FEMIP – the European Investment Bank’s dedicated Facility for Euro-Mediterranean Investment and Partnership – granted its fifth loan to the company Autoroutes du Maroc. Worth EUR 180 million, this will finance, in tandem with the contributions of Arab lenders, the construction of a 126 km motorway section between Fez and Taza, so completing the arterial motorway crossing northern Morocco from Casablanca and Rabat to Oujda. FEMIP has been supporting the building of Morocco’s motorway network since 1995, and the present loan signed on 31st October brings its total input to EUR 625 million. This arterial route will play an important role in the economic, tourist and agricultural development of the country’s northern region. It will ultimately make it possible to create motorway links across the Maghreb from west to east via Algeria.
The value added of FEMIP’s loan lies in its tailor-made financing terms, especially the long maturity. The EIB also takes care to optimise the environmental impact of all projects that it finances.
Efficient integrated transport networks are of prime importance to the economy of the Mediterranean countries and the integration of the Euro-Mediterranean region:
This operation fits in with FEMIP’s twofold strategy of fostering the private sector and creating an investment-friendly environment in the Mediterranean partner countries. The motorway network will give a boost to Morocco’s economy by cutting logistics costs, linking the country’s main economic centres and opening up surrounding areas while also improving road safety.
The integration of the Euro-Mediterranean region is at the heart of the major EU policies that FEMIP is tasked with supporting – from the Barcelona Process to the European Neighbourhood Policy. Efficient interlinked transport infrastructure, between both the countries of the south and the two shores of the Mediterranean, are one of the key elements of these policies. The Rabat-Oujda motorway forms part of the south-west axis identified in the November 2005 report of the High Level Group as one of the five main arterial routes destined to link the European Union with its neighbours.
FEMIP, Morocco’s partner:
Since 1995, FEMIP has invested nearly EUR 2 billion in Morocco, including a third in the transport sector and a third in the energy sector. In particular, it has supported the development of the rural roads network, the rehabilitation of sea ports throughout the country and the upgrading of railways, along with the interconnection of electricity and gas grids with Spain. FEMIP also regularly finances environmental projects, such as sanitation infrastructure in Fez, Marrakesh, Agadir and Meknès. And in 2005 it pumped EUR 71 million into the construction of urban social housing – a first in this sector outside the European Union.