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France, Morocco finalize TGV train deal

France has finalized a 400-million-euro deal to supply Morocco with rolling stock and railway equipment for the Casablanca-Tangier high-speed TGV trains.

The French group, Alstom, will provide the North African country with 14 high speed train sets that will enter service in December 2015, Radio France Internationale reported on Friday.

“It’s a great contract to start off with,” Head of Alstom Transport Philippe Mellier said, adding that other contracts were possible in the future.

“This contract is symbolic because it shows Morocco’s capacity to acquire very high tech equipment. Morocco is the first African country to embrace high speed rail transport,” Mellier noted.

The agreement had been signed by Moroccan minister of Economy and Finance Salaheddine Mezouar and French Secretary of State for Foreign Trade Anne-Marie Idrac in November 2008.

The original Memorandum of Understanding on the TGV was signed in Marrakech in October 2007, under the chairmanship of King Mohammed VI and French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

The TGV project will reduce travel time between Tangier and Casablanca to 2 hours and 10 minutes instead of the current time of 5 hours and 45 minutes.

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