Logismed's mission is to promote the culture of logistics in the North African country, as a dynamic element of the economy of the regions

Morocco: improving logistics attracts investment and improves competitiveness

Ali Berrada, presidente de Logismed
Ali Berrada, president of Logismed - ATALAYAR/GUILLERMO LÓPEZ

Ali Berrada, president of Logismed, the organiser of the 3rd Logistics Meeting of the Tangiers-Tetouan-Al Hoceima region, in collaboration with Investangier, the Regional Investment Center of the Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima region, spoke to Atalayar and explained his assessment of this forum, which brought together administrations and businessmen from Spain and Morocco. 

What is your assessment, as moderator of this type of meeting, of the importance of logistics?  

We are here today in the framework of what we call the regional logistics meetings. For a year and a half we have thought that we have to go to the regions to continue to promote the logistics culture in Morocco, and this has been our mission from the beginning. But this concept of regional logistics meetings focuses on the relationship between logistics and the territory, in other words, we go to the territories, to the regions, and we try to federate, to bring together public and private actors around a theme so that they can talk to each other.  

First of all, it is an opportunity for them to meet, and then to discuss how to improve logistics in the region to attract investment and improve the competitiveness of companies. And, of course, the objective is also to create jobs. So we are going around Morocco with this concept and always sensitising public actors, elected representatives and private sector economic actors on the challenges of logistics and its importance in regional development. 

What is your impression of this collaboration between Spain and Morocco, between the Tangiers-Tetouan-Al Hoceima region and Catalonia? 

It is true that for this edition we wanted to innovate, we wanted to revise the format. We have partnered with a region, and it is true that Catalonia is a very dynamic region that has always shown interest in Morocco. There are many links between this region and Morocco, and also between the port of Barcelona and the port of Tangier Med. So we are very honoured to have representatives from Catalonia with us, because in our meetings, we not only want to talk to each other, but we also look for this cross-fertilisation, to get this feedback, to learn good practices and to exchange information. That is what has been done with this forum.

Pie de foto: Ali Berrada, presidente de Logismed, en el 3er Encuentro Regional de Logística, dedicado a la región de Tánger-Tetuán-Alhucemas
Ali Berrada, President of Logismed, at the 3rd Regional Logistics Meeting, dedicated to the Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima region - ATALAYAR/GUILLERMO LÓPEZ

At this time when the world is in such turmoil, collaboration is essential to guarantee the development and stability of Spain and Morocco, of the ports and logistics and the strength of the Mediterranean. 

Firstly, since the COVID crisis and in the current international context, logistics is a fundamental issue. It is very important because it helps to make our regions a little more attractive. And we are in a world where partnership strategy is very important. Nobody can live in their own corner any more. If we want to face these challenges, we must have partners and Morocco is, to a certain extent, Spain's strategic retreat.  

We are neighbours and I would say that logic and common sense dictate that it is in our interest to work together. We complement each other. We have an advantage, which is the geographical situation of Morocco and Spain. We are at the gates of Africa, you are at the gates, so we complement each other, and I would say that there is also history and culture. All that unites us. So it would have been a pity if we had turned our backs on each other and not maintained some of these partnership relations. I think in the partnership approach we are stronger, but at the same time we complement each other and exchange, as I said, good practices and experiences. But we are here as facilitators, that is, we are facilitators to bring economic actors together.

How would you invite a Spanish investor to come to Tangiers-Tetouan-Al Hoceima? 

You don't wake up one morning and say "I'm going to invest in Tangiers". If I come to invest in Tangiers, it is simply because I have an interest or because the logic of investment has changed. It used to be based on cost, i.e., I will invest where it is cheaper. Today, it is a market logic, that is, I will invest where there is a market, and I believe that Morocco is a market with almost 40,000,000 inhabitants, but at the same time I will invest because Morocco is also in Africa and, consequently, it has a network and connections that also facilitate it. If I invest here, I will have much easier access to Africa and other countries. 

Moreover, Morocco offers political stability and quality of life. In Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima there are good business opportunities, but also good quality of life: schools, entertainment, sports, gastronomy... 

It is undeniable. In other words, when you provide an investor with a business environment, because that is extremely important. The business environment has to be favourable. In terms of facilitating administrative procedures, and also in terms of finding skills and human resources. But if on top of that it offers a quality of life, for oneself and, of course, for one's family, that can only encourage even more.  

Speaking of Tangier, it is true that investments have been made in recent years that have transformed the region. We spoke earlier about the port of Tangier, which is open to the city, the whole of the Corniche, the medina and the old town, all very interesting places to visit. Let's say that all this offers an important living environment for investors.

And also the schools, the hospitals... that is very important 

We say that Morocco, the Moroccans, are hospitable by nature, they are people who behave in a way that makes foreigners who come to our country feel comfortable. So we have infrastructures that are respected. I would not say that we are the best, but in any case, especially in the North, this region has made a lot of progress in hospital infrastructures, but also in schools and sports. I would say that the region offers many opportunities for investors.