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SPECIAL REPORT OVERVIEW


Hoceima region, and has been central to the country’s development, affording investing companies benefits ranging fromtax, customs and foreign exchange incentives. Tanger Free Zone, the first plot of land


developed by TMZ in 1999 next to the city of Tangier’s airport, has alone attracted more inbound greenfield projects than any other free zone in Africa, according to greenfield investmentmonitor fDi Markets. When accounting for the remaining five


zones within TMZ acrossMorocco’s northern- most region—Tanger Automotive City, Logistics Free Zone, Tetouan Shore, Tetouan Park and Renault’s TMZ plant—the industrial platformexceeds other African zones by far in terms of inbound projects. With each zone dedicated to specific sec-


tors, such as automotive (see page 106), logistics (see page 102) and offshoring services (see page 109), TMZ has created clusters for prospective investors to serve their customers and tap into talent pools catered to their operating needs. While TMZ has attracted investment into


Morocco’s traditional industries of agribusi- ness and textiles, the automotive sector has seen the starkest growth, bolstered by Renault’s decision to build Africa’s largest car plant within TMZ (see page 104). In light of this,TMZ has played a key role in


Morocco’s industrial acceleration plan. The first phase of this, between 2014 and 2020, aimed to increase industries’ contribution to Moroccan gross domestic product (GDP) from 14%to 23%, with the second phase next year set to consolidate progressmade.


Economicimpact A recent study of the impact of TMZ and other special economic zones (SEZs) on Morocco’s economy, conducted by Massimiliano Bencardino and Vincenzo Esposito at the University of Salerno, Italy, found that the number of industrial placements in the ser- vices and manufacturing sectors in the Tanger- Tétouan-Al Hoceima region rose by 57% and 39%, respectively, since 1999. “Our study demonstrates howthe pres-


TMZ's network of six activity zones


ence of SEZs in northern Morocco has had positive impacts on the increase in national FDI and on the increase in industrial loca- tions within the Tanger-Tétouan-Al Hoceima region,” the researchers told fDi, adding that TMZ is “among the best” of the more than 5000 SEZs globally. Since 2005, more jobs have been created


by inbound greenfield FDI in Tanger- Tetouan-Al Hoceima than any other region or state across the whole of the African conti- nent, according to fDi Markets figures. More than 78,500 jobs have been created (including estimates) by inward investment to Morocco’s northernmost region, compared with just over 69,000 jobs in the Casablanca-Settat region, which hosts Morocco’s business and financial capital Casablanca. Giventhis success,TMZhas helped to


address one of Morocco’smajor economic hur- dles.Unemploymentamong Moroccans aged 15–24 has been on the rise over the past decade, standing atmore than 20% since 2014, accord- ing to the International Labour Organization.


SEZs INNORTHERNMOROCCO HAVE HAD POSITIVE IMPACTS ON NATIONAL FDI


December 2020/January 2021 www.fDiIntelligence.com 97


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