Noussaira El Harrak, head of projects at the Regional Investment Centre of the Region of Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima (CRITTA), takes stock of her participation in the 22nd edition of IMEX-Madrid 2024

The Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima region is the future of investment in Africa

Noussaira El Harrak imex
Noussaira el Harrak, project manager of the Regional Investment Center of the Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima Region (CRITTA) - PHOTO/ATALAYAR/GUILLERMO LÓPEZ

Industry, investment, international connectivity, automobile, textile, tourism, leisure, sport, etc., are many of the sectors in which the role of CRITTA is fundamental. In addition, Noussaira El Harrak, in her role as head of projects, explained and clarified for Atalayar the major advances and future developments for the coming years in the Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima region.

What was your experience of participating in the 22nd edition of IMEX-Madrid 2024 like? 

It has been a very special experience. We decided to come to IMEX, the business fair, to get closer to Spanish businessmen. To show them that there is a lot to do in the Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima region, that there are many opportunities.

entrevista noussaira El Harrak

Investing in Morocco has many advantages and offers for all entrepreneurs, both national and international, especially for the Spanish, as it is the number one market for Morocco and its entrepreneurs. 

Morocco is now considered the most competitive country in North Africa and the most attractive for investors. 

IMEX-Madrid 2024
IMEX-Madrid 2024

Ms Harrak, which sectors could we highlight and what opportunities does the Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima region offer? 

The Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima region is a multi-sectoral region. In the industrial sector, we are the leading producer of automobiles. 54% of nationally produced cars come from Tangier. We have 25 zones, 22 of which are already operational and functioning. These are industrial and economic zones. The logistics sector stands out thanks to Tangier Med, the port complex and the number one port in Africa and the Mediterranean. Within the importance of the sector for the Mediterranean, the Medhub logistics zone, a free zone within the port complex, also stands out. There are also renewable energies, the tourism sector, where there are hotel chains, golf courses and a good quality of life for the businessman who wants to settle in Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima. 

Agriculture is a sector that is given a lot of importance thanks to the large usable area available in the region. Textiles is also one of the most important sectors within a varied offer. 

Puerto de Tánger Med, Marruecos - PHOTO/ATALAYAR
Port of Tangier Med, Morocco - PHOTO/ATALAYAR

CRITTA, the regional centre, what does it offer, what support, what facilities does the regional investment centre Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima offer to businessmen? 

CRITTA is a one-stop shop that advises and supports investors from the first day they have the idea of setting up until the day their project begins to operate. We advise him in administrative and financial terms in case the entrepreneur needs to make an agreement. There are several programmes that we offer to the entrepreneur that can help him to set up. We welcome national and international investors in the same way. In addition, everything can be done digitally. Through our platform, the investor can manage his file, even if he is not personally at the centre. 

Tanja Marina Bay, Tánger -PHOTO-ATALAYAR
Tanja Marina Bay, Tangier - PHOTO-ATALAYAR

I wanted to highlight the connectivity, because according to the slogan: "Once you are here, you are everywhere", Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima has a magnificent connection with the world. 

Exactly. It is a world-class connectivity. We have three airports with international lines. We have train ports, including Tangier Med which is connected to 186 ports being the fourth best performing and 17th ranked in terms of connectivity worldwide, in addition to the motorways that link the region to the rest of Morocco along with the high speed train (TGD), which is the first in Africa, and links, for example, Tangier to Casablanca in two hours. 

Tren en Marruecos - PHOTO/ATALAYAR
Train in Morocco - PHOTO/ATALAYAR

I would also like to point out, Mrs Harrak, if you will allow me, that the businessman, the investor who goes to Tangiers-Tetouan-Al Hoceima, in addition to having a good business, has guaranteed good schools for his children, good hospitals, entertainment, sport, leisure, good gastronomy, but, above all, the training of Moroccan workers, whose level and training is getting better and better every day. 

That's right. We have a very attractive human capital. More than 20 universities in various sectors and more than 61 training centres. An investor needs quality of life, peace of mind for his family and children. There are four Spanish, American and French schools in the region, in the cities of Larache, Tetouan and Al Hoceima. 

PHOTO/UNIVERSIDAD INTERNACIONAL DE RABAT - Perspectiva del edificio principal de la Universidad Internacional de Rabat (Marruecos)
View of the main building of the International University of Rabat (Morocco) -PHOTO/UNIVERSIDAD INTERNACIONAL DE RABAT

As for the universities, the catalogue is very wide with more than 120,000 students who enjoy a high quality of life. Morocco and specifically the region of Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima has a large number of restaurants, hotels, more than 350 hotels, 30% of which are luxury hotels, six golf courses, marinas, a coastline of 447 kilometres and a very pleasant Mediterranean climate, very similar to that of Spain. 

Costa de una de las 120 playas que hay en Marruecos - PHOTO/ATALAYAR
Coastline of one of Morocco's 120 beaches - PHOTO/ATALAYAR

Morocco's reformed Investment Charter for the Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima region is also a great incentive, providing many facilities for investors. 

The new Investment Charter is an advantage offered by the State to large companies wishing to set up in Morocco. Depending on certain criteria, companies can benefit from 30% of the CAPEX, the amount of the investment. All this together makes for very favourable conditions for investors. 

Mohcine Jazouli, ministro marroquí de Inversiones
Mohcine Jazouli, Moroccan Investment Minister

In other words, there is political stability, legal certainty and opportunities in many sectors. How would you encourage a Spanish investor? What would you say? 

I would tell them that now is the ideal time to come and settle in the Tangiers-Tetouan-Al Hoceima region, which is considered "the gateway to Africa". Once installed in the region, the link between Europe and Africa, the entrepreneur has a total connection with the whole continent. Being in the Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima region means being in everything. From the Investment Centre we will be there to support you, to advise you, until your idea, your project, comes to light. 

Noussaira el Harrak y Amal Boussouf - PHOTO/ATALAYAR/GUILLERMO LÓPEZ
Noussaira el Harrak and Amal Boussouf - PHOTO/ATALAYAR/GUILLERMO LÓPEZ

Let's not forget the 2030 World Cup, which will be an important opportunity for collaboration. 

In Tangier, there is a sports city and another large-capacity stadium in Al Hoceima, which indicates that we are already preparing for the 2030 World Cup. 

There are so many opportunities in Morocco that I don't want to forget His Majesty the King's initiative, Tangier Tech, the smart city. 

Yes, it is one of those zones that is one of the 25 zones that we have. It is a Smart City which is going to host more than 10 sectors, for various entrepreneurs and investors, over an area of more than 2,000 hectares, which is already receiving its first projects. 


In other words, there is a variety, a range of possibilities, and a proximity, a cultural and historical connection between Spain and Morocco, between Tangiers and Spain, which is fundamental. 

We are 14 kilometres apart, and apart from the culture. We are very similar in terms of culture.