The memorandum of understanding (MoU) aims to position Morocco as a regional economic force engaged in a win-win partnership with China.
Rabat – Morocco and China signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to strengthen trade relations.
The agreement was signed by The General Confederation of Moroccan Enterprises (CGEM) and the Chinese Council for the Development of International Trade (CCPIT) Monday during a videoconference. The new agreement aims to strengthen bilateral relations particularly in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The president of the CGEM, Chakib Laalj, and the president of the CCPIT, Gao Yan hosted the virtual event.
Both parties aim to accompany the Moroccan and Chinese private sectors in identifying business opportunities and the promotion of investment and co-investment.
The new initiative intends to encourage the development of Moroccan companies in China and Chinese companies in Morocco, particularly those in the industrial and digital sectors.
The partnership also aspires to advance the exchange of information between the two countries on national economic and trade trends, laws and regulations, industrial standards, as well as market analysis reports and investment projects.
Speaking on this occasion, the CGEM president Laalj said that since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Morocco and China in 1958, ties between the two countries have been steadily strengthening, particularly in recent years.
Laalj added that the MoU also aims to position Morocco as a regional economic force engaged in a win-win partnership with China to accelerate job creation and inclusive growth on the African continent.
Meanwhile, the chairperson of CCPIT, Gao Yan welcomed the excellent relations between China and Morocco, noting that since the creation of the Sino-Moroccan Business Council in 2003, CCPIT and CGEM have maintained close cooperation.
“I am convinced that, through the signing of this MoU, we will further strengthen our partnership for the benefit of our two countries and business communities,” Yan said. He noted that China is “a market for the world, a market shared by all and a market accessible to all.”
The new agreement reflects strong diplomatic relations between China and Morocco. During a royal visit to Beijing in 2016, King Mohammed VI and Chinese President Xi Jinping vowed to strengthen cooperation.
Since then, bilateral exchanges in the fields of trade, tourism, and the digital industry have witnessed significant growth.
In the field of tourism, the number of Chinese tourists visiting Morocco has significantly increased between 2016 and 2019. The figure reached 350,000 visitors annually after Morocco decided to remove visa requirements for Chinese citizens.
Trade relations between Rabat and Beijing have also witnessed an important boost. According to the UN Comtrade Database, Morocco’s exports to China reached $283.2 million in 2019, while its imports from the Asian country stood at $5.18 billion.
Most recently, during the COVID-19 crisis, China and Morocco cooperated to remedy the consequences of the global health crisis. On August 20, Morocco and China National Biotec Group Limited (CNBG) signed an agreement to carry out COVID-19 vaccine trials. Under the agreement, Morocco is set to be one of the first countries to receive the China-made vaccine against COVID-19.
Meanwhile, the sector of agriculture has also benefited from bilateral agreements. Earlier in January, Morocco’s phosphate and fertilizer group OCP and China’s Hubei Forbon Technology established a joint venture to develop new generations of fertilizer and to create digital solutions for agriculture.