Representatives of the Regional Investment Centre and the Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Morocco explain the facilities offered by the region for Spanish businessmen

The Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima region presents its attractions for investors at the IMEX Madrid trade fair

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

The second day of the IMEX Madrid fair, held at the Palacio de Cibeles in Madrid, brought together representatives from numerous countries, companies, organisations and institutions, in a fair that combines stands in the glass courtyard with forums and round tables in the various rooms set up for the purpose.  

  1. Regional investment centres
  2. Infrastructures
  3. Sectors of interest
  4. Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Morocco
  5. Recommendations

Morocco and, more specifically, the region of Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima, was the protagonist of one of the first round tables of the morning, with the participation of Noussaira el Harrak, Head of Projects of the Regional Investment Centre of Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima, and Amal Boussouf, Director of the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Morocco. 

Before the intervention of the head of the Regional Investment Centre of Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima (CRITTA), a corporate video was projected highlighting the infrastructures, communications, industries and projects that exist in this region and that prove its economic dynamism and the union between tradition and innovation.

Noussaira el Harrak explained in detail the work of this organisation, which helps companies to set up in Morocco, acts as a one-stop shop for all the necessary procedures, manages territorial and tax benefits, and accompanies entrepreneurs in their projects. 

Noussaira el Harrak - PHOTO/ATALAYAR/GUILLERMO LÓPEZ
Noussaira el Harrak - PHOTO/ATALAYAR/GUILLERMO LÓPEZ

Regional investment centres

During the presentation, the attractiveness and possibilities offered by Morocco as an investment destination were highlighted: it is the most competitive country in North Africa and the second most attractive from the investment point of view.  

This is due to the project promoted by King Mohammed VI, with the creation of the network of regional investment centres to support and advise companies interested in investing or selling their products in Morocco.  

According to El Harrak, "among the missions of the Regional Investment Centre of Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima are the economic boost and promotion of the territorial offer; the accompaniment of investors; the one-stop shop to facilitate procedures; the promotion of tax incentives; and the mediation and resolution of conflicts between companies and the administration". 

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

Infrastructures

Regarding the infrastructures available in the region, the head of CRITTA explained that the region has the first high-speed railway line in Africa (Tangier-Casablanca), as well as motorways, three ports and three airports with international connections.  

The holding of the World Cup in 2030 in Morocco, Spain and Portugal is an incentive for the development of infrastructures in the Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima region. "The work on the Tangier Sports City, which will be the best on the African continent, is at an advanced stage of development. A stadium with a capacity of 65,000 spectators is also being built in the city of Tangier, and another in Al Hoceima," said Noussaira El Harrak.  

Another of the region's strengths in terms of attracting investment and companies from Spain is its human capital: "The Tangiers-Tetouan-Al Hoceima region has a dynamic, competitive and qualified human capital, with more than 20 universities of all specialities, with international missions and schools, both Spanish, French, American and British".  

Sectors of interest

During her presentation, the head of CRITTA reviewed the main economic sectors that are represented in the region. One of the main ones is the automotive sector: "The region of Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima is the first national producer of automobiles and the first on the African continent, with more than 260 suppliers. In addition, the region represents Morocco's second industrial pole and is also the second main textile product. It has 22 industrial zones already operational, covering a total area of 5,000 hectares, plus three new zones that are under construction, including the Mohammed VI Tanger Tech City.  

The logistical aspect is also very important, with the port of Tangier Med, the first in Africa and the Mediterranean, as the star infrastructure, which allows a fast connection with 186 ports in more than 77 countries, according to El Harrak.  

"To this must be added other sectors such as tourism, agriculture, with the new agricultural zone of Larache, or renewable energies," she explained. 

Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Morocco

The Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Morocco was represented by its director, Amal Boussouf, who pointed out that "in an increasingly global and digitalised world, the Chamber is a meeting point for Spanish and Moroccan businesspeople who want to invest or market their products".  

Boussouf explained that the activity of the Chamber is articulated around two pillars. The first includes the pre-investment stage, welcoming, advising and accompanying companies, while promoting Spanish investment in Morocco. "To this end, we organise sectoral business meetings and trade missions of Spanish businessmen to Morocco, and we organise information days in all the Spanish autonomous communities to inform about business opportunities," Boussouf said.  

The second pillar refers to the post-investment stage: "We offer a wide range of services, from personalised commercial prospecting, contact networks, visibility and support for companies in the development of their activity". 

Amal Boussouf -PHOTO/ATALAYAR/GUILLERMO LÓPEZ
Amal Boussouf - PHOTO/ATALAYAR/GUILLERMO LÓPEZ

Recommendations

The head of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Tangier also offered a series of practical recommendations to entrepreneurs interested in setting up in Morocco: "Do not underestimate the new business environment; you have to know the business culture and give yourself time; avoid stereotypes and optical illusions, and go hand in hand with local institutions; assess the cost of entry and learning, incentives versus investment. And, above all, appreciate the human factor: personal relationships are essential, and Moroccans are people who get personally involved in projects. That, and having the support and advice of the Spanish institutions that are present in Morocco, such as the chambers of commerce, ICEX or the Embassy", she concluded. 

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