Financial Times has partnered with Tanger Med around a series of three digital events during 2021, under the theme “A NEW ERA FOR INTERNATIONAL TRADE”. Three events were organized:

1. Selecting a global hub for industry, logistics and fulfilment


Organized on April 8, 2021, the 1st digital event dealt with the key success factors of an industrial and logistics platform, crucial for the strategic development of these activities.

Around an insightful debate, Mr. Jonathan Wheatlley, Emerging Markets Correspondent, interviewed Mr. Jaafar Mrhardy, Board member and Managing Director of Tanger Med Zones, to discuss the main global challenges in the industry, logistics, and marketing execution for global leaders and SMEs.

During this event, Mr. Jaafar Mrhardy declared that the industry in Morocco is attractive because it provides a secure working environment for multinationals and Moroccan companies meeting international standards.

He also recalled that the multinationals present in Tanger Med Industrial Platform were not only able to continue their activities during the period of the health crisis, but also to develop them by taking over orders from countries where industrial operators were not operational.




2. Challenges and opportunities in logistics and fulfilment

The second webinar aimed to analyze the challenges and present the opportunities for logistics and industrial companies targeting the global market, to discover how Tanger Med clients have demonstrated resilience and generated growth during the Covid-19 crisis, and to look into robust logistics and localization strategies that support post-Covid expansion.

Jonathan Wheatlley, Emerging Markets Correspondent, interviewed the various speakers. The main identified ideas were:

. Digitization has been key during the pandemic. Those most severely impacted were the organizations without digital visibility. The logistics industry has learned that it is crucial to be ready and to be flexible to adapt to any changes that might come – including radical shifts such as having large percentages of employees working from home. Tina Manoukian, Country Manager de DHL Logistics Morocco SA.

. 2020 has changed logistics, ports and maritime flows. There has been an increase in blank sailings. At the beginning of the pandemic, many thought blank sailing meant fewer containers, but we’ve seen ship owners achieve economies of scale by having fewer ships, but more revenue on each ship. Rachid Houari Director of Tanger Med 1 and 2 port and Managing director of Tanger Med Logistics Zone.

. International trade has become more globalized, and eCommerce has shaped customer expectations. Logistics firms know that they need to be closer to customers, and time to market is crucial.The pandemic has accelerated this trend, and digitization is key. Bruno Plantaz, Executif VP and managing director IMEA, CEVA Logistics.

. WTO Facilitation Committee supports movement of goods around the world. It sets out a framework of rules for clearance of goods in transit. 36 provisions are included in the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) agreement, including documentation requirements, expedited shipments, fees and charges, customs agreements. The TFA database provides a dashboard highlighting implementation progress, – Christopher O’Toole, Chairman of the Trade Facilitation Committee of the World Trade Organization.

. Tanger Med is an attractive logistics hub ‘The location of Tanger Med on its own is already very attractive, as it is a gateway connecting Europe to the African market as well as to the Middle East. It automatically creates costs efficiency and service excellence and helps as well, logistics firms to strengthen their network and facilitate trading.’ Tina Manoukian, Country Manager de DHL Logistics Morocco SA.



3. Creating opportunities in the manufacturing sector



The third and last event exposed the opportunities and challenges of companies operating in the industrial sector, explaining the motivations and results of the various location choices. This event was also an opportunity to understand how issues relating to globalization and sustainable development influence the development plans of industrial firms.

Around a rich discussion, Jonathan Wheatley, Emerging Markets Correspondent, interviewed various speakers, leaders, and experts, who respectively said:

– “Our strategy is to be close to engineering centers because we want to work with first-class global specialists for our clients” Pere Relats, Chairman and CEO Relats

– In terms of nearshore, proximity to Europe is particularly important for international companies. I think these basic principles of localization and national policies are going to be very important for global value chains in the future “Jesko Hentschel, Country Director, Maghreb, and Malta, World Bank

– “We are part of this trend of digitization. Tanger Med has integrated the blockchain ecosystem, jointly developed by IBM & Maersk launched in 2018. Today, we have more than 40 contributors including the port of Rotterdam, Houston, Bilbao …” Jaafar Mrhardy, Board Member and General Director, Tanger Med

– “The regulation of the plastic tax will force companies to review their supply chain. Companies that manufacture or import into the UK will be on the move over the next 24 months to build resilience. Julie Linn Teigland, EMEIA Area Managing Director, EY