Marrakech- A business conference entitled "Morocco, Africa's business gateway" will be held on October 22 at the prestigious Mansion House in London.
Marrakech- A business conference entitled “Morocco, Africa’s business gateway” will be held on October 22 at the prestigious Mansion House in London.
Organized by the Moroccan Embassy and the Moroccan-British Business Leaders Forum (MBBLF), The conference will be divided into three successive panels that will address the following subjects: “Morocco: Actor in African financial integration”, “The National Energy Strategy: Strengths and Opportunities”, and “The New industrial strategy 2014-2020 Acceleration: What impact on the investment climate in Morocco?”.
The Moroccan delegation includes Economy and Finance Minister Mohamed Boussaid, Office Cherifien des Phosphates (OCP) CEO, Mustapha Terrab, , ONHYM Managing Director Amina Benkhadra, and a number of other financial, energy, and other industry sector leaders.
Participants from the UK include Lord Mayor of London Fiona Woolf, Prime Ministerial Trade Envoy Lord Sharman, and Economic Secretary of the Treasury and City Minister Andrea Leadsom. Other Moroccan business leaders that will be present include President of Casablanca Finance City Said Brahimi, Minister Delegate to the Minister of Industry, Trade, Investment, and the Digital Economy Mamoun Bouhdoud, CEO of Casablanca Stock Exchange Karim Hajji, and General Manager of the Agency for National Development of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ADEREE) Said Mouline.
Jon Marks of Cross Border Information, an expert on Morocco, will play a key role as moderator for the various sessions and speakers in the first session.
Mohammed Boussaid, Moroccan Minister of the Economy and Finance, will give a keynote speech, followed by different panel sessions on financial services, industrial services, and energy.
This important conference highlights the efforts that both the Kingdom of Morocco and the United Kingdom are making to improve business relations and create more bilateral investment.
Speaking at a debate on Morocco in the House of Lords in 2013, as recorded by the official parliamentary journal Hansard, Lord Sharman, British Economic Secretary to the Treasury and Trade Envoy for Morocco, remarked that Morocco was neither too French nor too risky.
In response, British businessmen raised various concerns. Sharman feels that the Casablanca Finance Center offers an important business opportunity for the UK in Francophone Africa. He said he would concentrate on specific areas for trade development and investment with Morocco, including financial services and education, working to provide English language training and English university degrees through agreements between Moroccan and British universities with courses in business, science, and technology.
The third sector for development that Lord Sharman mentioned is energy and renewable energy. He also mentioned agribusiness, which has seen steady development in recent years, and tourism, including conferences and events.
There have been a number of high-level conferences and exchange visits since 2000 between Moroccan and British business and government leaders. The desire to do business undoubtedly exists, and it has been bolstered by the work of Morocco’s Ambassador to the UK, Lalla Joumala Alaoui.
However, the strong trading and investment relationship between the two countries could still be stronger. There is no British bank in the financial hub of Casablanca. Moroccan insurance industry cooperation with Lloyds in the City of London could be improved.
The long discussions about cooperation between the City of London and the Casablanca Financial Center have yet to reach fruition. There are great prospects that can lead to a bright trading future.
It’s also worth mentioning that the British legal firms in Casablanca are growing, and there are exciting developments in English language training and universities. Many Moroccans want to take full advantage of English language opportunities.
There are some 50,000 Moroccans residing in the UK, and there are an important number of key Moroccan financial experts working in the City of London. English experience in developing its private sector with entrepreneurs, investors, and startups can be of great value to Morocco.