Morocco and Brazil strengthen their economic cooperation

The two countries have signed seven agreements covering investment, legal assistance and the transport sector
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AFP/FADEL SENNA  -   Employees of the French Renault group in Morocco work on a production line at the Renault factory in Tangier

Brazil and Morocco reaffirm their economic cooperation. According to the official news agency MAP, the South American country has become one of the Kingdom's main trading partners in recent years. In January, the North African country topped the list of Arab exporters to Brazil, with more than 100 million dollars in exported products, an increase of 95.5 per cent compared to the same month in 2020.

In the same vein, the two countries have sought to strengthen their partnership and expand it to other areas, which is why they have signed seven agreements covering investment, mutual legal assistance and non-double taxation for maritime and air transport, and defence. The Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nasser Bourita, made an official trip to Brazil where he met with his counterpart, Ernesto Araujo. The two signed a Cooperation and Facilitation of Investment Agreement (ACFI), which involves the promotion of mutual investment, as well as the implementation of an investment strategy.

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AFP/FADEL SENNA - Nasser Bourita, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Morocco

In addition, Bourita and Araujo agreed on a memorandum of understanding between the Moroccan Academy of Diplomatic Studies and the Rio Branco Institute. In the legal field, mutual legal assistance in criminal investigation and prosecution procedures was strengthened, particularly in the fight against criminal activities such as corruption, money laundering, illicit trafficking in persons, drugs, firearms, ammunition and explosives, terrorism and its financing.

Agreements in the transport sector aim to establish more air links between the two countries in order to stimulate tourism and the construction of hotel facilities. This is a further step in the relations between Morocco and Brazil. Morocco's ambassador to Brazil, Nabil Adghoghi, stressed the importance of the agreements as a legal framework aimed at facilitating bilateral relations. "It is now time to set up a cooperation structure between Brazil and Morocco aimed not only at expanding trade, but also at stimulating negotiations on investments and projects," said Adghoghi.

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PHOTO - Brazil's president Jair Bolsonaro

Likewise, former Brazilian Foreign Minister Ernesto Araujo pointed out that treaties strengthen bilateral dialogue and build policies based on a solid legal status, "not on abstract ideas". The good harmony between the two countries was again reflected in a telephone call between Bourita and the current Brazilian Foreign Minister, Carlos Alberto Franco França, in which both expressed their desire to continue the dynamic of bilateral cooperation, with the aim of establishing a multidimensional Strategic Association based on political dialogue and economic cooperation.

Bourita also congratulated França on his country's election as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the period 2022-2023, and they took the opportunity to discuss some issues related to "regional issues of common interest and agreed to continue cooperation in multilateral forums", according to the Moroccan diplomatic Twitter account.

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PHOTO/UN/MARTINE PERRET - Peacekeeping forces of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO)

Western Sahara, an issue of vital importance to Morocco, has also been another topic of discussion between the two countries. Since the former US president, Donald Trump, decided to recognise Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara, the Alawi kingdom has tried to get other countries to follow the same path as the US. This has caused tensions with some European countries such as Spain and Germany, which continue to support a UN-sponsored solution.

According to Moroccan official sources, Brazil welcomes the Moroccan autonomy proposal, which it describes as "serious and credible". França, during the telephone call, reiterated Brazil's support for the UN process "to reach a fair, realistic and pragmatic solution to this regional dispute".