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Japan to invest $187m in Moroccan automotive industry

Car, Factory, robot Reuters

Japanese group Sumitomo is to invest MAD1.965 billion ($187 million) in nine industrial projects across Morocco to boost the North African country’s automotive ecosystem.

Regions set to benefit from the investment in the manufacturing of wiring and components include Rabat-Salé-Kenitra, Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima and Casablanca-Settat. Some 16,000 jobs are expected to be created by 2028.

The first project will be led by the group’s subsidiary SEBN, in Bouknadel, with the construction of an industrial unit dedicated to manufacturing electrical harnesses. The MAD320 million ($30.5 million) investment will see the creation of 4,500 jobs.

Ryad Mezzour, Morocco’s minister of industry and trade, said: “With this new investment by the Sumitomo group, the Moroccan automotive platform confirms its attractiveness to global suppliers, allowing us to continue to generate employment for our young Moroccans.”

According to EOS Intelligence, Morocco is one of the leading automotive manufacturing hubs in Africa, with the capacity to produce over 700,000 vehicles per year and around 220,000 people employed in the sector.

In July Morocco, announced plans to ink a deal with several electric vehicle (EV) battery manufacturers to construct a huge production facility in the kingdom by the end of this year.

At the time Mezzour described the proposed facility as a “gigafactory” – a term that has become synonymous with Tesla’s $2 billion production plant in Shanghai that was built to manufacture 500,000 EV batteries each year.

However, the minister declined to identify the manufacturers or the total capacity of the proposed site.

As well as this partnership with Morocco, Japan’s Sumitomo is also working on a project with Dubai-based Amea Power to deliver 1 gigawatts of wind and solar energy projects in Egypt.