The European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Union’s financing institution, is providing 14 million euro ($15.88 million) to the Kingdom of Morocco for the repair and upgrading of breakwaters and quays, along with the improvement of operational safety, at five of the country’s ports: Tangiers, Larache, El Jadida, Essaouira and Sidi Ifni.
The works will be carried out by the Ports Directorate of the Ministry of Equipment, Housing and Town and Country Planning. The project forms part of the Kingdom of Morocco’s National Economic and Social Development Plan 2000-2004.
Commenting on the operation, EIB Vice-President Philippe de Fontaine Vive said: "This is the fifth loan made available by the EIB for Morocco's ports sector. The development of port infrastructure is essential to the country's economy in terms of both facilitating Morocco's international trade—98 percent of which passes through its ports—and fostering the activity of private companies in the fisheries and logistics sectors.”
“I therefore believe that this project chimes perfectly with the objectives of the new Facility for Euro-Mediterranean Investment and Partnership (FEMIP) launched by the Bank last October, one of whose priorities is to create an environment favorable to the growth of private enterprise,” he added.
Set up following the Barcelona European Council of March 2002 and inaugurated in October 2002, FEMIP’s top priority is to promote private sector development—especially small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)—and support projects helping to establish a propitious climate for private investment, including economic infrastructure, health and education schemes.
Endowed with 8-10 billion euro up to end-2006, FEMIP’s ultimate goal is to help the Mediterranean Partner Countries (MPC) meet the challenges of economic and social modernization and enhance regional integration in the run-up to the creation of a Euro-Mediterranean free-trade area planned for 2010.
Between October 2002 and May 2003, new operations worth over 1.5 billion euro were approved under FEMIP, more than 35 percent of which targeting private sector development. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )