MAP - Tuesday, April 9th 2019

Morocco Participates in 12th Russian-Arab Business Council

Moscow - The 12th session of the Russian-Arab Business Council opened on Monday in Moscow under the theme "Russia-Arab world: time to cooperate for our future," with the participation of Morocco.

The opening session was marked by the presence of Russian minister of Foreign Affairs, Sergei Lavrov, minister of National Planning, Urban Planning, Housing and Urban Policy, Abdelahad Fassi Fihri, Russian deputy minister of Foreign Affairs, Mikhail Bogdanov, in addition to representatives from 22 Arab countries.

Speaking on this occasion, Fassi Fihri recalled that Morocco and Russia signed, during HM King Mohammed VI's visit to Moscow in 2016, a strategic partnership agreement aimed at developing bilateral cooperation in various fields including industry, agriculture, innovation and trade.

This bilateral partnership has made it possible to achieve concrete results and increase trade between Morocco and Russia by nearly 13 pc in 2018, the minister stressed, adding that there is certainly room for progress to enhance cooperation and exchanges between the two countries.

Since the adoption of the 2011 Constitution, Morocco has made significant progress, particularly in terms of freedoms and governance, which has enabled the Kingdom to implement ambitious strategies such as the Industrial Acceleration Plan (PAI) and to integrate new professions such as aeronautics, the automotive industry, electronics and offshoring, the minister recalled.

The various infrastructure modernization and development projects such as highways, railways, air and maritime transport, the Kingdom's renewable energy strategy and the development of good governance have enabled Morocco to become the second largest destination for foreign direct investment (FDI) in Africa and to move up in the "Doing Business" ranking.

For his part, the Russian FM stressed the importance of the 12th session of the Russian-Arab Business Council in strengthening cooperation with Arab countries.

The Russian-Arab trade exceeded $22 billion in 2018, he said, calling for the promotion of the long-standing friendly relations between his country and the Arab world.