The United Kingdom is looking to Africa as it seeks to expand its diplomatic and economic network ahead of Brexit.
Rabat – The Morocco-UK business dialogue took place for the first time today. A high-level Moroccan delegation was in London for the event, following the UK-African investment summit.
A total of 116 Moroccan and 225 British companies and organizations took part in the economic meeting. The dialogue aimed to provide a forum for networking and business opportunities to strengthen the blooming economic and diplomatic relations between the two countries.
During the meeting, the Moroccan and British delegations signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to set up a joint working group. The new committee aims to study ways of boosting investment between the United Kingdom and Morocco.
Annual trade between the countries reached more than MAD 18.3 billion (around €1.7 billion) in 2018, according to Morocco’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The number represents almost 4% of Morocco’s total trade with the European Union.
Morocco exports about MAD 8 billion (about €751 million) to the UK, making it Morocco’s seventh customer, announced the Moroccan ministry during the meeting.
The UK is also the 11th largest importer in Morocco.
The Minister Delegate to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mohcine Jazouli, presided over the Moroccan delegation at the meeting.
The group included representatives from Morocco’s General Confederation of Enterprises (CGEM) and other organizations working in sectors of common interests for Morocco and the UK, namely agri-business, renewable energies, industries, financial services, logistics, and training.
Meanwhile, the British Minister of State for International Trade, Conor Burns, and the Minister for the Middle East and North Africa, Andrew Murrison led the British delegation.
The business dialogue took place on the sidelines of the Africa-UK Investment Summit. The event, held in London on January 21, aims to redefine the contours of British foreign policy as the country seeks new alliances in trade and diplomacy ahead of its upcoming exit from the European Union.