Four agreements signed at the first Catalonia-Morocco economic forum
Morocco-Spain, Politics, 10/9/2004
The first Catalonia-Morocco economic forum closed, in Barcelona on Thursday, after, inter alia, the signing of four agreements, namely between the Barcelona Chamber of commerce and the Moroccan "Banque centrale populaire" (BCP) and another one between the Barcelona chamber and "l'Agence speciale Tanger-Mediterranee."
The third agreement was signed by the Catalan Caixa bank and the BCP, while the fourth was concluded by the Moroccan agency for the land registration department (conservation fonciere) and the Catalan cartography Institute.
Fadel Beyaich, charge de mission at the Royal Palace and head of the Moroccan delegation to the forum, reiterated at a dinner hosted Wednesday night in the honour of the delegation, the will of King Mohammed VI to consolidate relations with Spain and promote partnership with the autonomous Catalonia region.
The forum, he said, will energize cooperation with this North-East region of Spain and contribute to the promotion of partnership between the two parties, Benyaich said.
For his part Pasqual Maragall, president of the Generalitat, said Moroccan and Catalan businessmen have to shore up the work of politicians to consolidate relations between Morocco and Spain.
He called for the holding in 2005 of a new European-Maghreban conference parallel to the 10th anniversary of the Barcelona process, underscoring the interest of Spain in enhancing its relations with the countries of the South Mediterranean.
Miguel Valls, president of the Barcelona chamber of commerce, who expressed thanks for the support the Moroccan sovereign extended to the organisation of the forum, said the Catalonia-Morocco Foundation is contemplating the opening of a representation in Casablanca next January to assist Catalan entreprises wishing to settle in Morocco.
The forum, opened On Wednesday, discussed means to boost economic ties between this Spanish North-Eastern autonomous region and Morocco, namely through investing and partnership between businessmen of the two parties.
The gathering, called "New Horizon, New Opportunities" and sponsored by the Barcelona Chamber of commerce and the Catalan consortium for trade promotion (COPCA), also considered topics on investment in Morocco, as well as other sectoral issues like garments, textile, tourism, electronic industry and new information technologies.
Trade between Morocco and the Spanish region of Catalonia rose from 525 million Euro in 2000 to 812 million Euro in 2003. The 300 Catalan companies working in Morocco represent 40 percent of Spanish firms established in Morocco, while 30 percent of trade between Morocco and Spain is operated with the Catalan region where more than the third of the Moroccan community in Spain is established (150,000 people).
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