[ACCI-CAVIE] The beginning of 2023 was the time to make good on the promises that Morocco has long worked on.
First, Spain’s visit to Morocco last February was historic and sent a strong message to all stakeholders in the business and diplomatic world that Moroccan-Spanish relations are based on good foundations dating back many years.
This meeting is unique and cannot be compared with previous visits. Firstly, the strong new strategic position that Morocco has acquired in recent years in its diplomatic, political, economic and social path, represents a crucial and decisive factor in favor of the Kingdom in all its international negotiations and decisions. This achievement has been the fruit of a long road of work on its potential, but also and especially on its thoughtful and wise commitments in its intelligent long-term vision. The second point is explained by the clear and unambiguous stance adopted by Spain, as well as other countries such as the United States or Germany, towards the Sahara issue. It has cleared up any misunderstanding around this issue, breaking free from its legendary neutrality to endorse the truth of the Moroccanity of the Sahara.
Indeed, the objective of this visit was to exchange on bilateral cooperation, in the wake of the willingness expressed by both parties to consolidate their strategy, expand and strengthen the partnership between the two countries and create added value, based on scientific research and technological innovation. Several agreements were signed on this occasion, covering different areas, including migration management, tourism, infrastructure, water resources, environment, agriculture, vocational training, social security, transport, health security and research and development.
It should be noted in this regard that Spain is the first trading partner of the Kingdom (1st customer and 1st supplier). Morocco represents in turn the 3rd export market for Spain outside the EU. To this end, Spanish exports have reached 10.8 billion euros in 2022. With this historic record, exports have improved by 12.7% compared to 2021 and 28.2% compared to 2019. While Spanish imports from Morocco, they rose to 8.1% billion euros compared to 7 billion euros in 2019.
In addition, another historic milestone reached and welcomed this month of February 2023, is that of the final exit of Morocco from the process of enhanced surveillance, known as “gray list” of the Financial Action Task Force. This crowning achievement was not a gift but a well-deserved result of a series of proactive actions in its governance policy, notably the compliance of the national system with international standards relating to the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.
Morocco’s new rating will facilitate its integration into the global financial system and will surely have a strong positive impact on its sovereign ratings and the ratings of local banks. This will fully strengthen its image and positioning in negotiations with international financial institutions, as well as the confidence of foreign investors in the national economy.
Now, Morocco’s responsibility to deliver on its promises is not over. It has just begun. The Kingdom is gaining day by day the confidence of major international institutions and has shown the world that it is a good student, serious and vigorously committed to its projects and actions, to climb the stairs even higher.
By Dr Ghizlane SALAM
Resident Representative of the African Center for Competitive Intelligence in Morocco.