ABU DHABI, 19th November, 2016 (WAM)–Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, ADFD, signed a concessionary loan agreement to the tune of AED147 million with the Office Nationale des Chemins de Fer du Maroc, ONCFM, Morocco’s national railway operator, to finance the construction of a high-speed train to reduce the distance between the cities of Tangier and Kenitra.

Complementing ADFD’s first instalment of AED368 million released in 2010 for the rehabilitation of the track’s infrastructure and foundation systems, this second instalment will be used to finance the launch of a 200-km long, 320-km/hr high-speed train that connects both hubs by 2018.

The agreement was signed in Morocco by Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director-General of Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), and Mohamed Rabie Khlie, CEO of ONCFM, in the presence of Mohamed Boussaid, the Moroccan Minister of Economy and Finance.

Al Suwaidi said, “Our devotion is steadfast, our support is unwavering and we will continue to meticulously fund and invest in socio-economic development projects to alleviate living standards across the board.”

Speaking on the new concessionary loan agreement with Morocco, he added, “The Fund and the Kingdom of Morocco have enjoyed a unique and historic partnership dating back to 1976. This latest collaboration will ensure ease of movement for travellers, cargo and produce. It will dramatically decrease the duration of the trip between these two important cities from five hours to two hours.”

Boussaid commended the UAE’s dedication towards the sustained progress of emerging nations. He expressed his gratitude to ADFD for its strategic approach in development and for its efforts in tailoring funding mechanisms across all key economic sectors to ensure incremental and long-lasting growth in Morocco.

Till date, ADFD has successfully funded 71 development projects in Morocco -12 of which targeted the transportation sector. The entirety of the Tangier-Kenitra high-speed train project amounts to AED515 million; bringing ADFD’s current sum expenditure in Morocco to AED 8.8 billion.