The European Bank for Reconstruction & Development has enhanced its presence in Morocco with the opening of a second office in the North African Kingdom.
The Bank’s first office is based in Casablanca, Morocco’s economic capital, while its 2nd office was opened Wednesday in the Northern city of Tangier. It primary goal is to support the local economy of the Tangier-Tétouan-Al Hoceima and Oriental regions.
The economy of the Northern region of Morocco 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 just 14 km from Europe.
According to EBRD Vice Pdt Pilloux, the opening of the new office in Tangier confirms the bank’s determination to strengthen its activities in Morocco and specifically in the north of the country. Its top priority will be to promote regional inclusion and job creation.
Tuesday, the EBRD and Morocco also inked a Memorandum of Understanding to develop local currency lending to small businesses and provide affordable loans to Moroccan banks and microfinance organisations, mitigating their exposure to exchange rate volatility.
The MoU will allow the EBRD to lend at competitive rates in Moroccan Dirham to local SMEs, which are the backbone of Morocco’s economy.
In a bid to further increase financing to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Morocco, the Bank provided CaixaBank Succursale au Maroc (CBM), Dh 217 million in local currency (€20 million) for on-lending to SMEs.
Access to finance and specifically in local currency remains a challenge for Moroccan SMEs which are one of the EBRD’s priorities, as outlined in the country strategy.
Morocco is a founding member of the EBRD and became a country of operations in 2012. To date, the Bank has invested over €1.2 billion in over 30 projects in the country. The Bank has also supported more than 340 Moroccan SMEs by providing business advisory services.