• The agreement will strengthen the support of Banque Centrale Populaire (BCP) for Moroccan SMEs in export value chains.
  • It will facilitate SME access — via BCP — to sustainable finance and new support mechanisms.
  • It is the first agreement to be finalised under the EU Trade and Competitiveness Programme, developed by the EIB with EU support.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) and Banque Centrale Populaire (BCP) have announced the signing of the first guarantee agreement under the EU Trade and Competitiveness Programme. Among the main priorities of this programme is strengthening access to finance for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The agreement will help to improve the competitiveness of Moroccan SMEs, particularly in the key export sectors of automotive, textiles, agro-industry and agriculture.

It will facilitate SME access — via BCP — to sustainable finance to improve their export competitiveness, through modernisation and decarbonisation investment, capacity extension financing or working capital needs. The selected companies will receive free technical advice to build their capacities and support upskilling on export-related issues.

This is the first agreement to be finalised under the Trade and Competitiveness Programme developed by the EIB with EU financial support. The programme will help to improve companies’ competitiveness and business opportunities with the European Union by enabling local intermediary banks to take more risk and reach specific segments of the economy.

The programme also directly addresses the goals of the 2021-2023 industrial recovery plan aiming to make Morocco the most competitive, decarbonised and innovative industrial base for Europe. It will provide the necessary expertise on decarbonisation, productivity and digitalisation — while ensuring the inclusion of women and young people — so as to support value chains between Morocco and the European Union.

As the agreement was signed, EIB Vice-President Ricardo Mourinho Félix confirmed how important it was for the EIB Group to help Moroccan SMEs to improve their competitiveness with a view to developing exports through decarbonisation and strengthening value chains with the European Union.

We are moving towards lower-carbon business models and it is our role — as the EU bank and climate bank — to support our partners on the ground. SMEs play a key role in Morocco. This new programme commits us to facilitating their access to advantageous financing and high-quality support to boost their upskilling,” said EIB Vice-President Ricardo Mourinho Félix, who is responsible for financing in Morocco, at the BCP partnership launch ceremony. “I am delighted to sign this initial agreement with Banque Centrale Populaire. It will provide concrete support for Moroccan SMEs’ competitiveness and innovation, with a view to taking better advantage of regional value chain opportunities to create sustainable jobs in the country's main export sectors.”

EU Ambassador to Morocco Patricia Pilar Llombart Cussac added: “The programme we are launching today is a continuation of our multi-faceted partnership with Morocco, which covers areas including support for sustainable development, competitiveness and the green transition of small and medium-sized enterprises. SMEs are a pillar of the economy and — recognising their importance and potential — the European Union devotes a substantial part of its partnership with Morocco to supporting private sector development and competitiveness. I am sure that this programme will contribute to Morocco’s efforts to promote the green transition and value chain resilience.”

“BCP is pleased to be the first Moroccan banking sector player and longstanding EIB partner to sign up to the Trade and Competitiveness Programme, enabling its SME and mid-cap customers to benefit from its advantages. Using this programme, BCP will provide an integrated range of services to the SME market — particularly to export sectors — to support them with bespoke solutions and on advantageous terms,” said BCP Group CEO Mohamed Karim Mounir.

Background information

European Investment Bank (EIB)

The EIB has been a key partner for Morocco for 40 years. It finances the development and implementation of important projects in vital sectors of the Moroccan economy such as business support, agriculture, water and sanitation, education, health, transport and even renewable energy.

EIB Global is the EIB Group's new specialised arm dedicated to increasing the impact of international partnerships and development finance. It is designed to foster strong, focused partnership within Team Europe, alongside fellow development finance institutions, and civil society. EIB Global brings the Group closer to local people, companies and institutions through our offices across the world.



European Union

The European Union — the result of an economic and political partnership between 27 European countries — plays a major international role via diplomacy, trade, development aid and cooperation with international organisations. The European Union's main goal in Morocco is to work on its partnership with the country, providing financial support for the political, economic and social reform process, as well as negotiating and implementing trade agreements that are beneficial for the European Union and Morocco.

Team Europe

The European Union launched the Team Europe initiative by combining EU resources with those of Member States and financial institutions (including the EIB) to support partner countries and meet their short-term needs. Its goals include supporting the private sector — particularly SMEs — and government reforms, especially those concerning the economic recovery and climate change.

Banque Centrale Populaire

BCP Group is one of Morocco’s leading banking institutions. It draws its strength from its values of solidarity and the way it is organised, which is unique on the Moroccan market. It is composed of eight regional cooperative banks; Banque Centrale Populaire (BCP), the group's central body and a listed public limited company; specialised subsidiaries; foundations; and banks and representations abroad. BCP Group is present in 32 countries across the world. It is Morocco's biggest savings bank and a major player in the financing of the economy.