To strengthen cooperation between Morocco and China, the city of Agadir hosted, on March 26 and 27, 2018, the second edition of the Moroccan-Chinese Friendship Forum. This economic event was marked by the presence of a strong ministerial delegation and more than 200 Chinese operators representing the public and private sectors.
Pix the new bridge, participated in this event as representative of the beautéville project.
During the opening session, all the speakers hailed the importance of this edition which coincides with the 60th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between the two countries (1st November 1958) thus becoming the first African country to recognize the Republic People from China The last Royal visit to China in May 2016 saw the signing of 15 economic and cultural agreements.
During his speech, the Minister of Tourism, Mohamed Sajid, welcomed the agreement signed between the two countries on the exemption of entry visas for Chinese nationals. He added that « thanks to this agreement the number of nationals has increased from 10,000 tourists to 100,000 in 2017 … the goal being to reach 500,000 visitors by 2020 ». For its part, the president of the Souss-Massa region, Brahim Hafidi, said that « the region aims to host major investments such as the project of the Mohammed VI City of Tanger Tech especially after the presentation of the regional declination in Agadir the Industrial Acceleration Plan.
On this point, China’s ambassador to Rabat, Li Li, said that the Silk Road and the PAI must be synergized to ensure their complementarity in the sectors of industry, railways, fishing, automotive, solar energy and the cosmetics sector. Recalling that Morocco has signed the Memorandum of Understanding on « one Belt one Road », which allows it to access Chinese investments. In this context, China is distinguished as the third largest trading partner of Morocco with an overall trade volume of 39.5 billion dirhams in 2016, an increase of 18.2% between 2001 and 2016.
In order to consolidate these economic and scientific relations between the two countries, this edition saw the participation of a large Chinese delegation: 97 operators representing the various economic and industrial sectors, the representatives of 10 Chinese cities and 7 provinces. In addition, on the sidelines of this Moroccan-Chinese Friendship Forum, 11 memoranda of understanding were signed between Moroccan and Chinese operators in the framework of decentralized cooperation.
At the end of these two days of work, the participants expressed their commitment to the implementation of the protocols which « aim at the establishment of a real framework of partnership between the two countries ».