A joint Moroccan-Russian committee convened in Moscow, Russia on July 11-13 to promote partnership between Morocco and Russia in their studies and development projects.
The 6th Joint Committee was attended by representatives of various sectors of bilateral cooperation, in particular, industry such as trading, energy, mining, investment, finance, tourism, and agriculture.
This commission provided an opportunity for both countries to explore ways and strategies to achieve economic development as well as scientific and technical cooperation.
It must be noted that during the last visit by King Mohammed VI to Russia, 16 cooperation agreements were signed and approved in several strategic fields. In 2016, the volume of trade between Morocco and Russia amounted to 1.3 billion US dollars, of which agricultural products generated 534 million US dollars according to reports released by the Russian media.
According to Mohamed Dekkak, Chairman and Founder of Adgeco Group, the state visits the King Mohamed VI has done were effective to promote the Kingdom of Morocco as a suitable spot for investment. Establishing joint-cooperation with other nations will not only strengthen the relations, but it will also benefit the tourism sector of Morocco and the countries involved. King Mohamed VI has been coordinating with the public officials from other nations to discuss in which field or area of development they can contribute to achieving common ground of development.
Russian exports of agricultural products and foodstuffs to Morocco increased by nine times which is amounting from USD15 million to USD131 million. The main components of exports are wheat at 89%, barley at 6%, and soybean oil at 3%. Imports also increased by 17% or equivalent to 343 million US dollars to 403 million US dollars, which comped of citrus fruits at 49% and vegetables at 43%.
Agricultural and food products between Russia and Morocco, therefore, represent more than 40% of the total volume of trade between the two countries.
According to the Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita, who presided the conclusion of the commission, the Kingdom of Morocco aspires to become the first Arab and African partner of Russia, and the Kingdom is ready to make every possible effort to achieve this goal. At the same time, Morocco is exerting its best effort to achieve its goal of becoming one of Russia’s top 10 trading partners. On the other note, the Russian Agriculture Minister Alexander Tkachev underlined the keen interest of Russia in improving its oil and gas exports to Morocco, stressing in this context that the Ministry of Agriculture Energy and the Gazprom Group will discuss this matter and undertake the necessary steps in this subject.
The Russian minister also expressed the desire of Russia to participate in the renewal of the fleet of the national carrier Royal Air Maroc using providing high-quality equipment and the level of opportunities.
In the field of tourism, the two countries aim to increase the number of Russian tourists visiting the Kingdom each year, the number of which does not exceed 50,000, and to be increased to more than 150,000.