By Nibal Zgheib
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the European Union (EU) are supporting green investments by the private sector to strengthen Morocco’s economic recovery amid the uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic.
Two key programmes, cumulatively worth €253 million(US$297.15million), are supporting a green response in the country through EBRD finance, complemented by EU grants.
The first is the Green Value Chain programme, worth €90 million and focused on supporting small and medium-sized enterprises’ (SMEs’) investments in energy and resource efficiency measures as well as on their integration into regional value chains.
By investing in greener solutions, SMEs become more competitive and increase their access to new markets for exports. The programme is financed by the EBRD and the Green Climate Fund (GCF) through Société Générale Maroc, Crédit du Maroc and Banque Populaire. It is complemented by grants from the EU. GCF and South Korea.
Second, the EBRD, EU, GCF and South Korea also support the Green Economy Financing Facility in Morocco. This programme aims to provide up to €163 million to hundreds of private companies through credit lines via local financial institutions. It will support climate mitigation, climate adaptation and the adoption of green technologies. Customers are likely to include agribusiness and construction firms, commercial and residential buildings, primary industrial sectors and manufacturing, and services and commerce sectors as well as utility providers. EU grants will fund technical assistance and incentive payments for successful project implementation
Promoting greener economies is a priority for the EBRD. In Morocco, the Bank has a track record of providing effective credit lines for energy efficiency projects.
A webinar, titled “A green recovery: EBRD and EU green investments in the Moroccan private sector”, promoted both programmes. It was attended by over 200 representatives from the private sector, the Ministry of Industry, Trade and the Green and Digital Economy (represented by the Moroccan Agency for Energy Efficiency (AMEE) and the Moroccan Confederation of Business Associations (CGEM), Ministry of Energy, Mining and the Environment, financial institutions, and the EBRD and EU.
EBRD Head of the Resident Office in Morocco, Marie-Alexandra Veilleux-Laborie said: “Morocco is committed to building its economic recovery and resilience through climate action. The EBRD and the EU green finance facilitates the involvement of the private sector, a crucial actor in successfully building a low-carbon future. Our strong local and international partnerships are coming together to accelerate the green agenda that Morocco deserves. This will help to stimulate economic recovery and open up new opportunities for Moroccan firms of all sizes in exploring new export markets.”
Ambassador of the European Union to Morocco, Claudia Wiedey said: “Green investments and policies offer a variety of opportunities to be seized; they are elements that promote economic recovery and stability. The new Green Economy Financing Facility is aimed at encouraging green investments, with a strong impact on the productivity of beneficiary companies. The fight against climate change is not just a necessity. It releases an economic and social potential that cannot be underestimated and which fosters sustainable and inclusive growth, prosperity and job creation.”
Morocco is a founding member of the EBRD and became a country of operations in 2012. To date, the EBRD has invested close to €2.5 billion in Morocco through 66 projects.