Free Trade Zones

New agricultural project as Morocco pushes development in Western Sahara |

FLAP –

Morocco is seeking investors for a $213 million agricultural project in Western Sahara irrigated by a wind-powered desalination plant.

The project aims to transform 52 square kilometers of unused land near the city of Dakhla into farms producing fruits, vegetables and animal feed, according to a tender from the Ministry of Agriculture launched on Friday.

The project will be 77% financed by the state and is part of a $7 billion development plan launched by Morocco in 2015 to modernize Western Sahara’s infrastructure, including the construction of a $1 billion port. dollars in Dakhla.

While Morocco regards Western Sahara as its own, the Polisario Front movement, backed by Algeria, seeks to control the territory.

The wind-powered desalination plant, part of a wider series of projects aimed at countering the water shortage that has plagued Moroccan agricultural production, was approved last year.

According to experts, new projects show the growing interest of business people in creating a presence in the Western Sahara region, which offers international companies an opportunity to easily access African markets.

Morocco benefits from a stable political and economic situation, high-quality infrastructure, including airports, ports and highways, according to many investors.

The laws of the North African country also stimulate investment and have turned into an incentive for foreign companies to inject capital into the southern regions of Morocco, given the substantial development projects that have been launched there are five years to transform the region into a gateway for trade with the rest. of the world.

Development in Western Sahara includes the construction of infrastructure and the establishment of free trade zones at the Karkarat border post with Mauritania and Bir Kunduz on the Dakhla-Oued Eddahab, as well as the development of the Dakhla-Atlantique port.

Morocco’s five-year plan, which extends to 2025, aims to attract more foreign investment and encourage companies to first adapt to the situation left by the pandemic, then to expand this activity to support economic growth.

The Laayoune-Sakia El-Hamra region has become a preferred destination for foreign investment in recent years, thanks to the development model of the southern provinces, launched by the King of Morocco seven years ago.