King Mohammed VI has invited China’s President Xi Jinping to visit Morocco to strengthen the strategic partnership between Morocco and China.
“While welcoming the progress made in developing Chinese-Moroccan relations, I would like to assure Your Excellency of my firm determination to work, together with you, to strengthen the strategic partnership between our two countries and extend it to new promising sectors,” the King said in his message.
The King asserted that Xi’s visit “will thus be an opportunity to renew contact and open up new and promising prospects for Chinese-Moroccan cooperation, which will serve the well understood interest of our two friendly peoples and their greatness,” Maghreb Arab Press reported.
King Mohammed VI affirmed the need to take advantage of Chinese investment initiatives, particularly the Silk Road Economic Belt, the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, and the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation.
“These initiatives are likely to give concrete and realistic content to our cooperation relations at both bilateral and continental levels,” the monarch said.
Xi vowed to partner with Morocco’s King to implement the agreements signed at the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation’s 2018 Beijing Summit, Chinese CGTN reported.
The King expressed his “deep” satisfaction with the excellent ties between Morocco and China and the great ambition of the countries to open up wider horizons.
In his message, Xi said that Morocco was “one of the first African countries to build diplomatic relations with China.”
The monarch also hailed “the richness of the historical and cultural heritage on which Chinese-Moroccan relations are based, the privileged relations that are constantly strengthening from year to year, at all levels.”
Both sides agreed that ties between the two countries have developed rapidly since they formed a strategic partnership in May 2016 when King Mohammed VI visited China.
Promising political and economic relations
Political relations between Morocco and China, according to the King, have experienced “a strong growth, marked by esteem, trust, solidarity and mutual support on issues of national priority and common interest.”
Xi has called on the King to consolidate the political trust between China and Morocco and deepen bilateral cooperation, according to CGTN.
In recent years, King Mohammed VI said, trade between China and Morocco “has grown rapidly and continuously such that China, a friendly country, now occupies a prominent position among the kingdom’s main economic partners at all levels.”
Many Chinese companies have invested in Morocco, particularly in the automotive industry, aeronautics, and lately in fisheries. Tourism and journalism have also recently been fields of interest between the two countries.
China is the third largest buyer of Morocco’s exports with a total trade of MAD 39.5 billion in 2016, up by 18.2 percent since 2001. China’s direct foreign investment in Morocco increased from MAD 362.5 million in 2016 to MAD 582.4 million for the first six months of 2017, according to the Moroccan industry ministry.