SW Associates, LLC: Sustainable Development through Tourism

Morocco – Casablanca Convention Center Proposal Assessment

SW Associates was contracted by the US Trade & Development Agency to conduct an assessment of tourism infrastructure in Casablanca, Morocco for the possible financing of a feasibility study for a proposed convention center.  The convention center project had strong local support and was likely to attract both local and international financing. The mission examined two proposals for convention centers, which included other possible elements,
such as a retail center, health center, spa or health center, apartment and office complexes and hotels. The total cost of development and construction was estimated at about $150 million, based on the relative costs of the new Washington D.C. convention center.

At least 120 U.S. companies and franchises have production facilities, distribution facilities, franchises, or a representation office in Morocco. These firms, which represent more than $630 million in investment and 90,000 direct and indirect jobs, are active in sectors such as telecommunications (3Com, AT&T – NCR), consumer products (Coca Cola, Colgate Palmolive, Gillette), pharmaceuticals (Eli-Lilly, Pfizer, Bristol Myers Squibb), textiles (Jordache, Fruit of the Loom, Gap), and fast food (McDonalds, Pizza Hut).

There are a range of potential U.S. exports of goods and services associated with any tourism infrastructure project. In terms of goods, construction equipment, telecommunications equipment, high-tech systems (computers, telecoms, audio-visual), and environmental technology stand out as likely sectors in which U.S. exporters may be competitive. For services, construction and engineering services are one sector in which U.S. firms are highly competitive.

USTDA was interested in supporting the proposal because it offered U.S. exporters potentially up to $30 million of business.  Representative goods and services that could benefit from the construction of the Center include:

  • Telecom, accounting services, design and architectural services
  • Cable TV and Radio Connections
  • Catering service (possible U.S. involvement in Casablanca, i.e. SODEXHO Marriott)
  • Compressed Air Installations
  • Desktop Copiers, Office Equipment
  • Electrical Basic Installations
  • Extractor Hoods and Vapour Extractors
  • Flower Decoration
  • Floor Covering, Carpet
  • Forwarding Services
  • Freezers, Chill Display Counters
  • Furniture
  • Gas Installation
  • Hire System Stand
  • Hotel Room Reservation
  • Insurance for Exhibits
  • Internet Access
  • ISDN Connection
  • PC, Notebook Equipment
  • Photographic Service
  • Satellites Sites
  • Stand Lettering, Artwork
  • Stand Equipment and Safety Curtains
  • Stand Cleaning
  • Security Cover
  • Sprinkler Installations
  • Staff Placement (Construction/ Dismantling)
  • Suspended Decoration, Fabric Coverings
  • Telecommunication (Telephone, Facsimile)
  • Video/ Audio
  • Water Installations
  • Water Supply for Air-Conditioning

 

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