The Minister Delegate to the French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, in charge of Foreign Trade and Attractiveness, Franck Riester, paid a two-day visit to Morocco. This bilateral meeting aims to promote sectors with high added value for both countries, particularly in renewable energy.
This is the first of a series of official visits by members of the French government to Morocco. Almost a year after the visit of the French Minister of Economy and Finance, Bruno Le Maire, the Minister Delegate to the Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs, in charge of Foreign Trade and Attractiveness, Franck Riester, made a trip to Morocco to boost bilateral relations between France and the kingdom. He is being followed by the French Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, who begins a working visit from 14 to 16 October, his first official trip to Morocco since his appointment. He will be succeeded by Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs. The objective of the French government is clear.
“We want, despite the crisis of Covid-19 and the difficulties of travel, to strengthen and increase our partnerships with Morocco, increase our trade, more exports and services,” said Franck Riester at a press conference. In his speech, he recalled that “these are 900 French companies that are established in Morocco in exponential phase and providing some 100,000 direct jobs.
During his trip, the Minister had the opportunity to meet several national public figures, including Chakib Alj, President of the General Confederation of Moroccan Enterprises (CGEM). At the end of this meeting, the French Minister welcomed the strong partnership between Morocco and France. Figures in support, he explained that trade had recorded an average growth rate of about 4.5%, rising from 5.7 billion euros in 2017 to 9.92 billion euros in 2020. For him, the deep ties between the two countries should deepen further in the future and thus move from traditional trades to those with high added value. These are the professions that enable the “decarbonization” of the economy, such as renewable energies, the sustainable city or the “Smart City”, hydrogen, sanitation… For him, it is imperative to target new technologies, a sector that has a very high potential at the national level. This without forgetting to further develop economic relations between the two countries in the traditional areas, including food processing, tourism, automotive, aeronautics, electronics, railways … Frank Riester said he was optimistic about the economic prospects of both countries, highlighting the efforts made by Morocco on the national productive fabric, especially in the field of textiles.
“We have been touched in France by the responsiveness of a number of Moroccan companies that have been able to adapt their work tools to enable the manufacture of masks for our compatriots and our European neighbors too. France will remember this, because it is in these moments that we also measure the importance of a friendship between two countries,” said the minister.
Riester also stressed the importance of training, as he had the opportunity to visit the Institute of Aeronautical Trades, which works through a Franco-Moroccan public-private partnership. “Our common ambition is to continue to focus on the training of young people, especially in the current economic climate, characterized by a labor market that is difficult to access. The objective is to offer young people excellent training tools in order to find a job with high added value and, above all, to build their professional life,” he explained.
In addition, the French representative, had the opportunity to exchange with his Moroccan counterpart, Moulay Hafid Elalamy, Minister of Industry, Trade and Green and Digital Economy, on all important issues relating to economic cooperation between the two countries.