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