Morocco has always been a gateway for Africa which made it a strategic destination for investments in the continent. The expansion of Morocco’s political and economic footprint over the last decade has brought attention to Africa. In order to maintain its position, the country has nursed its ambition by starting “Casablanca Finance City” (CFC), a financial gateway for investors looking to access the fast-growing markets of Africa. It is set to provide a professional and pragmatic answer to their financial convergence issues in Africa.
Moroccan policy makers hope to progress by making Casablanca Finance City an African financial hub in Morocco’s capital. Although aimed primarily at financial and professional services, it will also serve firms looking for a regional headquarter to manage their operations in Africa.
Companies eligible for CFC status will be able to set themselves up under streamlined procedures that allow them to keep their own shares, give them free repatriation of dividends and capital gains, as well as exemption from currency exchange restrictions. Work and resident permits for expatriate staff will also be easier to obtain. Besides that, CFC is a financing and investment platform which aims to give a competitive advantage to multinational enterprises with operations across the continent. CFC is of course offering a portfolio of a strategic geographical location, stable environment and infrastructure meeting international standards.
Since its launch, the Moroccan financial sector has attracted more than 100 leading multinationals, including AIG, Bank of China, BNP Paribas and Boston Consulting Group, who have chosen Morocco as their location in Africa. Enabling all new comers to tap Africa’s potential in a safe and competitive environment is what CFC aim to deliver to the big players in the field. In order to meet high standards, the Casablanca Stock Exchange has partnered with the London Stock Exchange to share expertise and knowledge, giving Moroccan financiers the opportunity to learn from one of the world’s largest global finance centers.
As a country, Morocco is politically and economically stable, which presents an opportunity. Casablanca itself is an old city with the ambitions of a new development. In the upcoming years, this rapidly modernizing urban space aims to become the finance capital of Africa, not just by attracting big banks and financial institutions but also by establishing an excellent infrastructure for start-ups. Casablanca is gradually being equipped with a handful of labs, incubators and accelerators to educate and empower entrepreneurs. Foreign entrepreneurs started moving to Casablanca hoping to gain access to one of the emerging markets. The involvement of many international financial companies in the Moroccan start-up scene already shows that foreign investment will play a key role in development of CFC as a global financial player.
Whether you are an entrepreneur looking to launch a new enterprise, a multinational corporation looking to locate your African headquarters or an individual willing to start a challenging career in financial services, Casablanca is becoming an increasingly viable possibility. Naturally, the presence of big name corporations will help put Casablanca on the global map, and the vacancies in financial sector will increase.
Are you looking to expand or start your finance career in a developing city, an emerging country and a growing continent? Why not consider Casablanca?