Pretty streets paved, lined with Palm trees and flowers. A cornice embellished. Collected garbage. Old rehabilitated hotels. Tangier is transformed. And confidence in it. Witnesses, this multitude of banners "all for Tangier Expo 2012" adorning the buildings under construction along the coast. The city well damer pion to two other cited candidates for the organisation of the 2012 international exhibition, the Yeosu Korean and Polish Wroclaw.
The region had not received such attention for a long time. After the riots in the gir in the 1960s, the central power failed North of the Kingdom. The region is attached a sulphurous reputation, on bottom of smuggling and drug trafficking. Tangier was more than a symbol of the tragedies of illegal immigration: the Spanish coasts are a stone's throw.
With Mohamed VI, the movement is reversed. "Within a few years, can hope that the region will be the first industrial area of the country", launches Mohamed Assad, appointed in 2005 "wali" (prefect) of Tangier, after the development of Marrakech. "Independence, Tangier was the most important tourist city in the country." "It will be his rank," prognostic Dahman Derham, its mayor.
For nearly five years, the city, where more readily talking the language of Cervantes as that of MoliÃ¨re, is experiencing impressive economic growth. Housing, business seats, shops out of land at a breakneck speed. "The region of Tangiers consumes as many cement than that of Casablanca, more developed," reflects Abdeslam Yassine, President of the Union of real estate developers on the Wilaya of Tangier. The man has a smile to the lips. In recent years, the building became the largest employer in the region. "There is a significant shortage of housing, not to mention all the unhealthy houses to be destroyed," summarizes.
And then, while the region aims to welcome 2 million tourists by 2015, "South of the Spain is saturated and prices stagnate." "The potential of the South of the Morocco move to the North", welcomed Abdeslam Yassine. Despite a rise of 30 to 50 of the price of real estate in Tangier, prices stay two to three times lower than on the Costa del sol. At the time, real, Iberian as Fadesa, and Middle Easterners, promoters is there challenge.
Tangier is its renaissance to one of the major strategic projects of the Kingdom: the TangerMed port. Located 40 kilometres from the city centre, in an area that was still a few years that a wild coast, it is destined to become one of the most important ports of transshipment in the world. It must also allow the exporters to gain competitiveness. The work started in 2003. Two grants were awarded, one to Maersk-APMoller, operational since summer. the other Consortium Eurogate / Conship/CGM-CMA/MSC, who will start next year. The current port in the centre of Tanger will be converted in port of pleasure, "which corresponds to the tourist vocation of the city," precise Said Elhadi, who heads the special agency Tangier Mediterranean (ASMRS).
TangerMed remains the theatre of a continuous ballet of loaders, dump trucks, crane trucks. And will be long, because the Moroccan authorities are working already on the second phase of the project. With a capacity of 3.5 million TEU containers, "TangerMed I reaches 70 of its capacity of transhipment in three years and a half." Traffic in the Strait rises 18 annually, estimates Said Elhadi. TangerMed II was planned as early as 2003. Had planned it for the 2020 horizon. To go faster.
TangerMed II, whose first work should start in June 2008, will have a capacity of five million containers. Concession contracts should be signed in the first half of 2008. The commercial opening is planned for 2012. With its 3.2 million containers, Algeciras will be pale figure.
The development of TangerMed accompanied Titanic work of road and rail connections, to open up the region. The Moroccan authorities, Furthermore, wish to sit the activity of the port with the creation of free zones. All to create term close to 150,000 jobs.
These billions of dirhams of public and private investment have restored to the city its attractiveness. A few days ago, Renault-Nissan announced an investment of almost EUR 1 billion in an industrial site with a production capacity that can go up to 400,000 vehicles ("Les Echos" from September 3). Agri-food, aerospace, off-shoring or even textile, that were given to death against the Chinese tidal wave, are booming. Launched in 1999, the free zone of export Tangier Free Zone, where more than 250 companies, are already installed regained its momentum. "Are expected not to such dynamics." "We must now focus our efforts on education to keep pace", cowardly Jamal Mikou, the Director General of Tangier Free Zone.