Washington - Morocco is on the way to becoming China's gateway to Africa by actively courting more Chinese investment and closer ties, said an article published on Wednesday by US magazine "The Diplomat".
Washington – Morocco is on the way to becoming China’s gateway to Africa by actively courting more Chinese investment and closer ties, said an article published on Wednesday by US magazine “The Diplomat”.
“Morocco’s largest city, Casablanca, is increasingly recognized as an important African financial center. This year Casablanca surpassed Johannesburg to be ranked the number one financial center in the Global Financial Centers Index,” said the article’s author Joseph Hammond, noting that few countries have positioned themselves aggressively for the position in the way that Morocco has.
“Moroccan banks are interested in China, and Chinese banks are interested in Morocco. The Bank of China, China’s oldest financial institution, opened its first branch in Morocco this year. The bank seeks to manage its involvement in various African markets from Casablanca,” he said.
“Moroccan BMCE bank recently opened its full branch in Shanghai. We are in Asia because of Africa; we opened the Shanghai branch because of Africa. Morocco can be China’s gateway into West Africa and beyond, where Moroccan companies and businessmen are already playing a leading role,” he said quoting Brahim Benjelloun Touimi, the director general of BCME Bank and chairman of the Bank of Africa.
The author pointed out that Casablanca, Morocco’s financial and economic capital, has been ranked Africa’s top financial center ahead of Johannesburg, according to the Global Financial Centers Index
The author recalled that, last year, the government of Morocco hosted the first Sino-African Entrepreneurs Summit in Marrakech, where Morocco later hosted the COP22 summit. “Similar forums are planned in the future.”
The author also quoted Mohamed Boussaid, Morocco’s minister of economy and finance, as saying that “HM the king’s trip in May 2016 played a major role in moving the relationship forward.”