ABC Avi­a­tion

India Strategic - - CON­TENTS -

TANG­IERS. Boe­ing has signed a ma­jor agree­ment with Morocco to set up a chain of aerospace man­u­fac­tur­ing units and sup­pli­ers for its global re­quire­ments. An of­fi­cial draft agree­ment signed on 27th Septem­ber ac­tu­ally de­scribes the pur­pose as the “es­tab­lish­ment of a Boe­ing in­dus­trial ecosys­tem in Morocco, a struc­tur­ing pro­ject that will al­low the Moroc­can avi­a­tion in­dus­try to im­prove its po­si­tion sig­nif­i­cantly at the in­ter­na­tional level.”

The sign­ing of draft agree­ment of the agree­ment was chaired by King Mo­hammed VI him­self at the Royal Palace here, and ac­cord­ing to an of­fi­cial press state­ment, “Boe­ing, the world leader in aerospace tech­nol­ogy, will give struc­ture to an ecosys­tem com­posed of sup­pli­ers and or­ga­nize a sourc­ing plat­form based in Morocco.”

The pro­ject was de­scribed as “ma­jor,” and “a part­ner­ship be­tween Morocco and the com­pany.”

The draft agree­ment was inked by Moulay Hafid Elalamy, Min­is­ter for In­dus­try, Trade, Investment and Dig­i­tal Econ­omy and Mr Ray­mond L. Con­ner, Pres­i­dent of Boe­ing Com­mer­cial Air­planes.

Mr Con­ner lauded the strate­gic vi­sion of the King which had en­abled Morocco to in­vest in the high-tech aerospace in­dus­try, and ob­served: “Boe­ing is proud of the trust­ing re­la­tion­ship we had with Morocco and its avi­a­tion in­dus­try for nearly 50 years.”

“The King­dom of­fers unique op­por­tu­ni­ties that will ben­e­fit Boe­ing and our ex­tended sup­ply chain.”

King Mo­hammed has laid great em­pha­sis on build ing mod­ern in­fra­struc­ture in­clud­ing qual­ity roads and en­ergy sup­ply, and by 2020, the coun­try has an am­bi­tious plan to triple avi­a­tion in­dus­try work­force to 35,000. In a free zone near Casablanca, French Air­bus and Safran train young Moroc­cans and man­u­fac­ture small parts for Air­bus 320 air­craft.

There is an In­sti­tute of Aero­nau­tics (or In­sti­tut des Metiers de’l’Aero­nau­tique), and boys and girls pass­ing out from there are eas­ily ab­sorbed in the avi­a­tion in­dus­try.

The agree­ment with Boe­ing will take Morocco much far­ther for­ward.

Ac­cord­ing to the state­ment, “This ecosys­tem will gen­er­ate an ad­di­tional an­nual turnover from ex­ports of one bil­lion dol­lars, al­low the set­ting up of 120 Boe­ing sup­pli­ers and cre­ate 8,700 new spe­cial­ized jobs. To cover the train­ing needs of its ecosys­tem, ded­i­cated train­ing pro­grams spe­cially de­signed by Boe­ing will be im­ple­mented.”

“The Moroc­can avi­a­tion in­dus­try has wit­nessed, un­der your (the King’s) en­light­ened vi­sion, sig­nif­i­cant growth in re­cent years. The sector was mul­ti­plied by 6 in 10 years and has now 121 ac­tors,” said Elalamy, not­ing that the King­dom, which is ranked 15th in terms of in­vest­ments in the avi­a­tion sector, was able to be among the few coun­tries op­er­at­ing in this area.

Morocco has an on­go­ing In­dus­trial Ac­cel­er­a­tion Plan, launched on April 2, 2014. Elalamy said that Boe­ing in­dus­trial ecosys­tem will be a “real boost” to the avi­a­tion sector, “like Re­nault and PSA ecosys­tems to the au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try.” Morocco has a good a good au­to­mo­bile in­dus­try lo­cated in this beau­ti­ful sea­side city.

Mr Con­ner said, “We are sign­ing a sig­nif­i­cant agree­ment to en­able more for­eign investment and de­vel­op­ment of the aerospace in­dus­try here,” un­der­lin­ing that “we have col­lab­o­rated with the gov­ern­ment to de­velop an in­te­grated in­dus­trial pro­gram of in­cen­tives to bring more Boe­ing sup­pli­ers to Morocco.

Boe­ing will also be an ad­vi­sor to the gov­ern­ment’s plan for a new vo­ca­tional and ed­u­ca­tional train­ing in­sti­tute. This will pro­vide a pipe­line of skilled work­ers for the aerospace jobs of to­mor­row, he af­firmed. The King dec­o­rated Mr Ray­mond L. Con­ner with the Alaw­iteWis­sam of Ex­cep­tional Rank (Grand Sash) on the oc­ca­sion.

The cer­e­mony was at­tended mainly by speak­ers of the two houses of par­lia­ment, the King’s ad­vi­sors, gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials, rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the diplo­matic corps, and lead­ing busi­ness­men.

Morocco’s King Mo­hammed VI (right) shakes hands with Boe­ing Vice-Chair­man Ray­mond Con­ner

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