The city of Essaouira on the Atlantic Coast of Morocco is actively searching for an important change in its economic model, traditionally based on artisanal fisheries and tourism since the sixties of the past century. The circumstances of Morocco, such as the high dependence of import for energy needs (fuel and gas), low development of infrastructures and population growth, have generated in 2014 the opportunity of cooperation between the Commerce Chamber of Essaouira  and the research study group, headed by Professor Dr. Pedro Fernández, from Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. A cooperation agreement has been signed on the 15th October 2014. Within this agreement several activities have been implemented. Among them, 5 research projects  have been developed during 2015: Study of a New Bus Station Terminal, Creativity Entrepreneur Area (Dermocosmetics industry, agro bio organic market, Renewable Energy, Wood artisanal and Fair Fashion), Viability of Wave Energy Station, Harbor New uses, Offshore Wind Energy Farm. Here it is summarized the outcome of these researches, measured in terms of invest needed and benefits generated, in terms of active participation of people of Essaouira, new activities and companies generated, and profits potentially gained in a short and long term under sustainable and respectful environmental, cultural and social behavior where fair trade, health, person to person business and less is more are the bones and the heart of all proposals.
Fair trade, vegan, health, economy, persons, sea, coasts, less is more.
Commerce and Industry and Services of Essaouira campaigning for twenty years for the creation of a zone of economic activities in the Province of Essaouira. This area has as main objective the creation of wealth and employment.
Until proven otherwise the industry remains the most sector provider of wealth and job creation in the world and all logic or strategy designed to oust the region's development efforts are still an illusory opinion. The following statistical reports that show the insignificance of the industrial sector in the Province, the industrial sector represents only Essaouira :
- 3.1% of sales in the region Marrakech Tensift El Haouz
- 4.0% of regional exports,
- 3.3% of regional production,
- 1.6% of regional investment
- 1.4% of the regional value
And for a Province representing 15% of the population and 20% of the area of the region.
The area Marrakech Tensift Al Haouz experienced the planning and implementation of several industrial zones projects across all Provinces constituting the region, with the exception of Essaouira Province which has only an old industrial district which dates from the first half of last century.
List of industrial areas in the region Marrakech Tensift El Haouz:
Industrial area Prefecture / Province/ area / developer / Creation date:
MARRAKECH AZLI 34 ha The Department of Housing and Urban Development in 1982
Sidi Ghanem; MARRAKECH 175 ha Al Omran
Sidi Ghanem EXTENSION MARRAKECH 17 ha Al Omran 1984;
AL MASSAR MARRAKECH 20 ha Al Omran 2001;
MARRAKECH Harbil Al Omran
AEA 3rd category Al Haouz 8 ha Rural Municipality Tameslohte
SIDI BOUATHMANE Rhamna first tranche 107 ha Al Omran 2002;
Ennakhil KELAA lagouira 53 ha Al Omran 1985;
Ennakhil EXTENSION KELAA lagouira 33 ha Al Omran
ENNASR III CHICHAOUA 19 ha Al Omran 2006;
ENNASR IV CHICHAOUA 12 ha Al Omran 2006;
Imintanout CHICHAOUA 3 ha Al Omran
Q.I. ESSAOUIRA ESSAOUIRA 42 ha Al Omran
Tamansourt MARRAKECH 100 ha Al Omran (planned) Ongoing
Zone-Agro Loudaya MARRAKECH 232 ha Al Omran (planned) Ongoing
This list shows the flagrant delay in the Province in the region especially as smaller towns (population and area) benefit from an area of economic activity (AEA) or very important dimension Zone Industrial. The advantages of Essaouira and its Province to develop an identity industry abound, it can easily be distinguished in relation to its direct neighbors, and it has the potential to do this. Attached sound proposals that will decline in the form of further studies if necessary.
Innovative industrial clusters that could develop in the Province of Essaouira in the project AEA El Ghazoua and the list is far from exhaustive. The development of the new area of economic activity (AEA) in Essaouira El Jadida must meet a project and clear goals that go beyond the great clichés of the economic development of the "value creation" and "job creation "to emphasize a practical approach, specific to the Province, innovative and forward thinking why not. It is also the obligation to take account of lessons learned (successes and failures) when creating different industrial zones in Morocco. So do we propose a political project of the new AEA Essaouira El Jadida that meets the following requirements:
- Encourage innovation in key sectors or the area by encouraging the establishment of a center for innovation and research laboratories, the establishment of schools or training in relation to the activities of the area and especially by developing contracts of Research and Development.
- Stand out from the region while encouraging the growth sectors in Morocco (Dermo-cosmetics, organic food, new energy ...)
- Benefit sectoral programs of the Government (industrial acceleration Covenant)
- Focus on employment generating activities (extraction and work of the argan cosmetics, some crafts ...)
- Encourage foreign direct investment (access to land facilities, local taxation, local support for investors ...)
- Fight against land speculation through notebooks strict requirements, adopting encouraging forms of land rental (up to and DH / m² / year for some recruiters’ symbolic projects)
The project must also obey a sustainable development plan with a positive impact on:
- The local economy: Increasing the wealth of the Province of Essaouira and support the development of companies, startups, small family business.
- Environment: The project must be in harmony with the ecological and tourist vocation of the city of Essaouira by adopting a landscape charter.
- Social life: The project must meet the needs in terms of jobs and a better quality of life to users.
There are many advantages in terms of economies of scale. A young workforce and an expert in woodworking and leather and leather goods, promising agricultural products for the food, a favorable geographical location, a road network currently very satisfactory and the last but not least, an international airport and a beachfront open to the world and the rest of Morocco: all assets that bode for Essaouira a promising fare trade business future.
Thus, the case for investing in this sector abound. It is true that the current local industry is very diverse and is concentrated in a binding industrial district. The layout so the new area of economic activity "Project El Ghazoua" could open up the sector and above all, allow a real growth of industrial activity in the province. The tourist vocation of the Province and the number of industrial establishments in the Province of Essaouira is constantly growing. It went from 58 institutions in 2002 to 101 currently, an increase of 42.6% in 10 years.
Industrial activity in the Province of Essaouira is dominated mainly by the food (71%) followed by the chemical and para-chemical industry (21%). Also note that over 50% of industrial activity is divided between two poles; in the bakery industry and the extraction of argan and olive oils.
The turnover of the industry was 316,834 thousand MAD in 2012 with 56,095 thousand MAD export and added value of 34,889 thousand MAD. 90% of this turnover was realized by mills, canneries and fish industry of the carob. As for investments, they remain below expectations (5,421 thousand MAD) which impacts negatively on employment remains predominantly female (65%).
II. New AEA Essaouira El Jadida
Essaouira offers relevant activities for the new AEA: Dermocosmetics industry, agro bio organic market, Renewable Energy, Wood artisanal and fair fashion, Creativity City on a Creativity Economy.
Dermocosmetic industry is one of the niches that have best weathered the global economic crisis. In Morocco, a program contract was signed at Audience of Industry held in Tangier to boost this branch of chemistry, specialty chemicals sector. With a turnover in the domestic market is expected to reach 1.5 billion dirhams and African markets and accessible means Oriental, implementing a dermocosmetic center in Essaouira could spark investor interest (large specialized groups and small startups). This statement is especially true if we encourage niches as "organic cosmetics" and "cosmetic Halal" which are two high growth markets. However the success of such a project would be conditional upon the creation of a cosmetic technology platform that aims to bring together the various skills in technology, biological, analytical, industrial and legal. The goal is to offer SMEs and SMIs that want to develop new cosmetic products to gain access to all these skills normally reserved for large groups. This platform also will aim to be a leader in training students wishing to specialize in this area.
Pole "Agro business" Yes!! Always him, Essaouira has enormous potential in terms of food (agricultural and marine). We must encourage and support the establishment of new industrial units in this promising area for the Province of Essaouira especially to target the organic market:
- Edible Oil: Olive oil Essaouira - Argan oil from the region ... Haha
- Local and Semoulerie Haha Chiadma;
- Conservers fish caught in Essaouira: sardines, anchovies, mackerel ...)
- Canning fruits and vegetables: peas, Granada ... Lahjer Ain.
The Renewable energy industry Wind farms (Tangier Terfaya, Essaouira ....), Solaris ... Wave energy, many projects reflecting the appetite of international capital in investment in renewable energy is a niche that deserves further study to better seize opportunities it show. The Commerce Chamber and Industry and Services of Essaouira (CCISE) first proposes to encourage researchers to study and senior students.
Wood industry and its derivatives supported on the real knowledge of wood and woodworking are in Essaouira, the knowledge that is lost with the disappearance of maalems and the absence of more and more students and over. It is a capital that can be exploited by investment in noble wood work great demand in global markets (also studies can be conducted or encouraged to bring out investment opportunities).
The geographic situation of Essaouira, is offering a lot of opportunities to evolve on the shore that we are missing. The maritime culture is not well exploited; this is why we think that CCISE and the Municipality should think seriously about projects like the creation of an AQUARIUM with a collection of the fauna of the Atlantic Ocean and an exposition about ocean life that will be connected with the activities of possible future new campus in Ghazoua, as an addition to the present successful School of technology. The twining with the French city La Rochelle (which has an admirable Aquarium), gave us the motivation to think about such an inspirational project in Essaouira also.
In addition to this, CCISE and the Municipality are thinking about creating a Business School in partnership with foreign universities like the University Politécnica of Madrid and other international partners.
Creativity City on a Creativity Economy are concepts related with the integrity of all the aspect related with a healthy and live economy with smart ties with culture, tourism, leisure environmental, people and business in a city. Essaouira has all the ingredients to develop a city where make fair business and a worthy live create the spiral of success. We are ready.
The Commerce and Industry and Services of Essaouira has proposed a number of new promising activities in a new “industrial” area outside the medina of Essaouira like Dermocosmetics industry, Agro bio organic market, Renewable Energy, Wood artisanal, and in other areas like and Aquarium, new University Campus, a Business School or Local Fair Fashion, also has develop a series of researches  on the subjects with the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid to find arguments positive and smart ways on the direction proposed. The yield results are more than satisfactory and encourage to give the first step to a successful journey. It is true that this new economic area wants to be linked with the creative economy of the medina and the city, new business has to be allow to create on the city and let growth a great new network of entrepreneurs, many of them from the Cadi Ayyad University. Essaouira has the challenge to connect with the flow of fair trade, healthy and creativity economy in a global business where local connect to locals around the world without forgotten its location as Atlantic Ocean city. Creativity City on a Creativity Economy are concepts related with the integrity of all the aspect related with a healthy and live economy with smart ties with culture, tourism, leisure environmental, people and business in a city connected with the world. Essaouira has all the ingredients to develop a city where make fair business and a worthy live to create the spiral of success. We are ready.
1. Area of Economical Activities at Essaouira. Commerce and Industry and Services of Essaouira, 2012.
2. Pedro Fernández Carrasco, “Thesis researches 2014. Universidad Politécnica de Madrid” unpublished.