France is one of the most important economic partners of Morocco, with French subsidiaries in Morocco employing nearly 120,000 Moroccans.
Rabat – France’s Minister of Economy and Finance, Bruno Le Maire, is set to land in Morocco on Friday, January 31, for an official visit.
The French minister will meet several senior Moroccan officials, reported the Moroccan press agency.
The visit is part of a series of visits and exchanges between Moroccan and French officials to further boost cooperation between the two countries.
On December 19, 2019, the French capital Paris hosted the 14th high-level meeting between France and Morocco, with the participation of senior officials from the two countries, including Morocco’s Head of Government, Saad Eddine El Othmani, and France’s Prime Minister, Edouard Philippe.
The countries discussed ways to boost trade and cooperation and to maintain France’s position as “the first economic partner of Morocco,” as Philippe said in a joint press conference.
More than 900 subsidiaries of French companies currently operate in Morocco, generating nearly 120,000 jobs, noted the French PM.
The meeting concluded with the signing of nine bilateral cooperation agreements in different areas.
In 2018, Moroccan exports to France reached a value of €4.7 billion, while the imports exceeded €5.69 billion in value, according to the UN Comtrade Database.
Earlier this month, Morocco concluded a set of military agreements with French arms makers for a total cost of €400 million.
According to the French newspaper La Tribune, the first contract involves the purchase of a CAESAR self-propelled howitzer, worth €170 million and its ammunition for an additional €30 million. Morocco will acquire the armament from the French state-owned weapons manufacturer Nexter.
The second contract concerns acquiring VL-Mica ground missiles from the world leader in missile systems, MBDA, for a cost of €200 million.
The official unveiling of the contracts is set to take place during the upcoming visit of the French president Emmanuel Macron to Morocco on February 12.
In early January, King Mohammed VI invited Macron to visit the Kingdom. During the two-day visit, Macron will conduct a series of meetings with the Moroccan monarch and several senior Moroccan officials.
The visit will be Macron’s third official trip to Morocco since his election in May 2017.