the world.  There are 80bn dirhams of exports from the Tanger Med hub.  912 companies operating in automotive, aeronautics, renewable energy, electronics, textiles, agro-food, paramedical, logistics, services sectors.  There will be 600,000 TIR trucks by 2025. Morocco will continue to invest through a new investment programme of 9bn dirhams (€850 million).

The Project is also boosting the local and regional economy. Such initiatives are important to improve socio-economic conditions in the region and prevent irregular migration from Africa to Europe. In this sense, this vision of Morocco should be supported by Europe through by all possible means

Tanger Med has also enormously increased the connectivity of Morocco.

According to the UN, Tanger Med port has made Morocco 17th most well-connected country in the world, while previously it was 83rd.

The EU is Morocco’s largest trading partner, accounting for 59.4% of its trade in 2017.  64.6% of Morocco’s exports went to the EU, and 56.5% of Morocco’s imports came from the EU.

Such big investments require stability in the country and international trust. The political, economic and social stability of Morocco is the key for such developments in this sense

A strong and stable Morocco is very important for Europe. Considering this unique role, the strategic co-operation with Morocco must be strengthened by the EU. Morocco is much more than just a southern neighbour. Cooperation between Morocco and the EU covers variety of areas including but not limited to trade, security, terrorism, migration, development and culture. The country may play an increasingly important role in the region.  

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