This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.
According to the Global Infrastructure Hub (GI Hub), in the years leading up to 2040, Morocco will face an infrastructure investment gap of $37 billion. The government has therefore prioritized roads as well as modern infrastructure development, such as ports, airports, and rail links. In July 2020, Morocco’s Ministry of Equipment, Transport, Logistics, and Water announced an annual infrastructure budget of $4.16 billion throughout the coming decade. Morocco also receives generous international financing for its infrastructure projects. In June 2019 and April 2020, the Moroccan Government signed deals with the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (AFESD) for $237 million and $233 million respectively to improve its dam and road networks. In November 2019, the African Development Bank approved a $110.6 million loan to finance further road and transport infrastructure projects.
In addition, the Moroccan Government has launched many separate sector-based infrastructure plans, including the 2040 Rail Strategy, Vision 2020 for tourism, the 2030 National Port Strategy, and the Noor Ouarzazate solar plan. These plans are often supported by their equivalent sector-based, state-owned enterprises, and the government expects these entities to help Morocco deliver more targeted infrastructure spending over the coming years.
Morocco offers excellent opportunities to U.S. firms in the following segments:
- Construction engineering
Morocco has one of the best road systems on the continent. Over the past 20 years, the government has built approximately 1100 miles of modern roads, connecting most major cities via toll expressways. The Moroccan Ministry of Transport and Logistics aims to build an additional 2,100 miles of expressways and 1,300 miles of highway by 2030, at an expected cost of $9.6 billion. Nonetheless, Morocco will experience a $34 billion road infrastructure investment gap by 2040 according to GI Hub.
Morocco’s railway network includes 800 miles of track, with 120 stations serving passengers, and 15 serving freight. The government currently has plans to extend the 225-mile Tanger-Casablanca high-speed rail line, inaugurated in 2019, by 140 miles to connect Casablanca with Marrakesh. The extension will require the creation of new maintenance centers dedicated to high-speed rail activity.
Morocco’s 2040 Rail Strategy (“Plan Rail Maroc 2040”) is a long-term strategy for the development of the national rail network and its various components by 2040, and require $37 billion to fund projects that include:
- Maintenance or improvement projects to boost the resilience of the existing network and improve the performance of services to provide sustainable solutions to resolve bottlenecks (saturated supply, improved times, electrification, safety, and maintenance).
- Extension projects for conventional rail lines (maximum speed 100 mph) to cities across Morocco that are currently not connected to the rail network, while considering the economic feasibility of a rail line; and
- Extension projects of the high-speed rail network, linking transport hubs with speeds of between 220 and 320 km/h to ensure greater network efficiency.
Casablanca will complete two new tram lines by first quarter of 2024, together with two rapid bus transit routes. The investments required to implement the four projects are estimated at $1.6 billion. Line T3 will be nine miles in length, while T4 will be eight miles long. Rabat’s tramway system connects multiple points in Rabat and the neighboring town of Salé and has begun work on a $560 million extension that will add nearly 14 miles to the current network by the end of 2023. Other large cities, such as Agadir, Fez, Marrakesh, and Tangier, also plan to build tramway/light rail lines.
Please refer to the water sector for information on upcoming water infrastructure projects.
Many airport projects are underway. For more information, please refer to the Aerospace section.
Shipping, Ports and Container Handling
Morocco has 27 commercial ports that handled 192.1 million tons in 2021 in merchandise traffic. Morocco’s 2030 port strategy calls for nearly $7.5 billion to upgrade and expand the 27 ports along the country’s Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts, building expansions and upgrades. As part of the 2030 National Port Strategy, Morocco’s National Ports Authority (ANP) will invest nearly $600 million between 2018-2023. The investment is dedicated primarily to large-scale infrastructure projects aimed at keeping up with changes in maritime transport and trade outside of Morocco. These projects will include, but will not be limited to, the construction of new deep-water ports – to be serviced by new industrial and logistics zones – that will integrate Moroccan regions and provide new access to African trade for U.S., European, Western Hemisphere, and Asian trading partners.
The new Dakhla Atlantic port is part of Morocco’s 2030 National Ports Strategy announced in 2010. The port is part of Morocco’s plans to boost development projects in its southern provinces. The Dakhla Atlantic Port will require an investment of $1.1 billion and is expected to become operational in fewer than six years.
In the space of 20 years, Morocco has developed a logistics ecosystem in TangerMed that has attracted both major maritime operators and leading shippers. Today, TangerMed Port is ranked 35th out of 500 container ports in the world. In 2020, the port handled a record 5,771,221 TEU containers, overtaking the Spanish Port of Al Hoceima as the largest in the Mediterranean.