Chinese copper giant eyes Morocco as way to boost access to western markets

Chinese copper giant eyes Morocco as way to boost access to western markets

China’s Zhejiang Hailiang, one of the world’s largest copper tube and rod manufacturers, recently announced plans to open a $288 million industrial park in Morocco. The new plant would make “new energy materials” including lithium-battery foil used in many consumer electronic products.

In a filing to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, the company said geopolitical factors have ushered in trade barriers and supply chain risks for the company. The new plant in Morocco would give it greater access to western markets like the U.S. and the EU as Morocco has friendly relations and free trade agreements with both. China, in contrast, has an increasingly strained relationship with many western nations. 

The company said the new plant would promote China-Morocco relations. It also cited Africa’s rich reserves of copper that could be accessed at a relatively affordable price and favorable tax incentives as some of the advantages of opening a factory in Morocco. 

The new plant will be able to produce 50,000 tons of alloy, 35,000 tons of pipe, 40,000 tons of rod and 25,000 tons of foil a year, the company said in its filing. Construction of the plant is expected to take 36 months. 

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