Four days after King Mohammed's visit to Paris, French President Emmanuel Macron arrives in Morocco on Thursday to participate in the opening of a high-speed rail line, which is said to be the fastest train in the African and Arab worlds.
Macron's visit follows an invitation from King Mohammed VI, who will accompany him on the train from Tangier to Rabat.
The new train is expected to reach a speed of 320 kph, faster than the new line launched by Saudi authorities last month at a speed of 300 kph. It will reduce the time between the economic centres of North Africa (Tangier, Rabat, and Casablanca) from about five hours to two hours
This comes as part of the Kingdom's plan to become an African hub for foreign investors and a major step in modernising the country after popular protests that hit the region during the Arab Spring revolutions due to inequality and poor public services.
For its part, France hopes to offer its industrial expertise to give its companies the opportunity to obtain other contracts on the African continent, where the French presidency praised the "flagship project of the bilateral relationship between France and Morocco."
The Moroccan government estimated the cost of the project, launched by French President Nicolas Sarkozy in September 2011, to be $2.4 billion, half of which came through French loans, with hundreds of workers employed until the completion of the project.