The Moroccan ambassador to the UK expressed hope to see the route benefiting British tourists along with investors.
Rabat – Morocco’s Ambassador to the UK Abdesselam Aboudrar expressed today satisfaction with the cooperation between London and Rabat, particularly in terms of an upcoming shipping route.
The ambassador participated in an e-roundtable, which Morocco World News attended.
During the e-event, the Moroccan diplomat unveiled more details on the UK-Morocco shipping route, which is expected to see the light of the day in the near future.
He said that there were discussions about the shipping route opening in May, but did not confirm the news, citing COVID-19 restrictions.
The ambassador said he does not have a specific date for the opening but vowed that the link will foster trade between the two countries.
When asked what benefits this shipping route will provide for both countries, the ambassador said: “I think it is obvious.”
Aboudrar then cited several advantages investors will enjoy with the opening, including the reduction in travel time.
He said that the shipping route will minimize the trip time from six days to less than three days.
The moderator of the e-event, Chairman of the Arab British Chamber of Commerce (ABCC) Elizabeth Symons, Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean, reminisced about her visit to Marrakech and celebrated Morocco’s tourism assets.
She described the opening of the shipping route as a “terrific development that would facilitate trade between UK and Morocco.”
The shipping route between the UK and Morocco will operate once a week before expanding into two frequencies per week.
Bandar Reda, the secretary-general and CEO of the ABCC, also commended the future opening of the shipping routes, emphasizing that the initiative will work to boost trade and cooperation between the UK and Morocco.
Reda also expressed the ABCC’s commitment to play its role to encourage investors to explore opportunities in Morocco.
The shipping route to benefit tourists, tourism
Aboudrar expressed hope to see the shipping route also serving tourists and families wishing to visit Morocco to enjoy its diversity in culture.
Once open for travelers, tourists can bring their cars and visit other regions in Morocco, including Marrakech and the Sahara.
Morocco has suspended flights with a lengthy list of countries, including the UK, following the outbreak of new COVID-19 strains.
Royal Air Maroc announced today that the suspension of flights between Morocco and the UK will continue until May 21.
UK tourists have asked repeatedly whether Morocco will open borders soon for tourism.
The Moroccan diplomat said that Morocco will open its skies when the country is certain that its efforts to combat the pandemic would not be in vain.
He cited Morocco’s leading role in the vaccine campaign, describing the country among the top 10 or 15 in vaccinations against COVID-19.
The diplomat also emphasized the country’s continuous vigilance and caution to maintain its leading position against the pandemic’s spread.
Speaking of a pre-pandemic surge of British tourists in Morocco, the ambassador said their number moved in recent years from 500,000 to 700,000. The number represents a 40% growth, he said.
Morocco’s business assets for British investors
The Moroccan envoy in London also highlighted Morocco’s business climate, location, and security, describing them as indicators of attractiveness.
He said that Morocco is a crossroad that builds bridges in all directions, reiterating the country’s position as a “gateway to Africa.”
The ambassador also cited modern infrastructure, including the country’s Tangier Med Port, which connects to 186 ports in 77 countries.
He also invited UK investors to explore key sectors, saying that many British companies are already operating in energy and mining in Morocco.
Companies such as Sound Energy secured several rights to export gas in several regions across Morocco.
In 2020, Sound Energy said it received full rights to carry out its Tenderara Export Pipeline project in Morocco.
“British mining and energy companies are very present in Morocco,” the ambassador said, expressing hope to hear more good news on the ongoing exploration.
The ambassador emphasized Morocco’s automotive, aerospace, and renewables industries, which are among the key pillars in Morocco’s economy.
According to data from a presentation by the ambassador, Morocco emerged as a “world-class platform” for the automotive industry in 20 years. He also said the country emerged as a major platform for the aerospace industry in 15 years.