Rabat and Beijing have made clear that they seek to become closer, after a bilateral conference Tuesday.
Rabat – The Chinese embassy and the Royal Institute for Strategic Studies (IRES), a Moroccan government think-tank, organized the conference in Rabat. The event focused discussion on “The future of relations between Morocco and China in a globalized world.”
During the conference in Rabat, both sides noted the successful relationship between Morocco and China since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Rabat and Beijing in November 1958. Economically, China is Morocco’s third largest trading partner, “and in 2017 Chinese tourism in Morocco grew 150 percent from the previous year,” according to the Arab Weekly.
Morocco and China have become even closer in recent years due to an increase in Chinese investment into the country.
Mohammed Tawfik Mouline, president of the IRES, recently travelled to China for a visit to the Middle East Studies Institute at Shanghai International Studies University, where both sides discussed trade, problems in the Maghreb region, and opportunities for development in the Arab state, according to the university.
China has become a crucial international investor in Africa, surpassing the US in 2009 to become Africa’s largest trading partner. In Morocco, this trade has risen to approximately $4.7 billion annually, according to Moroccan news outlet Le Matin.