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Morocco has surpassed France – Ivory Coast’s longtime top investor – and is now the number one foreign country with the largest presence in the West African country.

According to the Center for Investment Promotion in Côte d’Ivoire’s annual report, 22 percent of approved companies investing in the country are Moroccan.

The investment center computes the figures based on the number of companies, not on the total investment amount.

According to the same source, there were 185 licensed companies in Ivory Coast that benefitted from the Investment Code providing tax and customs benefits in 2015.

Among the total number of new approved companies in the West African country, 31 percent are Ivorian, 22 percent are Moroccan and only 16 percent are French.

Forty Moroccan companies opened their doors across Ivory Coast in 2015, the report revealed.

This represents a huge growth in both countries’ economies. In 2014, only 2 percent of enterprises in Ivory Coast were Moroccan, compared to 22 percent in 2015.

The increasing rate of investments and new business opportunities between Morocco and Ivory Coast are largely due to the amicable relationship between its leaders – Ivory Coast’s President Alassane Outtara and Morocco’s King Mohammed VI.

According to the same report, foreign investments in the West African country reached € 1.02 billion in 2015.

The Chairman of the Accreditation Committee, Emmanuel Essis, announced that the target for 2016 is €1.37 billion. “2016 will be a year of great challenges ahead,” he said.

Among the Moroccan companies in operation in the Ivorian territory are Moroccan banks subsidiaries, Akwa Group and BTP, the report noted.

Last December, it was revealed that the construction of the subway in Abidjan, Ivory Coast will be funded by Morocco’s Groupe Banque Centrale Populairde (GBCP) and its subsidiaries.

GBCP’s subsidiaries Banque Atlantique Côte d’Ivoire (BACI) Mali and Bénin, as well as Atlantique Finance have financed a loan of nearly €40 million to Abdijan’s Rail Transport Company (STAR) to be in operation by 2019-2020.

In a statement issued by GBCP, the Moroccan finance group expressed pride in supporting its subsidiaries to further the economic and social development of Ivory Coast.

Tag(s) : #Maghreb

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