AfDB Helps Morocco Liberalize Transport Sector

01/12/2004
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The Transport Sector Reform Programme (TSRP), which funding was today approved by the ADB with a budget support loan of 240 million euros (about 2.7 billion dirhams), aims at improving the contribution of the transport sector to the national economy by liberalizing the market and reducing transport costs.

The Programme will generate an improved liberalization of the transport market, as well as professional, structural and organizational upgrading of the operators of the sector. It will also help establish State divestiture from commercial activities and a better allocation of resources as well as strengthening of transport security and safety.

As far as road transport is concerned, the programme will liberalize the sub-sector and attract more major investors. It will help renew the vehicle fleet, improve road safety while reducing transport costs. It will also help get a good knowledge of action to be taken for urban and interurban transport sub-sector reform.

As for the maritime transport, the expected outputs can be summed up as follows: better sub-sector identification; new investment to extend the port capacity; greater private sector participation in port commercial activities, reduced port transit costs; better adjustment of the tariffs to the actual costs of services, and strengthening the competitiveness of the national shipping lines.

In the field of air transport, the programme seeks the liberalization of the activities hitherto monopolized by Royal Air Maroc and the reduction of ground services costs. It also seeks improved airport safety and security.

The continued implementation of the reforms in the rail transport sub-sector will ultimately lead to the opening up of the passenger and freight markets. The infrastructure will remain State property; the operation will be transferred to private partners, which will be responsible for its maintenance and servicing. The programme will generate an increased passengers and goods rail traffic as well as improved financial health of the rail operator and enhanced private investment.

The ADB operations in Morocco started in 1970. To date, its commitments in the country stand at 3.4 million Units of Account (EUR 4 billion or 44 billion dirhams) in 83 operations.

Project Brief

- Name of programme: Transport Sector Reform Programme (PRST) – Budget Support

- Sources of financing: ADB & European Union

- Estimated start-up date and duration: Dec. 2004, 24 months

- Executing Agency: Ministry of Finance and Privatization

- Disbursement: The loan will be disbursed in two tranches of 120 million Euros each.