In order to improve the competitiveness of its economy, Morocco has undertaken, with the African Development Bank (AfDB) support, a vast programme of institutional reforms in the transport sector.

The Transport Sector Reform Programme (TSRP), for which funding has been approved by the ADB with a budget support loan of €240mn, aims at improving the contribution of the transport sector to the national economy by liberalising the market and reducing transport costs.

The programme will generate an improved liberalisation of the transport market, as well as professional, structural and organisational upgrading of the operators of the sector. It will also help establish state divestiture from commercial activities and a better allocation of resources as well as strengthening of transport security and safety.

As far as road transport is concerned, the programme will liberalize the sub-sector and attract more major investors. It will help renew the vehicle fleet, improve road safety while reducing transport costs. It will also help get a good knowledge of action to be taken for urban and interurban transport sub-sector reform.

As for the maritime transport, the expected outputs can be summed up as follows: better sub-sector identification; new investment to extend the port capacity; greater private sector participation in port commercial activities, reduced port transit costs; better adjustment of the tariffs to the actual costs of services, and strengthening the competitiveness of the national shipping lines.

In the field of air transport, the programme seeks the liberalisation of the activities hitherto monopolised by Royal Air Maroc and the reduction of ground services costs. It also seeks improved airport safety and security.

The continued implementation of the reforms in the rail transport sub-sector will ultimately lead to the opening up of the passenger and freight markets.

The infrastructure will remain state property; the operation will be transferred to private partners, which will be responsible for its maintenance and servicing. The programme will generate increased passengers and goods rail traffic as well as improved financial health of the rail operator and enhanced private investment.