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EBRD approves first country strategy for Morocco

By Nibal Zgheib

The Board of Directors of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has approved its first country strategy for Morocco, which focuses on four key priorities identified in cooperation with the Moroccan government: realising Morocco’s entrepreneurial potential; regional inclusion; sustainability and commercialisation of public services and infrastructure; and advancing the development of capital markets.
Realising Morocco’s entrepreneurial potential. The Bank will help realise the entrepreneurial potential of the country, promoting women’s entrepreneurship and increasing finance to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through private equity funds, as well as providing dedicated credit lines associated with technical assistance.
Regional inclusion. The Moroccan economy is characterised by pronounced regional disparities. The EBRD will promote regional economic development and gender inclusion by improving the business environment and promoting equal employment opportunities for men and women in rural areas.
Supporting the sustainability and commercialisation of public services and infrastructure. Strengthening private sector participation is a key element of the EBRD’s activities. The Bank will help improve the efficiency and quality of infrastructure and utility services through the commercialisation of corporate structures and preparation for further private sector participation.
Advancing the development of capital markets. The EBRD will broaden the range of financial instruments and promote innovative financial solutions.  It will also focus on supporting equity and bond issuance and will raise awareness of these among foreign investors.
Laurent Chabrier, EBRD Director for Morocco, said: “Adopting the first strategy for Morocco is a key milestone for the Bank’s activities. We have been active in the country for the past two years. This strategy was based on a thorough assessment of each sector in Morocco and on our dialogue with the government and will allow us to further support and develop the Moroccan economy.”
Morocco is a founding member of the Bank and to date, the EBRD has invested €380 million in 17 projects in the country in addition to €130 million worth of trade facilitation credit lines with local banks. In addition the Bank has provided technical assistance support to more than 135 small and medium-sized local enterprises.
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