The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) reaffirms its confidence in Morocco and its business climate. According to the institution, which holds its annual meeting in Marrakesh, the Kingdom has one of the most stable investment climates in the Arab region. Moroccan private sector companies also remain more economically active than their counterparts in neighboring countries. Since its launch in Morocco in September 2012 and ending in April 2022, the EBRD’s total investment in Morocco has reached € 3.26 billion, including € 1.6 billion in financial institutions, to strengthen their resilience and support the private sector.
The 31st annual EBRD Annual Meeting and Business Forum kicked off in Marrakesh yesterday. This is the most important event of the annual cycle of this international financial institution, which is chaired by 71 countries, including Morocco, as well as the European Union and the European Investment Bank. A full house from the first day of the event, which is being held for the first time in a member state on the African continent and which promises about 1,500 decision-makers and observers from around the world, such as senior officials, financial leaders, business leaders, entrepreneurs and also representatives of civil society and international media. The first day began with an annual closed-door meeting of donors who make a significant contribution to the EBRD’s work by providing funds that catalyze its investment in countries from Central Europe to Central Asia. through the regions of the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean (SEMED).
Several conferences were also held at the Palace of Congresses in Marrakesh on 10 May, including one on the success of the EBRD’s investments in Morocco and the SEMED region, and another on regional prospects. On the occasion of this annual meeting, the European Bank announced the results of its ten-year presence in Morocco. Since its inception in September 2012 and ending in April 2022, the EBRD’s total investment in the Kingdom has reached € 3.26 billion, including € 2.8 billion between 2015 and 2021, for 83 projects. For the EBRD, Morocco has one of the most stable investment climates and one of the most diversified economies in the region. In terms of growth, job creation and foreign direct investment, Moroccan private sector companies remain more active than their counterparts in neighboring countries. However, according to EBRD experts, most of the value added of investment in Morocco remains limited by the relatively small number of companies while the state remains at the center of economic activity. According to them, SMEs (about 90% of Moroccan companies) find it difficult to invest, increase value added, develop and hire. “Although Morocco has one of the most developed financial systems in Africa, it faces weaknesses as it focuses on banks and lacks strong diversification of instruments and products.
About 28% of Moroccan companies say that access to finance is a serious constraint on their activities, “said EBRD economists. Thus, as part of its strategy for Morocco, the European Bank has invested € 1.6 billion in financial institutions over the ten years of its presence, including € 1.1 billion in funding lines, essentially for business. The EBRD supports private sector development and financial sustainability in Morocco through a combination of financing, risk sharing and capacity building. Thus, the Bank provides direct financing, as well as intermediary financing through credit lines and direct investment funds.
One of the sectors that has benefited most from the European Bank’s interventions is the green economy. EBRD green financing in Morocco since 2012 amounted to 728 million euros, including 273 million under the MORSEFF and GEFF program, developed in partnership with Moroccan banks, for the benefit of local businesses. The institution’s total liabilities in the field of sustainable infrastructure reached 835 million euros. In addition, the EBRD has supported € 35 million in women’s entrepreneurship under the Women in Business program. Small and medium business support also includes the Small Business Consulting (ASB) program, which focuses on improving corporate governance, standards and operational practices. So far, about 700 companies have benefited from this support. Moreover, at the end of April, Morocco remained the EBRD’s second largest client in the SEMED region, where the European Bank operates in six countries: Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine. The kingdom is behind Egypt, which is the leader among the beneficiary countries of the bank’s operations in the Arab region, with more than 8.55 billion euros for 144 projects. It is followed by Jordan (1.72 billion euros for 64 projects), Tunisia (1.45 billion euros / 57 projects), Lebanon (820 million euros / 10 projects) and Palestine (about 68.80 million euros). euro / 16 projects), where the bank has been operating since May 2017.
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