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  Tanger Med expansion
King launches construction works
  Airline view of Tanger Med Port (Ph.: TMSA).
After months of doubts and rumours resulting from the constrains of the international crisis, the construction works of Tanger Med port II, an expansion the original port, were launched on Wednesday by King Mohammed VI.

The 9.25 billion dirham (about USD 1.14 billion) port would raise the port's overall capacity to over 8 million containers a year, from 3 million currently in the Tanger Med I.

The launch of this expansion project has a strategic importance for the Moroccan government, which is seeking to benefit from a future recovery of the world trade, as good signs have started to show up.

“Tanger Med port will make Morocco an international platform for production and exports,” Transport Minister Karim Ghellab told reporters on Wednesday in Tangier, during a joint press conference with the minister of finance.

During the launching ceremony, an agreement was signed by the Tanger Med Special Agency (TMSA) and the Moroccan company Marsa Maroc, which has won a concession to operate the future port for 30 year. The company pledged to invest euro 320 million.

The port complex will be build in two phases by a consortium of companies, including Belgium's Besix, France's Bouygues, Italy's Saipem and Morocco's Somagec and Bymaro.

“In this difficult economic context, many countries and investors have decided to suspend their investment, but Morocco has decided to pursue its ambition of strategic positioning in terms of logistics,” underlined Finance Minister Salaheddine Mezouar.

He added that the launch of Tanger Med II is a result of the success witnessed by the Tanger Med I, which has significantly increased the number of investments in the northern region of the country.

Since the TangerMed I was launched in July 2002, the industrial sector in the northern region has seen sustainable development. Over 400 businesses are currently based in the Tangier Free Zone employing some 40,000 people.

The TangerMed Port is the keystone of a multi-modal platform thanks to its strategic location on the Straits of Gibraltar at the crossroads of East-West and North-South maritime routes; its state of the art infrastructures; and its modern rail and motorway connections.

Integrated into international logistics circuits, it serves the existing and future free zones and improves the competitiveness of businesses based in Morocco.

  By CMC
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