Morocco and the Netherlands have signed an agreement to create an investment fund of 300 million euros, equivalent to 3.2 billion dirhams, to finance infrastructure investment projects.
The agreement relating to this fund was signed today, Wednesday, in the town of Salé, in the presence of Aziz Akhannouch, head of government, and Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. As a reminder, the Head of Government, Aziz Akhannouch had received, on the same day in Rabat, Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands, who is on an official working visit to Morocco at the head of a large delegation of managers and businessmen.
“We have to raise our ambitions. The potential for cooperation is unlimited“ declared the head of government, Aziz Akhannouch, addressing this audience of businessmen and senior officials present at a round table on green hydrogen, organized on the sidelines of Mark Rutte’s visit, Prime Minister of the Netherlands.
If there is one observation to be made, it is that the centuries-old relations between the two Kingdoms are strategic, but fall short of the targeted ambitions of Morocco and the Netherlands. “Trade reached 1.7 billion euros in 2022. I think we can do better“, also declared the Head of the Moroccan government Aziz Akhannouch. That said, sectors strongly concerned, supposed to be carriers of projects, figure especially that of the energy transition.
So we have dedicated to this, a round table organization on green hydrogen to encourage the private sector of the two countries to embark on common structuring projects. “There is real potential for growth in the renewable energy sector. Morocco is well advanced in this area and we can forge several partnerships, particularly in green hydrogen, which will allow the creation of a large number of jobs“underlined, for his part, Mark Rutte.
And, a memorandum of understanding was signed between the two parties, as well as the financial institution Invest International. The agreement provides for an envelope of 300 million euros, intended for companies in the two countries for investment aid and technical assistance. The priority sectors in this project are renewable energies, infrastructure, carbon-free industry and agriculture.
Alexandre Dugay Wortman, in charge of projects in Morocco, Guinea and Senegal in the “Invest International” investment fund, who signed this agreement precisely, declared that 35% of the amount allocated to this fund is a subsidy, and the rest is in the form of loans. Alexandre Dugay Wortman told MoroccoLatestNews that the fund will finance ” water and renewable energy projects“, and stated that “the Netherlands are interested in investing in green hydrogen“, and it is expected that “the possibility of investment is explored after the Moroccan government presents its new plan in this area“.
The Dutch official said that“there was indeed a strong will to work with the Mohammed VI Investment Fund to identify investment projects, and discussions were also held with the National Ports Authority to determine the needs in terms of“. The allocation of this new investment fund in Morocco is in line, according to Fortman, with the objectives of the new development model and also to support efforts to solve the problem of water scarcity through the construction of factories. water treatment and pumping stations.
This is how 300 million euros will be invested over 3 years, after the programs will be evaluated and the possibility of injecting additional financial allocations will be discussed, according to Wortman. The Netherlands is the fifth largest foreign investor in Morocco, since about 70 Dutch companies are active in the Kingdom in many fields, the relations between the two Kingdoms dating back several centuries.
This is what Aziz Akhannouch, head of government, said during the signing ceremony of the agreement, “ relations between Morocco and the Netherlands go back centuries; The first treaty of friendship and commerce was signed between the two countries in 1610, indicating that the relationship has grown stronger over time and has managed to meet all challenges and all bets“.
During this meeting, which was attended by a number of Moroccan ministers and representatives of the private sector, Akhannouch noted that “the Netherlands is the country of residence of a large Moroccan community that has managed to integrate into Dutch society“. He also praised the Netherlands’ support for the autonomy proposal proposed by Morocco to resolve the Sahara conflict.
Trade between Morocco and the Netherlands amounted to around 1.7 billion euros (18.5 billion dirhams) last year, according to statistics presented by Akhannouch, calling for encouraging these investments and raise the level of trade in view of the great potential available. Akhannouch pointed out that ” the Netherlands can play a role in strengthening the strategic partnership between Morocco and the European Union“, emphasizing the importance of continuing dialogue in the areas of security, justice and migration.