Rabat – Morocco’s Government Council has passed a bill approving a framework agreement on economic cooperation with the Czech Republic, said the government spokesperson, Mustapha El Khalfi, on March 21 in Rabat.
The trade ministers of Morocco and the Czech Republic signed the framework agreement in December at the Czech-Moroccan Business Forum in Casablanca.
The government’s decision to approve the bill follows years of bilateral efforts to advance economic cooperation between the two countries.
According to the Czech Trade Promotion Agency (CzechTrade), exports from the Czech Republic to Morocco increased by 108 percent between 2010 and 2014.
Growth in trade provided momentum for further economic cooperation, culminating in a series of high-level meetings.
In December, Moroccan Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani received Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis while he was in Rabat on a two-day business visit with several ministers and 37 business leaders.
Later in December, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis said, “Morocco could become the Czech Republic’s largest economic partner” in Africa at the launch of the Czech-Moroccan Business Forum in Casablanca.
At the Casablanca forum, the head of CzechTrade in Morocco, Tamer El-Sibai, said the energy, agricultural, and building sectors are especially promising. Morocco will invest $30 billion in the energy sector alone, he added.
However, Babis, at his visit, said, “Unfortunately, I have to say that Czech companies … lack interest, especially in investments in the energy sector,” according to Radio Praha.
The automobile sector is another area of potential for Czech export to Morocco, Babis pointed out.
“Morocco is Africa’s largest car manufacturer. We import Renault and Dacia cars from Morocco.” Babis continued, “The Czech Republic exports 2,400 Skoda cars a year to Morocco. There is an ambition to reach 4000 soon.”
Beyond trade, the Czech Republic supports Morocco in preventing the transit of sub-Saharan immigrants to Europe.
Earlier in March, Hungary announced Morocco would receive a €30 million aid package approved at a summit between Eastern Europe’s Visegrad Group, which includes the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in February.