04/02/2014 (press release: media1press)
HM King Mohammed VI chaired this Tuesday in Casablanca the signing ceremony of eight conventions associated with the “Wessal Casablanca-Port” project.
During the ceremony, various components of the “Wessal Casablanca-Port”, the first of a series of projects to be carried out by Wessal Capital, were presented to the Sovereign.
It is a major and innovative project giving a strategic impulse and a prime place to an original cultural offer and to neighborhood ecological spaces.
It also reflects the great trust enjoyed by Morocco at the international level, via the establishment of Wessal Capital which is the most important African “fund of sovereign funds”.
This initiative, an additional evidence of the particular high-level partnership between Morocco and Gulf countries, is totally independent and distinct from the 5 million donations that have been extended recently to Morocco.
Wessal Capital is a new generation investment tool, owned equally by the investing countries: the United Arab Emirates -through Aabar Investments PJS, the State of Kuwait – through Al Ajial Investment Fund Holding, the State of Qatar -through Qatar Holding LLC, and the Kingdom of Morocco- through the Moroccan Fund of tourism development, in addition to Saudi Arabia- via the sovereign Public Investment Fund, raising the overall invested amount to 3.4 billion Dollars (29 billion dirhams).
The support of finance institutions, such as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the European Investment Bank, and the World Bank illustrates the wide interest granted to this project which stands as a promise of shared prosperity, promoted by the Royal South-South triangular diplomacy, associating the continent’s growth perspectives, through the west African hub of Casablanca, to the Gulf countries’ financial capital and tourism know-how.
“Wessal Casablanca-Port” consists in converting a part of the Casablanca port area, for a cost of 6 billion DH, through major upgrading affecting the entire city, through the establishment of a new urban center in the city and its outskirts, the development of the Medina old neighborhood and its coastal tourism attractions and the henceforth clear identification of the city as a major destination of cultural, business and cruising tourism.
The local and human dimensions of the project, through the creation of public and green spaces, will improve ownership of environment by the Casablanca inhabitants and give a lasting impulse to the renewal of the economic capital.
In accordance with Royal instructions, an additional amount of 300 million Dirhams will be earmarked by Wessal Capital to the project’s upcoming stages of rehabilitating the old city.
Rehabilitation will consist in consolidating the integrated strategy on a new ambition for the Medina, matching the inhabitants’ legitimate expectations in cultural, socio-economic and urban matters in order improve their living conditions, upgrade the city’s building and preserve the Metropolis’s historical and cultural legacy.
The various components of the Wessal Casa-Port project 0are conform to the social commitment sought by HM King Mohammed VI as far as social responsibility, human capital development and promotion of eco-environmental synergies are concerned.
The project, to be carried out in partnership with the state, will help finance the shipbuilding yard transfer, the building of a new fishing ports and the development of a cruising platform.
Following the presentation made in the presence of the Sovereign, the following eight conventions were signed: – Investment framework Convention between the State and Wessal Capital – Specific Convention related to the second phase of the Royal initiative for the rehabilitation of the Casablanca Medina (State/Moroccan Fund for tourism development) – Specific convention related to the development project of the Casablanca port’s ship-building yards zone (State/Moroccan Fund for tourism development) – Specific convention related to the development of the Casablanca fishing zone (State/Moroccan Fund for tourism development) – Specific convention related to the development of a new cruising terminal at the Casablanca Port (State/Moroccan Fund for tourism development) – Financing convention between Wessal Capital and national finance institutions – Financing convention between Wessal Capital and international finance institutions – Strategic partnership convention between the Moroccan Fund for tourism development and the World Bank. The ceremony took place in the presence of the head of government, advisors to HM the King, government members, Casablanca economic operators, representatives of local authorities and elected officials.
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