Ambassador bullish about Morocco-Shandong relations
(chinadaily.com.cn)| Updated : 2020-07-23Print Print
Aziz Mekouar, Morocco's ambassador to China, said in a signed article that he is confident that Morocco and China's east coastal province of Shandong will forge even better ties in the future.
The Moroccan ambassador commended the long-standing friendship between Morocco and China, noting that after the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1958, Moroccan-Chinese ties have continued to strengthen ever since.
Aziz Mekouar, Morocco's ambassador to China sees a bright future in bilateral relations. [Photo/iqilu.com]
He said that the Sino-Moroccan cooperation has achieved remarkable developments in a number of areas, especially after Moroccan King Mohammed VI's official visit to China in 2016, which was marked by the establishment of a strategic partnership between the two countries.
Investments between the partner countries have increased by 60 percent and trade by 30 percent since 2016, Mekouar said, adding that China has become Morocco's third largest trading partner in the world.
The envoy noted that the number of Chinese tourists to his country has increased by 240 percent since King Mohammed VI's decision to grant Chinese citizens visa-free access from June 1, 2016.
Mekouar said that Morocco has been actively participating in the construction of the Belt and Road Initiative and Morocco recognized the strategic value of the BRI and is convinced that it will enhance connectivity and greatly facilitate international trade.
He also underlined that agriculture is one of the pillar industries in Morocco and in Shandong province.
The ambassador said Shandong leads the country in the value of agricultural output and has always been committed to high-quality agricultural development and to improving the incomes of its farmers.
With the emergence of numerous leading enterprises, Shandong is leading thousands of farmers to accelerate their transition from traditional agriculture to modern agriculture, he added.
An agricultural strategy launched in 2008 called the Green Morocco Plan was designed to make agriculture the main growth engine of that nation's economy over the next 10-15 years -- with significant benefits in terms of GDP growth, job creation, exports and poverty mitigation.
"I believe that Shandong and Morocco have great potential for cooperation in the field of agriculture, which should be the priority area for cooperation between the two sides," he said.
Mekouar added that Morocco is one of the most attractive countries in terms of the production of automotive and aviation parts -- offering convenient production facilities and favorable incentives to investors.
Morocco has signed free trade agreements with the United States, the European Union, Arab countries and other countries. Products produced there can enter the above markets with zero tariffs, which is a big advantage for Chinese investors.
"I sincerely invite Chinese enterprises, especially those from Shandong province, to invest and start businesses in Morocco," the ambassador said.
"The economic section of the Embassy of Morocco and I will do our best to serve you."