The FINANCIAL — The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) opened its first Resident Office in Morocco on April 28. Led by Laurent Chabrier, the local office, based in Casabalanca, will play a key role in boosting the Bank’s activities and strengthening the EBRD’s relationship with the authorities and the business community.
The office was opened by EBRD First Vice President Phil Bennett together with Morocco’s Minister of Economy and Finance, Mohammed Boussaid, EBRD Managing Director for the southern and eastern Mediterranean region, Hildegard Gacek, and EBRD Director for Morocco, Laurent Chabrier, according to EBRD.
Phil Bennett said: “Opening a Resident Office is an affirmation of our commitment to Morocco and to helping achieve its potential. It is a key step in implementing the Bank’s country strategy and boosting economic growth through development of the private sector and promoting regional inclusion.”
During his visit to Morocco, Mr Bennett also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Salah-Eddine Kadmiri, General Vice-President of the “Confederation Generale des Entreprises au Maroc”, to enhance mutual cooperation and the Bank’s support to the private sector.
Earlier this year the EBRD approved its strategy for Morocco which focuses on realising the entrepreneurial potential of the country, promoting women’s entrepreneurship and increasing finance for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through private equity funds, as well as providing dedicated credit lines associated with technical assistance.
The Bank will also promote regional economic development and gender inclusion by improving the business environment and promoting equal employment opportunities for men and women in rural areas.
By supporting the sustainability and commercialisation of public services and infrastructure, the EBRD will broaden the range of financial instruments and promote innovative financial solutions.
Laurent Chabrier said: “I am very pleased to have our Resident Office opened today in Casablanca. By choosing this city, the economic centre of the country, for its first location in Morocco, the Bank is demonstrating its commitment to being in direct contact and supporting the private sector. This approach will be complemented by our strong presence on the ground, reaching out to all regions of the country.”
Morocco is a founding member of the EBRD and to date the Bank has invested €473 million in 18 projects across the country, in addition to €130 million of trade-facilitation credit lines with local banks. The EBRD has also provided technical assistance support to more than 135 local SMEs.