Morocco and Peugeot agree on 557 million-euro ($632 million) investment for car factory

Morocco and French automaker PSA Peugeot Citroen have signed an accord to build a new factory aimed at producing up to 200,000 cars annually for the African and Middle East market.

The factory involves an investment of 557 million euros ($632 million), will employ 4,500 people directly and will begin producing cars by 2019. Peugeot head Carlos Tavares described the agreement as a key part of his company's efforts to expand its sales in Africa and the Middle East.

Friday's agreement represents the latest boost for Morocco's increasingly important automobile sector, which has benefited from investments from Renault in 2013 and exports around the Mediterranean.

Cars made up 20 percent of Morocco's exports in the first four months of 2015, a 12 percent increase from the same period in 2014.