22 February 2018

Africa: Morocco, Gateway for EBRD to Africa, President

Rabat — The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) considers Morocco as a "very important country" and a "strategic gateway" to Africa, its president Suma Chakrabarti told several national newspapers.

Morocco "is a very important country for us, not only as a country of intervention, but also as a gateway to a larger region," Chakrabarti told the newspaper "Le Matin", noting that EBRD is trying to do its best in Morocco and intends to do even more by trying to be more present in this country.

Chakrabarti told "Aujourd'hui Le Maroc" that Africa could potentially be the next extension of EBRD with Morocco's leadership, recalling that in the Bank's history there have been four geographical extensions first towards Mongolia, Turkey, the MENA region and recently in Greece and Cyprus.

"The Kingdom really has a leadership position," he said, noting that several EBRD member countries, including Tunisia, Egypt and Jordan want this financial institution to be more active in Africa, especially in the sub-Saharan region.

Regarding the Bank's action in Morocco, he said that the EBRD has had a variety of large-scale projects aimed primarily at reinforcing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that are major job providers.

One of the key challenges for SMEs in Morocco, as in a number of countries, is access to bank liquidity, Chakrabarti said, underlining that the EBRD is working to reduce costs and plans to open within the next six months new credit lines for Moroccan SMEs.

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