EIB Gives Morocco €80 Million Loan to Widen Casablanca Highway

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has granted Morocco an €80 million loan.

EIB announced the loan agreement in a meeting yesterday with Morocco’s National Motorway Company (ADM).

In a statement, ADM said that the loan would fund roadwork in Casablanca “to ease traffic.”

ADM hopes to use the loan to improve transport conditions, mobility, and road safety in Morocco.

The loan is set to fund construction work to widen the Casablanca-Berrechid highway to three lanes over 25.8 kilometers and a 31.7 kilometer Casablanca bypass.

“This project falls within the framework of the ‘National Highway Structure Scheme,’ which aims to develop the road network of the kingdom,” the statement added.

EIB Vice President Emma Navarro expressed satisfaction with the agreement. “We are delighted, as a bank of the European Union to continue to support the competitiveness of Morocco, with which we celebrate our forty years of cooperation.”

She added that the loan is in line with Europe’s desire to “support the development of Moroccan infrastructure,” because it will improve mobility and quality of life in Casablanca.

The general Director of ADM, Anouar Benazzouz, said that his department is proud of EIB’s contribution.

“It is a recognition of the professionalism and credibility of the projects undertaken by ADM and on the other hand, it is an EIB participation in a large-scale project led by ADM that will help support the development of the Casablanca metropolis, improve traffic flow and enhance user safety.”

The agreement is the 10th of its kind between EIB and ADM.

According to ADM, EIB has invested nearly €5 billion in projects in key sectors of the Moroccan economy, such as urban transport, energy, and the private sector, since 2007.

What about debts?

Several senior officials and businessmen have complained about the consequences of public debts on Morocco’s economy.

In January, the High Commissioner for Planning (HCP) Ahmed Lahlimi Alami said that Morocco’s economy will be weighed down by debt in 2019.

The commissioner also warned that the overall public debt of the economy will increase to 82.5 percent of GDP by the end of 2019, slightly up from 82.2 percent in 2018.

The Treasury and External Finance Department said that Morocco’s external funding increased by 35.7 percent between 2016 and 2018. The increase in external funding led to Morocco’s accumulated MAD 332.35 billion in public external debt in 2017.