Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has announced plans for Spain to invest €45bn in Morocco by 2050.

According to a press statement released by Morocco’s Government, Sanchez made the announcement during a visit to Rabat, the country’s capital. In a meeting with Moroccan officials, Spain’s head of state noted the “great effort” made by the North African country to modernise its economy and expressed commitments from Spanish companies to strengthen investment in the fields of transport, renewable energies and water resources management.

“Spain is a key partner of Morocco with expected investments of €45bn by 2050,” Sanchez stated.

Morocco is one of Africa’s strongest economies and a hub for many foreign investors looking to establish a regional presence on the continent.

In 2021, at the height of Covid-19, leaders in Rabat came up with the Mohammed VI Investment Fund, a Sovereign Wealth Fund named after the country’s king, to stimulate investments in the private sector. The fund – a public-limited company – initially had $1.6bn (Dh16.06bn) in capital, with national and international institutions later adding a further $3.1bn.

According to Investment Monitor’s 2022 Inward FDI Performance Index, which measures a country’s inward foreign direct investment (FDI) levels against its gross domestic product using GlobalData’s FDI Projects Database, the country received a score of 4.1, making it the third-largest FDI destination in the Middle East and North Africa region. The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain ranked first and second with scores of 8.2 and 5.1, respectively.

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The 4.1 score means Morocco received more than four-times its fair share of inward greenfield investment compared with what could be expected given the size of its economy.

However, the war in Ukraine and a global shift in supply chains have severely impacted the Moroccan economy, forcing officials in Rabat to raise interest rates to tackle inflation. As a result, many investors were forced to scale back their project announcements, with UNCTAD reporting in July last year a 6% fall in FDI levels in Morocco for 2022, to just $2.1bn.