Relations between Morocco and the United Arab Emirates continue to strengthen. Since the UAE decided to open a consulate in Laayoune, becoming the first Arab country to do so, ties between the two countries have only grown closer.
In this context, the UAE wants to go a step further. The secretary general of the Emirates International Investors Council, Jamal Seif Al-Jarwan, said that the southern provinces harbour "great investment opportunities that must be seized".
This statement was issued during the first "Dakhla-Laayoune-Abu Dhabi" Investment Forum. Under the theme "investing for tomorrow", the Forum was held with a strong enthusiasm for the economic opportunities offered by the region. Al-Jarwan pointed out that the area has significant economic potential and that its strategic position makes it a close gateway between Europe and Africa.
Al-Jarwan also welcomed the aspects and efforts of the Alawi kingdom to accelerate economic recovery after the COVID-19 health crisis and emphasised the investment measures adopted over the last two decades. In this regard, the secretary underlined "the depth of Moroccan-Emirati relations" between two nations that are already described as "two brotherly countries".
Moreover, on the economic front, he highlighted the development of economic relations between Morocco and the Emirates, which have managed to remain constant despite the pandemic.
Today, Morocco has 30 Emirati companies after doubling its investment volume in the kingdom, as well as fostering commercial exchanges.
Emirati investment in Morocco makes the UAE the first Arab country to invest in the Kingdom and has managed to climb to third place in the ranking for foreign direct investment.
On the sensitive issue of Western Sahara, the UAE has more than once shown its support for Morocco's sovereignty and territorial integrity of Western Sahara. This position has been stressed by the Emirati Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan, in various official statements.
The UAE is not the only country that has taken this position. Countries with important international influence, such as the United States, have already spoken out in defence of Morocco's legitimacy over the regions of Western Sahara. This position has been followed by up to 24 countries that have announced the opening of national consulates in Laayoune or Dakhdla.