These firms are employing nearly 40,000 people, making Japan the largest foreign private employer in the North African Kingdom.
The remarks were made by chairman of the Moroccan employers’ union (CGEM) Chakib Alj during a networking meeting between Moroccan economic operators and a visiting Japanese business delegation led by Japanese Deputy Foreign Minister Shinichi Nakatani.
Japan is the 6th Asian supplier and the 5th Asian customer of Morocco, while Morocco is the 4th African supplier and the 8th African customer of Japan, said the CGEM Chief.
Chakib Alj also stressed that trade between the two countries currently represents 4.5% of the volume of trade between Morocco and Asia and 2.7% of trade between Japan and Africa. “Our bilateral relations are excellent and have been developed significantly, especially in terms of Japanese investment,” he said, noting that Morocco is able to play a key role in Japanese strategy on the African continent.
Stressing the need to identify opportunities and remove barriers to ensure a better presence of Japanese companies in the kingdom, Chakib Alj called for strengthen economic cooperation with Japan.
Japanese private sector representative Fukushima Masao said his country is considering to further strengthen ties with Morocco. He said the visit of the joint delegation of Japanese public and private sectors aims to explore new partnerships on the Moroccan and African market. In 2018, Japanese direct investment in Morocco reached 1.56 billion dirhams (MMDH), making Japan the 5th largest investor in the kingdom.
The networking meeting was attended by fifty companies representing several sectors, namely energy, finance, industry, construction, transport, logistics, education and health.
The two countries also agreed on Monday in Rabat to set up “Japan Desk” at the Moroccan Agency for Investment & Trade.
“This desk will receive complaints and address all requests of Japanese investors”, said Moroccan Minister of Industry, Trade, Green & Digital Economy, Moulay Hafid Elalamy after his talks with visiting Japanese minister.
For his part, Mr. Nakatani stressed the importance of cooperation with Morocco due to its geostrategic position and proximity to African, European and Middle Eastern markets.
The Japanese minister had earlier separate talks in Rabat with Minister Delegate to foreign Affairs Mohcine Jazouli and Head of Moroccan Govt Saad Eddine El Othmani.
Mr. Nakatani renewed his country’s firm backing to Morocco’s territorial integrity, highlighted the attractive business opportunities offered to Japanese investors in Morocco and hailed the progress accomplished by the North African country in various sectors.