Morocco’s BMCE Bank of Africa and India Exim Bank have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen financial cooperation and promote bilateral trade and investment.
Representatives from the Moroccan and Indian banks signed the agreement on December 11 during the virtual India-Morocco Business Forum.
Moroccan Ambassador to India Mohammed Maliki co-hosted the videoconference with G.K. Pant, charge d’affaires at the Embassy of India in Rabat.
According to Mohammed Agoumi, the delegate general manager at BMCE Bank of Africa, the MoU seeks to guarantee financial mechanisms that would support Indian investments in Morocco and vice-versa.
The agreement also provides for exploring opportunities for investments and joint ventures.
Harsha Bangari, the deputy managing director at India Exim Bank, said the MoU confirms India’s increasing interest in positioning itself as an important economic partner in the Middle East and North Africa region.
The Indian businesswoman recalled that bilateral trade between Morocco and India grew from $1.2 billion in 2010 to $2.1 billion in 2019.
Morocco’s exports to India mainly include phosphate and potash. Meanwhile, India’s exports to the North African country include textiles, chemical products, petroleum products, and pharmaceutical products.
During the webinar, several business operators from Morocco and India presented the various investment opportunities that the two countries offer.
On the Moroccan side, participants mainly focused on the in-development Mohammed VI Tech City in Tangier. The industrial hub, co-financed by BMCE Bank of Africa, seeks to attract foreign investors from all over the world.
All participants emphasized that Morocco and India can represent gateways for each other to new markets in their respective continents. Morocco can open up to Asia through investments in India, while the Asian country can penetrate the African market.
The Moroccan ambassador to India, who took the initiative to organize the business forum, welcomed the MoU between BMCE Bank of Africa and India Exim Bank, and summarized the opportunities it offers in four main points.
First, the agreement will allow the Indian bank to set foot in North Africa and maximize its benefits from investment opportunities.
Second, the partnership will allow Indian companies to implement projects in many African countries, particularly in West African and French-speaking African states.
Third, the MoU will facilitate Indian exports to Europe and provide the necessary funds for potential investors on the continent.
Finally, the agreement will facilitate the implementation of India’s vision for Africa, with the help of Morocco as a partner.
“The partnership between BMCE Bank of Africa and India Exim Bank represents undoubtedly a milestone in the development of bilateral economic relations of Morocco and India and will constitute an example of how joint initiatives between Morocco and India can be beneficial for the whole of Africa … the continent of the future and endless opportunities,” Maliki said.