The CEO of the Casablanca Finance City, Saïd Ibrahimi, expounded during the annual City Week 2015 the positive results scored by the financial center since it started its activities three years ago.
Over the last three years, 62 international companies, including some world sector leaders, have joined CFC and chosen the city as a regional base for their businesses in Africa, Ibrahimi said during a round table on “Competition and collaboration between global financial centers to create economic growth.”
The round table that was attended by senior executives from several international financial centers focused on competition between financial centers and on the benefits likely to be drawn from an enhanced cooperation between established and emerging financial centers.
CFC, which is fully aware that the attractiveness and success of a financial center rely heavily on its openness and on its high international connectivity has focused its development strategy on the conclusion of partnerships with other international financial centers in all continents, diversifying thus the areas of its strategic cooperation and encouraging the exchange of expertise.
CFC has thus concluded partnership and cooperation accords with the financial centers of Singapore, Luxembourg, the City UK, and Paris.
The panelists also discussed the importance of exchanging information on financial services, sharing experience between institutional bodies governing the financial sector in the specific areas of investment funds and private banking, promoting financial research and innovation, and the organizing of training sessions on all financial centers – related trades and operations.
All panelists highlighted the significance of the debates as they gave them interesting insights into the latest issues facing the international financial services industry.
Mr. Ibrahimi highlighted in statements to reporters after his participation in the City Week Casablanca Finance City’s role as a springboard into Africa and more precisely, the region of north, west and central Africa.
“CFC answers the need for an entry point to this region that encompasses 28 countries, with fast growing economies and populations and a huge need for financing and for financial and professional services to support their economic development,” he said, explaining that through CFC, Morocco wants to provide international investors and companies, looking for a base for their activities and operations in the region, with a platform of choice that facilitates and fosters their business in Africa.
This includes a business friendly environment and a world-class regulation that helped attract 62 international companies which were granted the CFC status, he said, recalling that last year, CFC has been selected over 8 other international financial centers, established and emerging centers, by the African Development Bank to host the prestigious Africa 50 fund, which is the biggest fund ever dedicated to infrastructure’s financing in Africa over the next 50 years.
This is in itself a great sign of trust and a recognition for CFC as a regional financial center and for its role as a springboard to investment in Africa, he said before highlighting the assets that make of Morocco a privileged location for doing business such as its geographical position, its political stability, which is something quite rare in the region, its strong and multi-faceted relations with African countries, its world-class infrastructures, an excellent air connectivity with all the continents and with most important business and financial centers in the world.
He also mentioned among other assets the North African country’s macroeconomic stability, sustainable economic growth, and flourishing economic development with an inflation rate kept below 2% during the last decade, in addition to the network of free trade agreements it has woven with more than 55 countries, offering access to a market of more than one billion consumers.
City Week 2015 – the 5th annual event in the series – held March 23-26 on the theme “The Role of International Financial Services in Driving the Global Economic Recovery” addressed several topics at the level of conferences, seminars and round tables.
The majority of the delegates at City Week were CEOs and main board directors of the world’s largest banks and other financial institutions, with the balance being made up of senior representatives from international regulators, national treasury departments and multinational corporates that use international financial services.