Clearing the Way for Industrial Development in Morocco through Legal and Regulatory Reforms

Tangier Med Port, Morocco

Tangier Med Port, Morocco

From 2000-2002, the Government of Morocco, with the partnership of USAID and Pricewaterhouse Coopers, commenced a pilot exercise to re-engineer government processes and reform its legal and regulatory environment relating to land access and private industrial park development. Its work centered on the prefectures of Souss-Massa-Draa and Tangiers-Tetouan and helped support the development of the Tangier Med Free Zone, which today has over 500 businesses and an annual export turnover of of over €2.6 billion.

 Locus founder and CEO, Jean-Paul Gauthier served as Project Manager for the $1.5 million effort while working with The Services Group (now AECOM). His work included:

  • Designed project action and implementation plans

  • Established fully-operational field office

  • Gave quarterly high-level project presentations and workshops to government bodies

  • Designed regulatory framework for private industrial parks

  • Reviewed land use and site development legislation and made recommendations for reform

  • Conducted project supervision, quality control, and training activities.

Following Mr. Gauthier’s involvement in the USAID “MIR-3” project, which undertook early studies and made recommendations for a Free Zone in Tangiers, the Tanger-Med Free Zone was formally launched in 2007. In 2012, Renault opened a plant in the “Zone Franche de Melloussa”, within Tanger Med, which by 2017 employed almost 7,000 employees and produced 1,000,000 vehicles. PSA (Peugeot) also invested in the free zone in 2015, as well as Chinese automotive company BYD. Global logistics giants DHL and Nippon Express opened have facilities in the Tanger Med Logistics Zone. The Tanger Med II port expansion, which opened in June 2019, added 3.3 million TEU capacity to the zone’s port and becoming the largest port in the Mediterranean.