14 December 2012

Morocco: France, Morocco Sign Solar, Wind-Power Deals

France and Morocco have signed contracts worth 280 million euros, including a partnership to finance a programme to develop solar and wind power. France is also pushing a deal to try and reduce the flight to cheap labour by French employers.

The deals were signed as French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault visited Casablanca, trying to boost France's economic relations with Morocco.

French electriticy company EDF signed a 57-million-euro solar and wind-power deal with its Moroccan counterpart but plans to build a TGV high-speed train line between Tangiers and Casablanca have been put off to a later date.

A number of French companies had outsourced activities to Morocco, especially call centres.

But France is now keen to stop the relocation trend.

The two countries believe the solution of the future is "colocalisation" - where companies relocate parts of their business activities abroad in order to develop activities with higher added value back home.

The idea is to encourage Franco-Moroccan investment in sub-Saharan Africa, the Gulf and the Middle East.

But, in the meantime, French companies are continuing to outsource to Morroco.

In July the Paris Transport Syndicate (Stif) transferred a call centre to Morroco with the loss of 80 jobs.

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