By Hajare El Khaldi
By Hajare El Khaldi
Rabat – The Moroccan-British Trade and Investment Forum kicked off in London on Tuesday, with the participation of ministers and notable business people from both countries.
The Moroccan Embassy in London has teamed up with the British Developing Markets Associates (DMA) in order to introduce British investors to the opportunities that Morocco has to offer in several sectors, such as renewable energies, tourism, petroleum exploration, finance, phosphates, education, and vocational training.
This meeting explores Morocco as an economic gateway for the African market, due to its economic assets, geostrategic position, proximity to Europe, the strong presence of its private sector in Africa, and its political and economic stability.
Another key objective of this forum is to encourage participants to strengthen trade and economic partnership between the two countries following the UK departure from the European Union.
Trade between the UK and Morocco increased by 36.4 percent in 2016, with a UKP 2.6 billion reach. Although it is a significant step forward, analysts and economic operators of both countries maintain that it falls short from the countries’ economic potential.
The UK Department of International Trade perceives the Moroccan economy as “an open and liberal economy” that benefits from the confidence of international investors, and continues to attract significant foreign investment.
Currently, over 200 Moroccan companies export their products to Great Britain, and nearly a hundred British companies are present in Morocco, such as GlaxoSmithKline, Shell, British Airways, and Unilever.
Morocco’s imports from the United Kingdom consist mainly of petroleum products, lubricants, passenger cars, airplanes, electric motors, medicines, machinery, chemicals, woolen fabrics, synthetic fibers, wheat, tobacco, and perfumes.
Meanwhile, the North African country’s exports include clothing, knitwear, wires and cables for electricity, electronic components, natural and chemical fertilizers, citrus fruit, canned fish, fresh tomatoes, canned vegetables, fresh and frozen fruits, flowers, acid, and fish.
When it comes to tourism, activities continue to expand. In fact, more than 600,00 British tourists visited Morocco in 2017, paving the way for Morocco to hit 1 million tourist by 2020.
The Moroccan delegation to the forum, led by Minister of Economy and Finance Mohamed Boussaid, includes Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Mounia Boucetta, Secretary of State for Investment Othman El Ferdaous, and General Director of the Moroccan of the Moroccan Office for Hydrocarbons and Mining Amina Benkhadra.
The Moroccan delegation also included representatives of the Moroccan Employers’ Association (CGEM) and the Moroccan Agency for Sustainable Energy (MASEN).