Morocco Touts Economic Zones for Aerospace Investment

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Casablanca’s Midparc economic zone photo credit

Rabat- Morocco has achieved significant growth in the aeronautical sector since attending its first Farnborough Airshow in 2010, the aviation outlet AIN reported.

Morocco’s Investment Development Agency (AMDI) will attend Farnborough Airshow to present the advantages Morocco has as a manufacturing destination for the aerospace industry. The airshow began July 16 and will continue until July 22.

The aviation news outlet thoroughly highlighted Morocco’s advantages for the aerospace industry.

Low labor force costs

Morocco has been successful in touting its inexpensive labor force and political stability to motivate international investments.

“Due to its political stability, solid infrastructure, and strategic location, Morocco is rapidly becoming a regional manufacturing and export base for international companies,” the Aerospace Industry in Morocco said.

China, more than other countries, has benefited from Morocco’s advantages of investment in various sectors.

In an April 2017 statement, the AMDI expected “the arrival of 200 Chinese companies operating in a variety of areas including the manufacturing of cars, the aeronautics industry, aviation replacement parts, electronic information, textiles, the manufacturing of machines, and many more. Total investment by companies in the [free economic] zone after 10 years is expected to reach $10 billion.”

Since the aviation sector is developing, especially in the manufacture of ancillary and spare parts, Morocco could be an attractive destination for companies seeking to invest in the aerospace industry.

“The Kingdom of Morocco is a dedicated industrial partner. The Boeing Eco-System is indicative of our ability to plan and execute large-scale projects in the aerospace sector and launches a new era of aerospace in Morocco,” Moulay Hafid Elalamy, Minister of Industry, Trade, Investment and Digital Economy, told the publication.

Economic free zones ideal for aviation

AIN has listed many economic locations in Morocco which provide an important platform for Morocco’s growing aviation sector. These include Casablanca’s Aéropole Nouaceur and Midparc free zones, in addition to Tangier, Kenitra, Oujda, and Salé, which have aerospace facilities.

Midparc said that Morocco is a “competitive platform for export” with an average monthly wage of $327, which is “almost ten times lower than in Spain.”

The Aviation Professions Institute (IMA) gives vocational training for professionals in the sector. “IMA’s medium-term objective is to train 800 persons per year in aviation and aerospace professions thanks to a tool of international standards, set up as a result of a partnership between the GIMAS (Group of Moroccan Aviation and Aerospace Industrialists), the UIMM (Union of Metallurgical Profession Industries) and the state of Morocco,” Midparc said.

AIN noted that the Midparc Free Zone claims to host aviation companies such as Boeing, Dassault Aviation, EADS Aviation, Ratier Figeac, and Safran.

In addition to more than 110 international aeronautical and aerospace companies operating in Morocco, AIN cited a recent briefing of the US’s export.gov. It said “Morocco boasts nearly 11,500 aviation professionals, of whom 50 percent are women. [Morocco’s] aerospace industry…plans to double its capacity and number of operators and create 23,000 new jobs by 2020. The Casablanca Free Zone in Nouaceur…is a designated industrial integrated platform with special support for investors in the aerospace sector.”

Stephen Orr, vice president of Operation Morocco Manufacturing praised the future of aerospace and employees’ development.

“Bombardier’s Moroccan facility today produces wing components, slats, ailerons, winglets, flaps, fuselage parts, fuselages, nose extensions, doors, floors, nacelles, and subassemblies for various programs of regional aircraft and business jets,” a Moroccan Bombardier spokeswoman told AIN.

In late 2017, “Boeing and RAM announced orders for four 787-9 Dreamliners, worth $1.1 billion at list prices. RAM’s fleet consists of 737s, 767-300ERs, 787s, and a 747-400”, AIN reported.