French, Moroccan enterprises called to multiply investment opportunities
Morocco-France, Economics, 5/3/2001
Moroccan and French Prime Ministers, Abderrahmane Youssoufi and Lionel Jospin, called for a larger involvement of the two countries' small and medium enterprises (SME) to multiply investment and partnership opportunities.
This came in the final declaration issued at the end the 4th annual meeting of the high joint commission held in Paris this Thursday.
The two sides pointed out that the challenges of globalization, the larger overture of Moroccan economy, especially in the context of the free-trade area with the European Union (by year 2010), call for "a sustained common action" to consolidate the competitiveness of Moroccan economy.
The two prime ministers convened to "establish a deep, regular economic and commercial dialogue" and to carry on their "close consultation" on issues related to the EU, the Euro-Mediterranean process and to all multilateral economic and financial issues.
The two sides which noted the "significant performance" scored in matters of direct investments by French groups in Morocco, called for a greater involvement of SME which play a key role in the two countries' economies.
Besides promoting SME through the consolidation of financing mechanisms, they also convened to re-orient their cooperation towards sustained human development in Morocco through sustained action in education, social development, territory planning and legal cooperation.
Underlining the role of the civil society and non-governmental actors in enriching bilateral relations, the two sides renewed resolve to ease the movement of persons. The efforts made to improve visas issuing will be enhanced.
On the sidelines of the commission's meeting, the ministers accompanying Youssoufi (ministers of justice, Omar Azziman, of foreign affairs and cooperation, Mohamed Benaissa, of employment, vocational training, social development and solidarity, Abbas El Fassi, of economy, finance, Privatization and tourism, Fathallah Oualalou, of social economy, SME and handicraft, in charge of the government general affairs, Ahmed Lahlimi, and of national education, Abdallah Saaf) held separate work sessions with their French peers to expound cooperation opportunities and assets and constraints of the Moroccan economy.
The chambers of commerce and industry of Paris and Rabat signed a convention on institutional, technical and economic cooperation. The signing ceremony was chaired by Lahlimi and French minister in charge of SME, trade, handicraft and consumption, Fran¨ois Patriat.
The two officials had also chaired a seminar attended by economic operators and experts who probed ways of promoting the flow of investment and know-how of French SME to Morocco.
The principle to convene such annual meetings was decided during the state visit of the late King Hassan II to France in 1996. The 3rd meeting was held in Morocco (Fez and Marrakesh) in November 1999 and highlighted by the conversion of FF 700 million, part of Morocco's debts to France, into investments in the Kingdom.
France is Morocco's first trade partner and is the first foreign investor in the country. Morocco is France's second partner among third Mediterranean countries and ranks on top of France's public loans and other assistance recipients with a total amount of 2.5 billions.
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