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Morocco's Tangiers to host Chinese industrial city

© AFP | Morocco's King Mohamed VI and Li Biao, Chairman of the Chinese Haite group, at the launch of the Tech City project on March 20, 2017

TANGIERS (MOROCCO) (AFP) - 

Morocco and China's Haite Group signed an agreement on Monday to launch an industrial park near Tangiers for 200 Chinese companies that will create tens of thousands of jobs.

The agreement was signed in a ceremony at the royal palace in the port city attended by King Mohamed VI.

With an initial investment of $1 billion, "Mohamed VI Tangier Tech City" aims to generate 100,000 jobs, including 90,000 for employees from the Tangiers area.

"Chinese economic operators are looking for competitive platforms and they have chosen Morocco as one of those platforms," Industry Minister Moulay Hafid Elalamy told AFP.

"The project is scheduled to take 10 years" and work will start in the second half of 2017, he said.

It will serve as the North Africa base for Chinese companies operating in the sectors of automobile manufacturing, aeronautics and textiles.

Total investments by companies from China over 10 years will amount to $10 billion, said Li Biao, president of the Chinese group, quoted by Morocco's news agency MAP.

Morocco has launched an industrialisation drive centred on Tangiers which is being turned into a hub with a free trade zone and deepwater harbour.

© 2017 AFP