Rabat – Morocco’s Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani and US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo discussed means to develop trade and promote investment between the two countries on December 5, 2019.
While on an official visit to Morocco, Pompeo met with several government officials to discuss bilateral cooperation between Morocco and the US.
In a meeting with El Othmani in Rabat, Pompeo underlined the progress achieved through the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). El Othmani, for his part, expressed his satisfaction with the projects planned as part of the MCC program.
The Millennium Challenge Corporation in Morocco
MCC is an independent US government foreign aid agency. MCC and the Moroccan government began their partnership in 2006 to reduce poverty and unemployment in Morocco.
The first compact came into effect on September 15, 2013, focusing on fruit tree productivity, small-scale fisheries, artisan training, urban market rehabilitation, financial services, and enterprise support. Morocco and MCC spent more than $605 million to increase productivity and improve employment in these sectors. The first compact closed on September 15, 2003.
The second and current MCC-Morocco compact, signed on November 30, 2015, focuses on improving rural incomes in Morocco. The program aims to provide Moroccan farmers and their families with secure land rights and has a budget of $450 million.
The current compact supports employability and land productivity, as well as policy and institutional changes that will improve Morocco’s investment environment. In addition, the compact creates models for engagement with the private sector to address both the supply and demand sides of the labor market.
Ivanka Trump, White House adviser and daughter of US President Donald Trump, visited Morocco in early November to discuss the current MCC compact’s progress with MCC CEO Sean Cairncross, as well as to promote the White House’s Women’s Global Development and Prosperity initiative.
Read also: What Ivanka Trump’s Visit Means for Morocco
A promising future in trade and finance
In addition to lauding the MCC-Morocco collaboration, Pompeo and El Othmani expressed satisfaction with the level of bilateral cooperation between the US and Morocco.
During the meeting, the two leaders discussed means to increase strategic cooperation in the areas of trade and finance. Pompeo and El Othmani both stressed the importance of long-term US investment in Morocco’s future.
The partnership between the two countries supports Morocco’s efforts to grow its economy, increase employment, and support women’s greater participation in the workforce, according to a statement from the US State Department.
In a statement on Twitter, Pompeo shared that “the U.S. has a great friend in Morocco,” in reference to El Othmani.
“We look forward to improving our trade and finance cooperation as well as strengthening our development partnership to support Morocco’s effort to grow its economy,” Pompeo’s statement continues.
The meeting offered an occasion to both parties to reiterate the strength of the more than two-centuries-long friendship between the US and Morocco.