Since the first visit to Moscow by King Mohammed VI in 2002, Morocco and Russia have been working together to deepen their strategic partnership and expand their cooperation to new areas including energy and new industries.
The visit by Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev to Morocco, which comes after the visit paid by King Mohammed VI to Moscow last year, adds impetus to a strategic partnership that is set to take shape through concrete agreements setting the stage for a win-win partnership.
The visit was preceded by a high-level Moroccan-Russian business forum featuring the participation of leading Russian and Moroccan businesses to prospect business opportunities in the agricultural sector as well as in the fields of energy, infrastructure, new technologies, pharmaceutical industry and the car industry.
Speaking during this forum, Russia’s agriculture minister Alexandre Tkatchev reiterated that Morocco is a “political ally that enjoys the trust of Russia”, noting that prospects are promising for bilateral ties under the leadership of King Mohammed VI and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Russia offers a platform for Moroccan exports to the member states of the Eurasian Economic Union, he said, urging decision-makers and economic operators in both countries to strive towards achieving a Free Trade Agreement between Morocco and Russia.
For his part, Russia’s Ambassador in Morocco highlighted the stability prevailing in the North African Kingdom as conducive to attracting further Russian investments.
Speaking on the same occasion, Morocco’s agriculture minister Aziz Akhannouch expressed satisfaction regarding bilateral ties with Russia, which have become “stronger than ever.”
He said that the King’s visit to Russia in 2016 has added momentum to bilateral ties yielding fruitful results as evidenced by the 28% growth in Morocco’s exports to Russia between 2015 and 2016.
The Minister noted that agri-food products account for 97% of Morocco’s total exports to Russia, which represent 18% of the overall value of Morocco’s agri-food exports, that is 1.8 billion dirhams in 2016.
He said Morocco is the first supplier of the Russian market with Tomatoes and the second with citrus fruits.
In terms of volume, Morocco exported to the Russian market 351,000 tons of agri-food products, of which 210,000 tons are tomatoes and 119,000 citrus.