Monday 19 February 2018
(AFP (eng) 02/12/18)
Morocco recorded a bumper year for tourist arrivals in 2017, breaking through the 11-million barrier for the first time, the tourism ministry announced Monday. Visitor arrivals numbered some 11.4 million, a 10-percent increase over 2016, with tourists from "emerging markets" such as China and Brazil joining those from France, Spain and Germany. Revenues from the sector jumped to 69.7 billion dirhams ($7.55 billion, 6.16 billion euros) in 2017, up from 64.2 billion dirhams the previous year. Fez, Tangiers and Marrakesh, along with Ouarzazate on the edge of the Sahara desert, recorded the strongest growth in tourist numbers, the ministry said. After several years of stagnation, the tourism industry has turned around, partly thanks to new...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/30/18)
FRANKFURT (Reuters) - PSA Group’s Opel plans to start exporting cars to Tunisia and Morocco from its European plants, its chief executive told German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) in an interview. France’s PSA agreed in March to buy Opel from General Motors in a deal valuing the business at 2.2 billion euros ($2.73 billion). The move was aimed at helping the group to challenge European market leader Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE). PSA has given Opel until 2020 to return to profit as part of a recovery plan aimed at shifting the brand’s model line-up onto PSA’s production platforms. “We see good opportunities for us overall,” Opel CEO Michael Lohscheller was quoted as saying of its African prospects...
(AFP (eng) 01/29/18)
The International Monetary Fund is holding a two-day regional conference from Monday in Morocco with a message of reform amid growing "frustration" among the population of some Arab states. "Rising social tensions and protests in several countries across the Middle East and North Africa are a clear indication that the aspirations of the people of the region, for opportunity, prosperity and equity, remain unfulfilled," said Jihad Azour, director of the IMF's Middle East and Central Asia department. "Reforms are the...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/18/18)
RABAT (Reuters) - Morocco’s government needs to explain the benefits and risks of its new flexible currency system, which will stoke inflation, the head of the state High Planning Commission told Reuters on Wednesday. Ahmed Lahlimi said annual inflation will rise to around 1.6 percent in 2018 from 0.2 percent last year as oil prices have been rising and because imports of food and other goods will become more expensive. The North African country launched this week a more flexible...
(AFP (eng) 01/13/18)
Morocco will start a gradual and controlled liberalisation of its currency the dirham from Monday, Prime Minister Saad-Eddine Al-Othmani said after a cabinet meeting. The North African country has had a fixed exchange rate regime for the dirham since the 1970s. It is pegged to the euro and the dollar. Othmani spoke to AFP on Friday after a cabinet meeting during which the long-expected decision was taken. The process of moving towards what the authorities call a "flexible exchange rate"...
(AFP (eng) 12/28/17)
Morocco's Royal Air Maroc has ordered four 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft from US aviation giant Boeing for delivery at the end of next year, the two companies said Wednesday. The new aircraft, worth $1.1 billion at list price, would allow the flagship carrier "to expand its services, especially internationally", a Boeing statement said. The delivery "at the end of 2018" would bring to 60 the number of planes in the airline's fleet, an official at the Moroccan flagship carrier told AFP...
(Xinhuanet 12/20/17)
Chinese top legislator Zhang Dejiang met with Hakim Benchamach, speaker of Morocco's House of Advisors, the upper house of the Moroccan parliament, on Wednesday. China-Morocco relations have taken the lead in China's relations with African and Arab countries, with a strategic partnership established in 2016, said Zhang, chairman of the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress (NPC). As 2018 marks the 60th anniversary of diplomatic ties between China and Morocco, China will work with Morocco to deepen cooperation in...
(Xinhuanet 12/20/17)
The U.S. remains the primary arms supplier for Morocco, providing more than 96 percent of the country's weapons imports in 2016, local media reported Tuesday. According to the Moroccan daily Al Massae, Morocco imported 254 million U.S. dollars' worth of armaments last year, with 244 million dollars spent on U.S. weapons. In 2015, the U.S. was even the only arms supplier of Morocco, which imported 274 dollars of weapons that year. The North African kingdom spends over 3 percent of...
(Xinhuanet 12/20/17)
A total of 8 million tourists visited Morocco between January and August 2017, up 10.4 percent compared to the same period a year earlier, according to Tourism Ministry. International tourist arrivals jumped 13.1 percent, while Moroccans living abroad visiting their homeland rose 8.1 percent, the Ministry said in its latest statistics for the January-August 2017 period. Arrivals from the traditional European emitting markets showed an increase by 14 percent in German tourists, 10 percent in Dutch and Spanish visitors and...
(AFP (eng) 12/11/17)
Chinese electric car manufacturer BYD on Saturday signed an agreement to open a factory near the Moroccan city of Tangiers to build battery-powered vehicles, officials said. BYD will become the third car manufacturer, after Renault and Peugeot of French, to construct cars in the North African state. The memorandum of understanding was signed at the royal palace in the coastal city of Casablanca in the presence of King Mohammed VI and BYD's chairman, Wang Chuanfu, whose company is backed by...
(AFP (eng) 11/28/17)
A two-day investment forum opened in Morocco's Marrakesh on Monday as China seeks to revive ancient Silk Road trade routes from Asia to Europe and Africa. "The question is how to accelerate cooperation in the field of investment," said Wang Yong, vice president of the China-Africa Development Fund. The event brings together 400 business executives including 150 from China. Morocco's Industry Minister Moulay Hafid Ellalamy said China and Africa "share the same quest for development". "The Silk Road initiative will change the map of international trade," he said, adding that trade and cooperation were already at "unprecedented" levels.
(Xinhuanet 11/27/17)
The second China-Africa Investment Forum opened on Monday in the Moroccan city of Marrakech. The forum brings together some 500 high-level Chinese and African business leaders. The event aims to facilitate business meetings between the main stakeholders of trade and investment between China and African countries in order to foster sustainable partnerships with high added value, particularly in the industrial sector. The forum dedicates two days of conferences and debates to the financial implications for African economies and making the...
(AFP (eng) 11/21/17)
Morocco's currency regulator has announced a ban on transactions in bitcoin and other virtual currencies, in a country where foreign exchange flows are tightly controlled. "Transactions via virtual currencies constitute a breach of regulations, punishable by penalties and fines," the Offices des Changes said in a statement on its website. The announcement came a week after Moroccan digital services company MTDS said it would accept payment in bitcoin. MTDS said it was the first time the regulator had taken a...
(Xinhuanet 11/14/17)
Morocco has allocated 720 million U.S. dollars to a program meant to curb disparities between cities and rural areas in 2018, local media reported on Monday. The financial daily L'Economiste said that 74 percent of this budget will be dedicated to road infrastructures to open up hard-to-reach areas. Educational infrastructure will receive 11 percent of the budget, the same source added. The program will be funded by the fund of rural and mountainous zones development with the aim of opening...
(Xinhuanet 11/14/17)
The British company SDX Energy has announced new gas discovery in the onshore drilling operation conducted near the northern Moroccan city of Kenitra, local media reported on Monday. Citing a statement from the company, Hespress.com news site said the well was drilled to a depth of 1,774 meters and encountered total net conventional gas pay of some 17.2 meters. The well, named KSR-15, will be in production by early December, with operations to connect the well to nearby infrastructure expected...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/14/17)
KIGALI (Reuters) - The global airline industry has $1.2 billion blocked in nine dollar-strapped African countries, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said on Monday. The global commodities price crash that began in 2014 hit economies across Africa hard, particularly big resource exporters such as Angola and Nigeria. Low oil and mineral prices have reduced government revenue and caused chronic dollar shortages and immense pressure on local currencies. The fiscal slump has meant governments have not allowed foreign airlines to...
(APA 11/13/17)
APA-Rabat (Maroc) - Une trentaine d’entreprises marocaines se rendront à Lagos du 14 au 16 novembre pour une mission de prospection, indique Maroc Export, initiatrice de ce voyage d’affaires. Cette mission, qui concernera les secteurs des BTP et matériaux de construction, de l’électrique, des énergies renouvelables, des TIC et du pharmaceutique, aura pour objectif le renforcement des échanges commerciaux avec ce pays d’une part et le développement d’un partenariat gagnant-gagnant basé sur les complémentarités entre les entreprises marocaines et leurs...
(Xinhuanet 10/31/17)
Transforming skins waste into luxury leather to make handbags, pairs of shoes or smartphone hulls is the challenge successfully tackled by the Moroccan company SeaSkin. Founded by Nawal Allaoui, a student at the Higher School of Textile and Clothing Industries (Esith), SeaSkin produces and markets luxury leather goods based on fish leather. This young woman, who often frequented the coastal zone of Casablanca, knows perfectly the species of fish, from which she recovers waste which is worth of gold. Considered...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/31/17)
HARARE (Reuters) - Economic growth is expected to rise to 3.4 percent in sub-Saharan Africa next year from 2.6 percent in 2017, the IMF said in a report on Monday, but warned that rising debt and political risks in larger economies would weigh down future growth. Nigeria and South African are the biggest economies in Africa south of the Sahara, but both nations have been clouded by political uncertainty linked to the tenure of their leaders. The IMF said a...
(AFP (eng) 10/18/17)
Rent-a-room giant Airbnb said Tuesday that it had provided accommodation for 1.2 million visitors to Africa over the last year -- double the previous year as tourism expands across the continent. The website now offers more than 100,000 accommodation options in Africa, global public affairs director Chris Lehane said on a visit to Johannesburg. "It's an incredibly rich and diverse continent, an incredibly dynamic place, certainly a big part of our future," Lehane told AFP. Airbnb was founded in 2008...

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