Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) has bolstered the development of a major high-speed rail network in Morocco that connects the major cities of Tangier and Casablanca with investments worth USD 140 mn, Invest-Gate reports.

The 200-kilometer landmark rail infrastructure project, which will help cut the travel time between the two cities to two hours, was developed at an estimated cost of USD 2.3 bn, said a statement from ADFD on November 15.

“Through linking the two cities, this important infrastructure project will bolster the movement of people, increasing nationwide and cross-city trade and tourism as well as driving sustainable economic development,” the statement added.

A high-level delegation led by ADFD Director General Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi attended the launch ceremony of the 320-kilometer/hour high-speed train network project, in the presence of French President Emmanuel Macron, UAE Ambassador to Morocco Ali Salim Al Kaabi, and several top Moroccan officials.

Commenting on the news, Al Suwaidi said, “We are proud of the strategic partnership between the Moroccan government and ADFD. Supporting Morocco’s development programmes and objectives have resulted in economic growth and diversification, new job opportunities, and sustainable development in key sectors in that country.”

“A first-of-its-kind initiative in the African continent, this state-of-the-art high-speed train will dramatically improve travel times and living standards,” he highlighted.

To date, ADFD has supported Morocco with grants and concessionary loans worth USD 2.5 bn across 82 development projects in a number of sectors, including housing, water, agriculture, education, and healthcare sectors.

Additionally, the fund has so far funded 12 transportation projects worth around USD 650 mn to aid socio-economic development in Morocco, according to the statement.