As a haven of stability in the region, Morocco managed under the leadership of King Mohammed VI to strengthen the rule of law, promote governance and build capacities of human rights and good governance institutions, said the Australian Ambassador to Rabat Berenice Owen-Jones.
Owen Jones said, in an interview with the Moroccan news agency, that the opening of the Australian Embassy in Rabat ushers a new era in relations between Canberra and Rabat, paving the way for a closer cooperation in the economic, political and cultural areas.
The Australian Ambassador expressed optimism at the prospects for strengthening bilateral ties stressing that the North African Kingdom offers a platform for Australia’s trade ties with Africa and the Mediterranean while Canberra can act as a gate for Morocco to Oceania and the pacific.
Moroccan-Australian bilateral trade reached $89.3 million in 2016, of which Australia imported $ 66.1 million from Morocco and exported $ 23.2 million, she added.
“We can do better. We will work together to develop trade and investment in the fields of food and agriculture, infrastructure, maritime transport, sustainable development and mining,” she said, adding that about 30,000 Australian tourists visit Morocco every year and spend at least a week in the Kingdom.
Ambassador Owen-Jones also voiced satisfaction at the two countries’ shared political willingness to forge a win-win partnership notably in fields relating to investments, trade, peace, security and the fight against terrorism and climate change.
In this respect, she praised Morocco’s successful organization of the UN climate summit in Marrakech and its capacity to galvanize the support of the international community in favor of climate issues.
In line with the momentum witnessed in bilateral diplomatic ties, an Australian-Moroccan Parliamentary Friendship Group was officially established in the Australian Parliament last Tuesday (August 15).
The group, which includes 24 MPs and Senators, is meant to promote relations between the two countries and strengthen inter-parliamentary cooperation.
Berenice Owen Jones was positioned in Rabat last May as the first Ambassador of Australia to Morocco.