In order to highlight the attractive investment opportunities in the southern and eastern Mediterranean (SEMED) region – and in Morocco in particular – the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has today organised a Trade and Investment Forum in Casablanca.
Participants learned about the EBRD’s programmes and activities to support investors, strengthen the local economy and boost cross-border trade and cooperation. Laurent Chabrier, EBRD Director for Morocco, opened the event with an overview of the Bank’s activities in Morocco, focusing on how to do business with the Bank.
He said: "Our capacity to invest in projects and to reform the business environment relies on the investors and entrepreneurs in Morocco."
Adil Chikhi, EBRD Director for Industry, Commerce and Agribusiness in the SEMED region, presented the Bank’s products and services and outlined current projects in the property and tourism, manufacturing and services as well as agribusiness sectors.
Meriem Zairi, member of the Confederation Generale des Entreprises au Maroc (CGEM) - Commission on Relations Banque-Entreprises, spoke about Morocco’s competitive advantages in term of trade and investment in private companies and in particular SMEs.
Other sessions focused on the EBRD’s advice to small businesses, consultancy opportunities and a detailed sector overview of the Bank’s activities in Morocco.
In the afternoon the Forum learned about the EBRD's Trade Facilitation Programme (TFP), especially its recent activities in SEMED. Representatives of local and foreign banks discussed the financing of imports to Morocco. A separate session focused on how local and foreign banks can support the import of energy-efficient technologies with the help of TFP.
Morocco is a founding member of the EBRD and became a country in which the Bank invests in 2012. To date the Bank has invested €473 million in 18 projects across the country, in addition to €130 million of TFP credit lines with local banks. The EBRD has also provided technical assistance support to more than 135 local SMEs to date.