Morocco-Saudi Arabia: Towards the creation of an integrated industrial system
Morocco and Saudi Arabia agreed on Monday to draw a roadmap for the creation of an integrated industrial system to increase investment opportunities and promote employment between the two kingdoms.
The announcement was made during a meeting in Jeddah, between Saudi Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources, Bandar bin Ibrahim Al-Khorayef, and Moroccan Minister of Industry and Trade, Ryad Mezzour, who is leading the Moroccan delegation to the Moroccan-Saudi Business Forum.
According to Mezzour, the two sides agreed to work on a number of sectors, particularly innovation, human capital and the integrated competitiveness between the industrial systems of the two countries to enter the markets with a double added value.
As part of its industrial policy, Morocco is committed to the diversification of its products and exports in order to strengthen trade between the two countries, the minister said in a statement to MAP, explaining that the goal is not diversification per se, but rather the integration of production chains and industrial and commercial value.
He stressed that Morocco aims to benefit from the huge potentials offered by Saudi Arabia, especially in terms of car exports, which have recently experienced a remarkable revival, as well as the agricultural sector which has begun to direct its attention to Saudi Arabia and the Gulf market in general to meet urgent demands and take advantage of the huge potentials in this area.
The minister further stressed the importance of working on the logistical system to create a maritime line between the two countries, calling on both sides to work together to reduce the exorbitant cost of maritime transport.
In his address before the Moroccan-Saudi Business Forum, Ryad Mezzour urged economic stakeholders in the two countries to step up efforts in order to build effective strategic partnerships, through better exploitation of the industrial complementarity between the two countries and the enormous potential offered within the framework of a win-win relationship for both sides, while taking into account mutual interests.
The Moroccan official voiced “the Moroccan government’s full support for the objectives of this partnership, as well as the particular interest it takes in its development so as to meet the expectations of the two peoples.”
Mezzour who reviewed the results of bilateral relations, said that Saudi Arabia is Morocco’s leading partner in the Arab world, noting that the overall value of trade between the two countries reached 17.2 billion dirhams ($1.76 billion) in 2021.
Morocco’s imports amounted to 16.40 billion dirhams ($1.68 billion) in 2021, while exports reached 771 million dirhams ($79 million), Mezzour said, adding that Saudi direct investments in Morocco, in the sectors of industry, real estate, tourism and agriculture, amounted to 246 million dirhams (26.6 million dollars) in 2020.
Mezzour also held a side meeting with Saudi trade minister Majid ben Abdullah Al Qasabi.
During this meeting, the Saudi official voiced his country’s intention to increase the number of Moroccan workers from 22,000 to nearly 500,000 within the frame of its new investment strategy focusing on human capital.
Al Qasabi said Saudi Arabia is determined to strengthen further economic & trade relations with Morocco, stressing the need to enhance contacts between the two countries’ private sectors and work hand in hand for joint access to emerging markets.
Al Qasabi also called for increasing the Moroccan and Saudi investments injected in both countries for shared dividends, development and prosperity.