Morocco and the US are considered strong allies in the security field. But Amcham hopes to take that alliance to the social, cultural, and business domains.
Rabat – The American Chamber of Commerce in Morocco (Amcham) held its annual gala on February 16 in Casablanca at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. The event, which gathered business leaders, entrepreneurs, social workers, and authorities from both the US and Morocco, sought to promote greater commercial ties between the two countries.
Furthering US-Morocco connections
In a press release shared with Morocco World News, organizers highlighted the importance of upholding the traditionally strong connections between Morocco and the US.
As a growing continental hub, the document suggested, Morocco offers enormous investment opportunities for American firms. At the same time, business cooperation between US and Moroccan firms and entrepreneurs can enable the North African country to have greater access to the technological know-how of American enterprises.
In its bid to become the platform that can uphold and further the US-Morocco connections, Amcham’s event “celebrated the Casablanca-Miami direct flight recently launched by Royal Air Maroc,” the press release noted.
Direct flights play an essential role in bringing countries and people closer.
Currently, Royal Air Maroc operates two direct flights to the US from Casablanca to Washington, D.C., and New York. The airline also has plans to launch a Casablanca-Boston flight this year.
In the US-Morocco case, Amcham suggested, the Casablanca-Miami flight is part of a broader dream of solidifying the win-win bilateral relations between the two countries through a joint platform of support for entrepreneurship.
“The Miami-Casablanca line will stimulate trade, investments, tourism, as well as cultural exchanges between Morocco and the US,” the press release noted.
In addition to firms and businesses, the Amcham gala marked the presence of US and Moroccan authorities.
Representatives from the US included Miami-Dade Commissioner Jose Diaz; Manny Gonzalez, chief of economic development and international trade for Miami-Dade County; and Stephanie Miley, the charge d’affaires of the US embassy in Morocco.
Amcham 2019 Prizes
As part of its continued endeavor to pave the way for more prosperous business ventures from the US to Morocco, and vice versa, Amcham 2019 acknowledged the efforts of citizens and firms whose actions strengthened bilateral ties between the two countries.
In total, four prizes were awarded to individuals and companies that stood out in their commitment to promoting US-Morocco trade and cultural exchanges.
The first prize, the American Investment in Morocco Award, went to Hexcel Composites. A global leader in making and engineering aerospace materials, the American company has been accompanying Morocco’s growing aerospace sector. Hexcel Maroc has invested over $20 million and created 100 jobs in the past three years.
Amcham awarded Hexcel Maroc for bringing its state-of-the-art expertise to Morocco as well as “its commitment to innovation, corporate responsibility, inclusiveness, and diversity.”
The second category rewarded Moroccan exports to the US. The Marocaine des Thes et Infusions (Mathe), a tea-producing and exporting company, won the prize. A leader in the Moroccan food sector, Mathe’s investments amounted to $12 million in the last three years, creating 250 jobs. The company started exporting to the US in 2015.
“Mathe places innovation and creativity at the heart of its activities,” Amcham said. Justifying Mathe’s prize, the document said the Moroccan company has “transformed and improved” the quality of Moroccan tea, gaining it recognition in foreign markets.
The third category, US exports to Morocco, went to Tropicars, a Miami-based global leader for golf and utility vehicles. The company operates in the Caribbean, the Americas, and increasingly in Africa. Tropicars Morocco opened in 2016 and is gradually becoming the leading provider of luxury vehicles to the country’s booming tourism industry.
The last category, the Amcham Hall of Fame Prize, was awarded to Stephanie Miley, the charge d’affaires at the American embassy in Rabat.
The Hall of Fame prize acknowledges a Moroccan or American personality whose efforts stood out in terms of promoting Amcham’s values, actions to strengthen commercial and cultural ties between the US and Morocco.
According to Amcham, “Miley has worked with Amcham and American firms in the past three years to further Morocco-US commercial ties.”
While this year’s Amcham event was heavily focused on Miami, it came against the backdrop of increased US-Morocco connections.
In addition to the security sector where Morocco is regarded as the US’s strongest North African ally, there have been steps in recent months to further commercial ties.
In November, US and Moroccan representatives met to discuss collaboration on agro-science. The goal was to equip Morocco with new agricultural technology while allowing greater access to the Moroccan market for American products.
Following the agreements, Robert Lighthizer, the US Trade Representative, noted, “The Trump Administration continues to prioritize the opening of new markets for U.S. agricultural products. This new access to the Moroccan market is an important step in ensuring that American farmers and ranchers can continue to expand their exports.”