The observer status granted to Morocco within the Andean Community at the 20th meeting of the Andean Presidential Council held recently in the Colombian capital Bogotá, will contribute to strengthen relations as well as cooperation between the two parties in all areas, particularly the economic sector, according to the secretary general of this regional grouping, Jorge Hernando Pedraza.
Morocco has become an observer of the Andean Community of Nations, a free trade area mustering Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru, earlier this month. The Kingdom is the first Arab and African country to gain such a status, which enables it to enhance its presence in Latin America.
The decision to grant observer status to Morocco, “will contribute to the consolidation of relations between this regional grouping and the Kingdom of Morocco and to the promotion of trade between the two parties as well as the strengthening of cooperation, particularly in the current circumstances where the world and our region need more integration and joint action,” Pedraza said in an interview with MAP correspondent.
This status will also help stimulate and increase the volume of trade between the two sides, he pointed out.
He added that the general secretariat of the Andean Community, based in Lima (Peru), intends to set up a roadmap, in coordination with the Kingdom, with the aim of strengthening cooperation between the two parties.
He recalled that the bodies and institutions of this South American grouping are called upon to promote the implementation of joint programs and measures with countries that have an observer status in accordance with the principles encouraging more dialogue and cooperation with these countries.
He also highlighted the complementarity between the two parties in terms of trade, particularly in the food, manufacturing and textile industries, which can be further strengthened through the conclusion of a free trade agreement.
Pedraza stressed that the Andean Community will give priority to an active presence of Morocco in trade fairs, as well as in business meetings and e-commerce in the region, noting that access to African markets is of great importance for the Andean countries.
He added that the cooperation model that can be set up with Morocco within the framework of South-South cooperation will allow a better understanding of mutual interests as well as the access of the Kingdom to the Andean region, while enabling the countries of the regional bloc to have access to the African market.
The Andean Community’s Secretary General also praised Morocco’s management of the coronavirus pandemic, as well as the medical aid it granted, at the instructions of King Mohammed VI, to several African countries to support their efforts to fight the pandemic.