A high-level delegation from the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, ADFD, attended Thursday the inaugural ceremony of the $2.3 billion landmark infrastructure project of a high-speed train service connecting the cities of Tangier and Casablanca in Morocco.
Inaugurated by King Mohammed VI of Morocco, the launch ceremony was also attended by French President Emmanuel Macron, Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan, Member of the Executive Council of Abu Dhabi, Ali Salim Al Kaabi, UAE Ambassador to Morocco, Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director-General of ADFD, and several high-ranking Moroccan officials, reported the UAE news agency WAM.
ADFD’s contribution to the 200-km long, 320-km/hr high-speed train amounted to $140 million (AED514 million). Through linking the two cities and reducing the travel time to two hours, this important infrastructure project will bolster the movement of people, increasing nationwide and cross-city trade and tourism as well as driving sustainable economic development.
Speaking on the occasion, Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi said, “We are proud of the strategic partnership between the Moroccan government and ADFD. Supporting Morocco’s development programs and objectives has resulted in economic growth and diversification, new job opportunities, and sustainable development in key sectors in that country. A first-of-its-kind initiative in the African continent, this state-of-the-art high-speed train will dramatically improve travel times and living standards.”
The Fund has so far funded 12 transportation projects worth an estimated AED2.4 billion ($650 million) to support socio-economic development in Morocco.
To date, the Fund has supported Morocco with grants and concessionary loans worth AED9 billion across 82 development projects spanning diverse sectors, including housing, water, agriculture, education and healthcare.
Several other Arab funds co-financed the project, namely the funds of Saudi Arabia (€144 million), Kuwait (€100 million), and the Arab Development Fund (€86 million).