[Morocco] IFC, Marrakech-Safi join forces to boost region’s investment potential
IFC is expanding the scope of its support to subnational entities in Morocco through a new partnership with the Wilaya of the Region of Marrakech-Safi and the Regional Investment Center, to attract more investment and improve the business environment.
Like many other regions in the world, Marrakech-Safi, a major economic center in Morocco , has been hard hit by the COVID-19-induced downturn in tourism, a key industry in the region. Through the partnership, IFC will support the Marrakech-Safi Regional Center for Investment, which serves as the service center for the private sector in the region via business creation, investment promotion services and business environment improvement.
There will be a special focus on promoting the region as an investment destination and reducing payment delays for businesses whose liquidity has been further constrained by COVID-19. Morocco's decentralization agenda has put regions in the driver's seat as they use devolved powers to access financing and implement development projects and improve service delivery to individuals and businesses.
IFC supports this process in three ways: financing and providing technical advisory services for priority infrastructure projects, structuring and implementing public private partnerships, and improving the business climate. Last year, IFC provided financing packages to the regions of Casablanca-Settat and Fes-Meknès for infrastructure development and to help respond to the pandemic.
"The private sector has a critical role to play in reigniting economic growth," said Sérgio Pimenta, IFC Vice President for Africa and the Middle East. "Our partnership with the Wilaya of Marrakech-Safi and with its Center for Regional Investment will help nurture the region's business environment in the post-COVID landscape to spur an inclusive, sustainable, and resilient recovery."
The project, the first of its kind in the Middle East and North Africa region, is being delivered in partnership with the government of Switzerland. IFC has been present in Morocco since 1963, leading innovative projects for private sector development. In fiscal year 2020, IFC committed over $250 million in investments in the country.