EU Launches its External Investment Plan in Morocco

EU Launches its External Investment Plan in Morocco

Thursday, 21 June, 2018 - 05:15
European Union flags flutter outside the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, May 13, 2015. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir
Brussels - Abdullah Mustafa
The European Union and Morocco have launched the EU External Investment Plan (EIP) in the country to create a better business environment and foster economic development.

“The European Union is strongly committed to supporting Morocco in building a sound, inclusive and sustainable economy,” the European Commission said in a statement.

“Launched in September 2017 to help boost investment in partner countries in Africa and the European Neighborhood, the EIP will now encourage investments promoting an inclusive growth, job creation and sustainable development also in Morocco,” the EU said.

EIP “will help leverage significant private funds into key sectors of Morocco's economy. The plan will in turn empower local entrepreneurs and create jobs in the country. This new and innovative approach will also help carry out big sustainable development projects,” said Commissioner for Enlargement Negotiations and European Neighborhood Policy Johannes Hahn.

The Plan will build on three pillars, the first of which is the new European Fund for Sustainable Development. Around “€4.1 billion in grants will be made available to support sustainable development in countries in sub-Saharan Africa and the European Neighborhood, as well as allowing public and private operators to leverage each other's strengths.”

The second pillar is technical assistance. “This will help improve the quality of projects and mobilize investment from financial institutions, public institutions and private investors.”

Lastly, additional assistance “will be given to public authorities to foster a more favorable overall business environment through better policy making and legislation, in dialogue with the private sector.”

“Overall, about €44 billion are expected to be mobilized under the EIP from 2017 until 2020 for Africa and the European Neighborhood,” according to the European Commission.

The package was announced at a conference on Tuesday, in the presence of Michael Köhler, European Commission Director for Neighborhood South, and Moroccan Minister of Economy and Finance Mohamed Boussaid.

The conference brought together national authorities, private sector companies, International Financial Institutions (IFIs) and other stakeholders to discuss investment opportunities and ways to overcome remaining barriers in accessing funds.

The Commission said that between 2014 and 2017, the EU has allocated €807 million in bilateral assistance to Morocco. EU support focuses mainly on equitable access to social services, democratic governance, the rule of law and mobility, as well as employability and sustainable and inclusive growth. Complementary support for capacity development and civil society is also provided.

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