The Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) has signed an ODA loan agreement totalling up to ¥17.726bn with the Société Nationale des Autoroutes du Maroc for the Marrakech-Agadir Motorway Construction Project in Morocco.

The project will construct a 234km-long, four-lane highway between Marrakech, Morocco’s centre of economic activity and tourism in its central region, and the port city of Agadir in the south-west. JBIC will finance the 46km section between Argana and Ameskroud, while other donors, including the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), will provide financing for other sections. The proceeds of the loan will be used for procurement of goods and services, civil works, and consulting services.

The construction of the highway is expected to boost domestic cargo transport and foreign trade and to promote tourism. It will contribute to the development of Marrakech, which has growing numbers of tourist visitors every year and where accommodation and tourism facilities are being constructed, and of Agadir, an important centre for the production and harvesting of agricultural produce and marine products and Morocco’s export base.

To date, JBIC has provided ODA loans for Morocco to support the development of economic infrastructure in the areas of water supply, irrigation, power facilities, and roads, as well as of social infrastructure, including schools. JBIC will continue to support infrastructure development to promote sustainable growth.