An influential African Economy: Morocco
Seaports are the cargo loading and discharging channels for a country and play a very crucial role in its business. How much cargo handling capacity, a seaport has and how many vessels come to a seaport is the efficiency determining factors of a seaport.
Cargo to Morocco, an important African country, borders the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea is influenced by Berber Arabian and Western cultures.
Trade constitutes more than 80% of the total Moroccan GDP. Morocco stands at number 61st on the world countries list with the GDP (nominal) per capita of US$ 3151.
Trading Partners of Morocco
Being an open economy, almost 98% of the Moroccan trade is carried out by sea cargo and its exports partners include Spain, France, Italy, United States, India Turkey, Germany, Brazil and Netherlands. On the other hand, Spain, France, China, United States, Germany, Italy, Turkey, Portugal, Russia and Saudi Arabia are its main import partners.
Trade balance, including services, of Morocco for the year 2016 is about US$ -10937. To meet and eradicate this much trade deficit Morocco is continually working on trade development programs and have set a Ports Expansion Plan to generate more cargo to Morocco and cargo from Morocco capacity.
Tanger-Med port: The Largest Transhipment Port of Africa
Tanger-Med port terminals 1 and 2 can handle 8-millions of containers, 0.7 millions of trucks, 2 millions of automobiles and 10 million metric tons of oil products. This much cargo handling capacity with the transshipment facility make Tanger-Med the largest transshipment Sea ports of Africa.
Morocco: A major Trading Nation
The geographical location that nature has awarded Morocco is unmatchable and have potential to make it grow as a major trading nation. Through 15 commercial ports of the country, about 100 million tons per annum of merchandise cargo is transported.
To lead the trade-world, Morocco has met its deep port issues and still working on deep ports expansions. Almost 38% of the Moroccan trade is carried out at the port of Casablanca, only.
Stratégie Nationale Portuaire 2030: National Port Strategy
The Moroccan government is well aware of the timely need of new ports. The framework of Stratégie Nationale Portuaire 2030 is based on objectives to enhance cargo handling capacity so that Morocco would serve as cargo to Africa gateway in coming years.
Cargo handling capacity would be increased by meeting international standards and having world-class ports. This framework plans to establish 6 new ports with the modern infrastructure and IT equipment. Tensift, Souss, Doukkala, Casablanca, Abda and Kenitra are the intending planned ports.
Game Changers in the Region: Safi and Nador-Med Ports
Safi and Nador-West Med ports are currently under construction. The Safi port has its first phase completed in 2017 and is mainly serving coal imports for a local coal-run power plant. The coal power plant utilizes 3.5 million tons of coal per year and this much of tonnage would be imported through Safi port and in addition the by-product of power generation, phosphorus would be exported.
The Nador-West Med port would be a deep-water port and is expected to start operations in 2019. Funds for the initial phase of the project are to be acquired from private investments while the country has already acquired 10% of the total amount from The African Development Bank, amounting to US$ 113 million.
Supportive Laws to Protect Private-Public Interest
Financing of new ports and up-gradation of old ports is expected to come from private-public cooperation. The country is improving its law to facilitate the transfer of maritime services to the private sector.
Tanger-Med port is established under law 15-02 passed by the government as a Private-Public partnership. Under the same law, Marsa Maroc, the operator of ports in Morocco has sold 40% of its shares to private companies. It helped in both, generating funds and maintaining a healthy competition.
Infrastructural expansion of Moroccan seaports would not only increase the country’s trade but would also ensure overall cargo to Africa from the UK or other nations as a communal benefit to Africa.