Rabat – Essaouira and Shengzhou, a city in eastern China, signed a memorandum of cooperation on Friday, March 22, to promote friendship, cooperation, and exchanges of experience in areas such as tourism, culture, transport, the environment, and digital technology.
Hicham Jabari, the mayor of Essaouira, and Yan Gang, the mayor of Shengzhou, signed the agreement at the first International Shaoxing (Shengzhou) Green Tea Conference.
Trade between China and Essaouira dates back to the 18th century, when Chinese tea arrived in Essaouira and then was distributed to other ports in Morocco and West Africa, Jabbari said.
Jabbari also mentioned other cooperation prospects for Essaouira, one of Morocco’s most popular beach cities. “We are thinking of the city of Essaouira as an ecological city, and we are thinking of a framework for cooperation to lead to the adoption of electric buses” in Essaouira.
In a speech at the opening of the conference, Mourad El Ayachi, Morocco’s deputy ambassador to China, welcomed the signing of the memorandum.
El Ayachi stressed the importance of developing economic and cultural interactions between the two cities, improving mutual exchanges and creating conditions for “win-win” cooperation.
He also referred to the long-standing friendship between the peoples of the two countries, which dates back to the 14th century, during the visit of the Moroccan traveller Ibn Battuta to China.
Morocco, the world’s largest importer of green tea in 2017, accounted for 25 percent of the total export volume of the tea industry in China, according to Moroccan news outlet Medi 1.