by Hanane Thamik
The China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) (China’s largest trade promotion agency) and the General Confederation of Moroccan Enterprises (CGEM) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to strengthen economic and trade relations between China and Morocco, particularly in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
CCPIT Chairperson, Gao Yan, and the president of the CGEM, Chakib Alj, say this new partnership, launched at the initiative of the Morocco-China Business Council, will hopefully promote the establishment of Moroccan companies in China and Chinese companies in Morocco, particularly those in the industrial and digital sectors.
The agreement also provides for establishing and strengthening mechanisms for the exchange and information sharing, particularly concerning national economic and trade trends, laws and regulations, policies and measures, industrial standards, as well as analytical reports and investment projects.
Gao welcomes the excellent relations between China and Morocco and says that through the signing of this MoU, the two sides will further strengthen their partnership for the benefit of our two countries and business communities. She added that since the creation of the Chinese-Moroccan Business Council in 2003, the CCPIT and the CGEM have maintained close cooperation. According to Gao, China is a “huge market with great development potential for Morocco but also a market for the world, a market shared by all and a market accessible to all.”
Mr. Alj says ties between Morocco and China continued to strengthen, especially in recent years thanks to the multiple high-level visits and the increased flow of trade.
“Now our goal is to further strengthen our cooperation. We must therefore remove barriers and identify new opportunities to ensure a better presence of Chinese companies in the Kingdom and Moroccan companies in China”, Alj indicated.
For him, this agreement in question will certainly help the private sectors of the two countries to focus on areas of cooperation from which we are not taking advantage and to identify opportunities for co-investment adding that this 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.
China is continuously opening to the outside world and enhances international trade cooperation, CCPIT will promote more Chinese companies to invest in Morocco, and foster capacity cooperation to achieve mutual benefits.
The economy and trade of China and Morocco are complementary with each other and bears huge cooperation potentials. In favor of global economic integration, China and Morocco have continued to strengthen the matching of development strategies and promote interest integration and common development.
Trade relations between Beijing and Rabat 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.
Hanane Thamik is a Ph.D. scholar at the School of Information Management at Wuhan University.