Moroccan businessmen to travel to Israel to boost economic cooperation

The president of the CGEM, Chakib Alj, will lead a delegation of more than 70 businessmen
nadia-fettah-alaoui

PHOTO/ARCHIVO  -   Nadia Fettah Alaoui, Minister of Economy and Finance of Morocco

Morocco has seen Israel as a key alliance opportunity in one of the most complicated moments for its foreign policy. For its part, Tel Aviv continues to expand its influence in the Arab world only a year after the Abraham Accords and the normalisation of relations with the Alawi kingdom. Moroccan-Israeli ties are growing closer in virtually every sector. From defence to trade, from technology to innovation in all its forms. Relations between the two are a major boost and are set to continue to grow in importance.

banderas-marruecos-israel
PHOTO/ARCHIVE - Flags of Morocco and Israel

The economic sector is one of Rabat's main concerns. The recovery from the crisis caused by the pandemic means that alternatives must be sought to get the economy back on track. For this reason, a delegation led by Chakib Alj, President of the General Confederation of Moroccan Enterprises (CGEM), will travel to Tel Aviv from 12 to 15 December in search of business opportunities and the creation of synergies between the business communities of the two countries. In addition, the visit will be marked by the holding of an Israel-Morocco economic forum on 13 December in partnership with the Israel Employers and Business Organisation.

MAP (Moroccan press agency) has issued a statement in which it said that "the Moroccan delegation, (...) will consist of more than 70 businessmen representing the various sectors of common interest (tourism, industry, agriculture, technology and innovation, education, health, finance and insurance, renewable energy and textiles)". A trip planned at the same time as Israel's defence minister is in Rabat - making him the first Israeli defence minister to travel to Morocco's capital - for the signing of a memorandum of cooperation in the field of armaments.

ryad-mezzour-ministro-industria-marruecos
PHOTO/FILE - Ryad Mezzour, Morocco's Minister of Industry

The CGEM president himself has referred to the December trip in an official statement: "In view of the similarities and complementarities between the Moroccan and Israeli economies, our respective economic operators have countless opportunities at their disposal in different sectors and in new markets". For Israel, it is also a key financial opportunity, given that Morocco's economic growth has been meteoric over the past ten years, making it the fifth largest economy in the continent and the third largest in the north of the continent. Not forgetting, of course, the kingdom's strategic location, a key gateway to Africa.

The visit of the Moroccan businessmen coincides with the opening of the new direct air route between the two countries. Casablanca and Tel Aviv will have a new air route from 12 December following the announcement by the Royal Air Maroc (RAM) company. The idea is to have three flights a week, but to increase the frequency to five in the short term. The airline itself said that this new connection "meets the expectations of the Moroccan community established in Israel, which has strong ties with its country of origin. It also aims to enable tourists, as well as businessmen and women, to travel to Morocco or Israel".

avion-marroqui-air-maroc
PHOTO/REUTERS  -   Boeing 737 de CN-ROP Royal Air Maroc

This process of rapprochement in commercial and economic matters has some key figures such as Steve O'Hana, president of the Morocco-Israel Business Council, who says that "taking into account our fraternal relations, our cultural proximity, the complementarities and similarities between our two economies, as well as the transformation that the latter have undergone in recent years, there are many opportunities to be seized". The Moroccan delegation's trip to Tel Aviv is one of the next steps, but what seems certain is that closer ties between the two countries will only continue to progress towards an ever-stronger partnership.