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Morocco joins Mena industrial partnership

Morocco joins the Industrial Partnership for Sustainable Economic Growth at a signing ceremony in Bahrain Wam
Morocco joins the Industrial Partnership for Sustainable Economic Growth at a signing ceremony in Bahrain
  • Deals worth $2.2bn announced
  • Regional sourcing strategy
  • Morocco hails ‘opportunity’

Morocco has become the fifth country to join a partnership that aims to strengthen industrial integration in the Middle East and North Africa.

At a meeting held in Manama, Morocco’s entry into the Industrial Partnership for Sustainable Economic Growth was announced, joining the UAE, Jordan, Egypt and Bahrain.

During the meeting $2.2 billion worth of deals were announced including an $80 million agreement to establish an electric car manufacturing plant in Jordan in a partnership between the UAE’s W Motors and Jordan’s Manaseer Group.

Bahrain Steel signed a supply agreement with Emirates Steel, which will purchase two million tonnes of raw materials over five years, valued at $2 billion. 

Manaseer and Aluminium Bahrain (Alba) signed a memorandum of understanding to supply 13,000 tonnes of aluminium fluoride annually, while Alba also agreed a deal with Jordan Phosphate Mines for silica supply, worth $66 million.

Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, the UAE’s minister of industry and advanced technology, said the new projects help build a common industrial base, supporting the flexibility of supply chains, reducing production costs and training a new generation in the industrial and technological fields. 

“We look forward to launching more innovative projects to achieve the partnership’s strategic goals,” he added.

Yousef Al Shamali, Jordan’s minister of industry, trade and supply, said a key aspect of the partnership is leveraging raw materials in Arab countries, which represent 75 percent of their global exports “to build an industrial system that uplifts economies”.

The industrial partnership was launched in Abu Dhabi in May 2022. Riyad Mazour, Morocco’s minister of industry and trade, said joining it represents “an opportunity for us” to further integrate and develop projects that generate growth and employment opportunities for national talent.

Morocco is expected to bring significant value, given the country’s advanced capabilities, particularly in the automotive, renewable energy, aviation, textiles, pharmaceuticals, phosphate, mining and food industries.

Its industrial sector provides more than one million jobs through 121,000 companies.

Morocco is accelerating the industrial sector’s development, implementing a new policy aimed at increasing its contribution to GDP to 23 percent by 2030, creating more than 500,000 new job opportunities, and investing billions of dollars in renewable energy projects.

However, analysts downgraded growth forecasts for Morocco last year in the wake of the deadly earthquake on September 8 when more than 3,000 people were killed.

The disaster prompted analysts at BMI to cut GDP growth expectations for 2023 from 2.4 percent to 1.8 percent.

Last year, businesses from the UAE, Egypt, Jordan and Bahrain signed industrial deals valued at more than $2 billion as part of the partnership.

Twelve agreements were signed for nine projects in five sectors: agriculture, food and fertilisers, pharmaceuticals, textiles, and minerals and petrochemicals. 

The deals are expected to create approximately 13,000 direct and indirect job opportunities in the four nations.

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