Strategic location for Europe
Morocco is on the doorstep of the European Union. At the closest point, Spain is only 14km from Morocco across the Strait of Gibraltar. Morocco’s location and its strong support for the mining sector and other exporting industries make it an ideal source of critical metals and minerals for Europe.
Morocco’s main trading partner is already the European Union but it also has strong U.S. diplomatic and trading relations. In 2021, Morocco’s exports were split between Spain 20%, France 19%, India 5%, Brazil 5% and Italy 5% (Source: CIA).
Pro business policies
Morocco has successfully attracted foreign direct investment for many years, evidenced by the number of foreign companies and quantum of investment – there are 250 automotive OEMs in Morocco. The country is set-up to be an export hub with seven Special Economic Zones in Casablanca, Rabat, Oujda, Tangier, Kenitra and Agadir as well as over 100 Industrial Zones. This success is overseen by the king’s vision and fed by an attractive fiscal regime, government incentives and a young well-educated population.
Morocco benefits from abundant sun and in some regions sustained wind. As a result, the country’s vision to make Morocco one of the greenest and lowest carbon country’s in the world has genuine potential.
Large Automotive sector
Morocco’s greatest success story is the automotive sector. Of all Arabic and African nations, Morocco is the leading producer of passenger vehicles, the largest of which is Renault. In 2022 Morocco produced approximately 700,000 vehicles worth US$8.3bn in exports.
Aeronautics and semi-conductors
Morocco also has a multi billion USD aeronautics industry (the largest in Africa) and a significant semi-conductor industry.
EU’s Battery Passport favours Morocco
Consumers and governments are now demanding high ESG standards and transparent supply chains for all consumer goods. In the electric vehicle world, battery passports are now being introduced, and the Council of the EU recently adopted its new regulation (10 July 2023). This regulation requires large companies to undertake due diligence of a raw materials’ origin and for clear labelling of batteries with battery passports and QR codes.
Cobalt, BMW & Renault Group
Morocco’s cobalt production comes from the Bou Azzer cobalt mines 250km south of Marrakech. And Morocco’s transparency, stability and sustainable energy credentials give this cobalt additional strategic value and make it a preferred source for auto makers and lithium-ion battery manufacturers. Both BMW Group and Renault Group have cobalt supply agreements with Managem Group, the owner of Bou Azzer.