The Fnideq Free Trade Zone: An Alternative to Smuggling

Following the great impact caused by the suppression of border trade, worsened by the Covid-19 crisis, the traders of Fnideq and Sebta will soon set up shop in the economic activity zone of Fnideq. Construction work has already begun and the first phase, covering some ten hectares, will be completed in 2021.

This structured and structuring project has been designed by the Moroccan authorities to support the development of the northern region and to combat smuggling, money laundering and other financial crimes that take advantage of the informal sector.

According to the daily Al Akhbar, which dedicated a special report on this project in its weekend edition of 8 and 9 August, this free zone will put an end to the chaos in the region, create jobs, promote trade and pave the way for investment for young people in the town of Findeq and the occupied president of Sebta.

This project, which will require an investment of 200 MDH between studies and implementation, will be financed by the Ministry of the Interior to the amount of 70 MDH, the Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima Region Council (80 MDH), the Ministry of Trade and Industry (40 MDH) and the Northern Development Agency (10 MDH). The first phase of this project will come into service next year after twelve months of work. Other phases will follow, depending on demand.

The daily continues, “To ensure the development and management of this economic zone, the authorities have created a company with a capital of one Million Dirhams. Through this infrastructure dedicated to trade but also to light processing industries, smuggling and drug trafficking networks will no longer be able to launder their money or manipulate other trade activities in the region. “

The project has increased the political parties’ electoral appetites in the region, notes Al Akhbar. Some had stepped up to the plate to use this infrastructure for electoral purposes, but the local authority has blocked them from doing so. This authority, the daily reports, coordinates with the central departments of the ministry to promote the project and ensure its smooth operation. The Agency for the Promotion and Development of the North is the project owner, after the failure of the local authorities to support the development of the region.

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