World Bank To Support Morocco

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World Bank approves 350-mln-USD loan to spur Morocco’s blue economy

 The World Bank announced Tuesday the approval of a 350-million-U.S. dollar loan to support Morocco launching a blue economy program.

The Blue Economy Program for Results aims to create more economic growth and employment while improving the sustainability and resilience of natural resources and food security, the World Bank office in Morocco said in a statement.

The program comprises two parts, one of which helps to form coordinated institutional frameworks and the other focuses on investment in key blue sector activities, it added.

Bordered by the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, Morocco boasts the strong potential to develop a blue economy, with coastal areas already contributing to more than 50 percent of its gross domestic product and jobs, said the World Bank.

It added that there is more untapped potential in both existing and emerging blue sectors in Morocco, like aquaculture, seaweed farming, and renewable marine energy.

Earlier, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has cut Morocco’s 2022 economic growth forecast to 1.1 percent, down from the previous estimate of 3 percent.

The updated forecast is based on a sharp drop in agricultural output as the North African country suffered its worst drought in decades in 2022, and the fallout from Russia-Ukraine conflict, according to the IMF’s World Economic Outlook report released on Tuesday.

Morocco’s GDP will expand by 4.6 percent in 2023, according to the report.

Morocco’s inflation is predicted to hit 4.4 percent this year before decreasing to 2.3 percent in 2023, according to the IMF.

The Moroccan government will lower its GDP growth forecast for 2022 from 3.2 percent in the budget law to an average of 1.5 percent to 1.7 percent, Moroccan Prime Minister Aziz Akhannouch told a parliamentary session hearing on Monday.

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In another development, military leaders from Morocco and Mauritania on Tuesday vowed to boost military cooperation between the two countries.

Moroccan Minister in charge of the National Defense Administration Abdeltif Loudyi and Inspector General of the Royal Armed Forces (FAR) Belkhir El Farouk met with El Mokhtar Bolle Chaabane, the chief of General Staff of the Mauritanian Armed Forces, for an in-depth discussion on military cooperation, the FAR said in a statement.

The two sides underlined the need to strengthen bilateral military cooperation and exchange expertise in order to address security concerns such as illegal migration and trafficking, the statement said.

During his visit to Morocco, Chaabane co-chaired the third meeting of a joint military commission with El Farouk, which discussed the agenda for bilateral cooperation in 2022-2023, including training, technical support, and exchanges of visits and expertise, the statement added.

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