Morocco, Columbia sign partnership accord
Morocco-Colombia, Politics, 3/19/1999
Morocco and Columbia concluded on Thursday in Marrakesh a partnership accord meant to promote economic cooperation and trade exchange between the two countries.
The accord, a juridical instrument that will boost bilateral cooperation in trade, industry and investments, provides for the setting up of a joint business commission.
The agreement was initialed by the two countries' ministers of trade in the presence of President Andres Pastrana of Columbia who was on a working visit to Morocco and Moroccan Prime Minister Abderrahmane Youssoufi.
The Columbian president who arrived in Morocco on Wednesday and left on Thursday on his first visit to the kingdom since his election as Columbia's president in August 1998, was received by King Hassan II and conferred with Youssoufi on means to enhance trade relations.
The two sides also examined means to coordinate stands at international organizations, mainly the United Nations and the Non-Aligned Movement.
At a press briefing on the eve of the visit, the Columbian ambassador to Morocco, Mrs. Ximena Andrade, said the two countries which have upgraded their cultural relations are now trying to consolidate economic cooperation. The Columbian diplomat added that Columbia grants a special interest to its relations with Morocco, despite the geographic distance separating them.
Morocco ranks first among Columbia's clients in the African continent. In 1996, Morocco received 91.4% of the Latin American country's exports to Africa. These exports are mainly made up of tobacco, sugar, coffee, and agricultural machinery.
Morocco's exports to Columbia (capers, olives, roses and other plants) did not exceed $487,831 in 1996 while imports during the same year were worth $5.2 million.
Morocco and Columbia are bound by several cooperation accords in the fields of culture (1991), scientific and technical cooperation (1992) and trade (1995).
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