March 29, 2018
Rabat – Representatives of Beijing and Rabat have established a joint Morocco-China business council to promote China’s gigantic Silk Road project. The council is set to oversee and implement the regulations of the bilateral agreement that Morocco and China signed in November 2017, regarding China’s Silk Road initiative.
On Tuesday this week, a Chinese delegation paid a working visit to Rabat as part of the two parties’ commitment to fostering their 2017 Beijing agreement. The Chinese delegation also took part in the China-Morocco economic forum, a business convention organized by the CGEM (Morocco’s Employers Union), in collaboration with the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT).
The Council envisions bringing the two countries closer together, with the aim expanding and consolidating commercial exchanges. During Tuesday’s economic forum, the two parties agreed to sign a memorandum to push for more bilateral engagement.
The memorandum put a special emphasis on the promotion and endorsement of China’s “Belt and the Road” initiative, boosting Morocco-China cooperation on many fronts, especially maritime exchanges. According to China’s State Council, this project will reinvent trans-regional exchanges and cooperation.
Faiçal Memkouar, the general vice-president of the CGEM, and Jiang Zengwei, CCPIT’s chairperson, agreed to involve their organizations in their countries’ growing bilateral ties, pushing for Morocco’s regional leadership in the African part of China’s monumental trans-regional project.
As the Council will facilitate “the sharing of information” as “a joint platform” to ease investments agreements between the two countries, it is also expected to bring Moroccan and Chinese business leaders closer, especially by organizing a series of “business-to-business” meetings between Moroccan businessmen and their Chinese counterparts. The signatories of the memorandum declared that this will play a key role not only in furthering bilateral deals, but also in “concretizing existing business opportunities.”
Morocco’s exportations to China have reached an impressive figure of 70 percent, the China-Morocco Silk Road Council noted, adding that more concrete partnership agreements will be signed in coming years. China is Morocco’s fourth commercial partner, and the Morocco-China Silk Road Council is expected to double the existing figures of Sino-Moroccan relations.
China wants to maintain and further its growing global geostrategic prominence, and Morocco, as the first African nation to join the Silk Road initiative, is said to be a determining player in the project’s Africa branch.
In that regard, the signatories of the memorandum stressed that the North African country’s geostrategic situation serves as the “unquestioned bridge between Africa and Europe,” which makes it an indispensable asset in a project as big as China’s “Belt and Road