Following years of successful inward investment, Tanger Med Zones (TMZ) has worked hard to support its clients across the industrial platform it operates and oversees.
Jaafar Mrhardy, the general director of TMZ and a member of the Tanger Med Special Agency executive board, discusses its pandemic response, environmental initiatives and what the future holds.
Q What is TMZ in a nutshell?
A TMZ is part of a long-term development vision with the creation of a network of industrial and logistics parks planned according to the best international standards and benchmarks. This regional competitiveness hub currently counts more than 1000 companies trading in export-oriented activities, and supports more than 80,000 jobs mainly focused on industrial and logistics activities carried out by international leading players in sectors such as aeronautics, automotive, textile, logistics and electronics.
Q How has TMZ supported companies through the Covid-19 crisis?
A The pandemic has created unprecedented circumstances that affected the entire world. To ensure the health security of all the zones users and ensure continuity of activities, the disinfection operations of all the facilities are carried out daily by dedicated, highly qualified teams supervised by the Border Health Control Service.
The business continuity plan set up by TMZ in co-ordination with the investors consists of a series of health security measures to protect the safety of employees, in addition to dedicated support for companies located in the various activity zones.
Furthermore, as a direct response to the global pandemic, the Tanger Med platform [launched] the new Covid-19 Products Scheme which will allow for up to Ä30m in targeted support for companies directly affected, but especially small and medium-sized enterprises and start-ups.
Q How does TMZ apply good environmental, social and governance principles to its operations?
A The Tanger Med platform is located in a water-scarce hyper-arid environment, making climate matters of particular importance. Since its creation and throughout its development, the Tanger Med platform has deployed a gradual and evolving corporate social responsibility approach, in co-ordination with all stakeholders of its ecosystem and with a permanent concern for environmental protection.
Tanger Med has worked to reduce the consumption of operators with various innovative projects. Currently, the administrations of Tanger Med and the public lighting throughout the zones are supplied with LEDs, providing a sustainable and ecological solution. Tanger Med has also implemented solutions to treat and recycle up to 100% of the wastewater from industrial operators to be reused for watering public spaces.
We are also developing a green energy offering for present and future industrial players, in order to allow a supply in accordance with the new global regulations in this area.
Q What does the future hold for free zones and how is Tanger Med at the forefront of this?
A Economic zones are vital to the evolution of international trade due to their capabilities to boost export volumes and create indirect and direct job opportunities. In this regard, Tanger Med Zones work on developing the potential opportunities for national and international investors.
New free zones and expansions are under construction with already ready-to-use additional lands of 200 hectares [added] to the 1800 hectares developed over the past 20 years. Moreover, Tanger Med Zones will continue to support industries such as automotive, aeronautics, textile, electronics and services, with a huge focus on innovation and research-driven investment.
It is also crucial for Tanger Med, and economic zones as a whole, to diversify their offering in order to integrate the services offered to the investors; thus further integrating the value chain and strengthening our value proposition.
This article first appeared in the December/January print edition of fDi Intelligence. View a digital edition of the magazine here.