France Stimulates Its Companies with Financial Support to Invest in the Moroccan Sahara

Paris launches a €100 million fund to support French companies wishing to invest in the Maghreb.

The French Public Investment Bank has launched a €100 million fund to support French companies wishing to invest or strengthen their presence in Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco, including the Moroccan Sahara, after Paris expressed its desire to invest in the Moroccan region, clearly indicating its move towards supporting the Kingdom’s sovereignty over its Sahara.

The bank, known by the acronym “BPI France,” stated in a press release that this mechanism aims to “meet the needs of French companies wishing to launch or strengthen projects in the Maghreb,” in partnership with local partners.

The project covers the period from 2024 to 2027, targeting various sectors such as industry, energy, agriculture, and pharmaceuticals, according to the same source. The fund will operate through “different investment, financing, guarantee, and support mechanisms.”

French President Emmanuel Macron had promised in 2023 to support French companies in the three Maghreb countries through the Public Investment Bank, providing the necessary financing and guarantees for their projects.

French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire confirmed during his visit to Rabat last April that his country was ready to open a new chapter of cooperation between the two countries, including clean energy and rail transport.

Paris intends to benefit from Morocco’s significant capabilities in renewable energy, including green hydrogen, wind, and solar energy.

French Minister for Foreign Trade Franck Riester also stated during his visit to Rabat at the same time that his country was ready to finance the high-voltage line between the cities of Dakhla in the Moroccan Sahara and Casablanca.

French companies have received official approval to invest in the Moroccan Sahara, including the Public Investment Bank and Proparco, which are preparing to expand their investments in the southern regions of the Kingdom.

Loïc Jaïger, regional director of Engie North Africa, described the financing of projects in several cities in the Moroccan Sahara as a “historic achievement,” considering that his country’s openness to investment in the Moroccan region represents a decisive turning point in relations between France and Morocco.

Morocco tops the list of recipients of funding from the French Development Agency, according to the French Treasury Directorate, and Morocco is the largest African investor in France, with an investment portfolio of €1.8 billion in 2022, compared to only €372 million in 2015.

Many French ministers have recently visited Rabat, coinciding with the warming of relations between the two countries, after Paris became convinced that its interests require a review of its policies towards Morocco, especially regarding the Moroccan Sahara issue.

France understands that establishing a partnership with Morocco requires ending its hesitation regarding the Moroccan Sahara issue, which the Kingdom considers as a benchmark for the sincerity of relations with countries. Several former French diplomats have stated that Paris must more than ever declare its support for Morocco’s sovereignty over the Sahara and support the autonomy initiative proposed by Rabat as the only solution to resolve this artificial conflict.

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