The meetings revolved around increased American investment in Morocco and preparations for the upcoming US-Africa Business Summit.
Moscow – Morocco’s Minister Delegate to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mohcine Jazouli, held several meetings with senior US officials on Monday, March 9, in Washington.
Jazouli met with notable officials including Adam Boehler, the first CEO of the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), and Florizelle Liser, the CEO of the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA).
During the meeting with Boehler, the minister delegate showcased the achievements that have made Morocco a regional key player and one of the most attractive countries for investment in Africa.
Jazouli and Boehler agreed on a roadmap to strengthen American investment in Morocco and to cooperate in co-financing socio-economic projects across Africa.
The US is currently the second-largest foreign investor in Morocco.
The two countries aim to increase bilateral trade activities through high-level consultations, dialogue, and the annual U.S.-Morocco trade and Investment forum.
Morocco is widely regarded as the strongest US ally in North Africa and remains the only African country with a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the US.
The FTA entered into force in January 2006 and trade between the two countries more than quadrupled during the 2006-2018 period. The total annual trade amount reached $5.44 billion in 2018, compared to $1.34 billion in 2006.
However, Moroccan imports from the US are higher than exports. In 2018, Morocco recorded a $1.4 billion trade deficit with the US.
Since the agreement went into force, Morocco has a total trade deficit of $20 billion with the US, according to Morocco’s Industry Minister Moulay Hafid Elalamy.
A majority of the deficit comes from the hydrocarbon sector, while the aircraft sector is second.
In a separate meeting with CCA’s chief executive officer Liser on Monday, Jazouli discussed plans and preparations for the upcoming 13th US-Africa Business Summit.
The CCA-organized summit is scheduled to take
place in the Palace of Congress in Marrakech between June 9 and June 12, 2020.
The event will serve as a platform for American and African business and government leaders to explore new opportunities in several key sectors including agribusiness, energy, health, infrastructure, ICT, and finance.
The CCA is a trade association solely focused on connecting business interests and encouraging investment between the US and Africa.
More than 1,400 private sector executives, international investors, senior government officials, decision-makers, and multilateral stakeholders are expected to participate in the summit.
Morocco is set to become the first country in North Africa to host the event.
Approximately 400 large US enterprises are expected to take part in the event in order to strengthen trade and growth of investment projects on the continent.
Morocco has emerged as a regional hub for foreign investment in recent years and could seek more direct investments from the US to cover losses from previous years.