The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) opened its first resident office in Morocco on April 28.

Based in Casablanca, Morocco’s economic and business centre, and led by Laurent Chabrier, EBRD director for Morocco, the office will play a strategic role in strengthening the bank’s relationship with the country’s authorities and business community.

“Opening a resident office is an affirmation of our commitment to Morocco and to helping achieve its potential. It is a key step in implementing the bank’s country strategy and boosting economic growth through development of the private sector and promoting regional inclusion,” says Phil Bennett, EBRD’s first vice-president.

In February, the EBRD approved its strategy for Morocco, which focuses on realising the entrepreneurial potential of the country targeting women’s entrepreneurship and increasing finance for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through private equity funds, as well as providing dedicated credit lines associated with technical assistance.

Morocco is a founding member of the EBRD. To date, the bank has invested €473mn in 18 projects across the country, in addition to €130mn of trade facilitation credit lines with local banks.