Morocco’s Minister of Industry, Commerce & New Technologies to Visit 6 US Cities Next Week to Meet with US Business Leaders
Washington, DC (April 7, 2011) – Last week, a delegation of US corporate leaders traveled to Morocco to explore the rapidly growing business and investment opportunities it has to offer across a variety of sectors. Representatives from nearly 20 US companies, including Lockheed Martin, Cisco Systems, FedEx, Raytheon, Motorola Solutions, and General Dynamics IT, met with private sector leaders and top Moroccan government officials at a time of tremendous bilateral growth between the US and Morocco, a key hub for accessing markets in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.
In return, His Excellency Ahmed Chami, Morocco’s Minister of Industry, Commerce & New Technologies, will visit Chicago, Columbus, Seattle, Detroit, New York City, and Boston from April 10-19, to meet with business leaders to discuss specific opportunities for increased sales and investments with Morocco. With a graduate degree from UCLA and as the former director for Microsoft in Southeast Asia, Minister Chami is emblematic of the leadership appointed by His Majesty King Mohammed VI to lead the dynamic growth strategies undertaken by Morocco in sectors ranging from tourism and value-added agriculture to components manufacturing for automobiles and aircraft.
At the conclusion of the delegation’s visit to Morocco, LaMar Willis, General Dynamics IT VP of Strategic Program Development commented, ―I think that the Moroccan government here is very progressive. Logistics-wise, Morocco is very strategically located—with good sea ports, airport infrastructure, and road investment. I think Morocco presents good opportunities and I would encourage US businesses to consider it. There is a very clear indication from the Moroccan government that they want US businesses and are willing to work with us.‖
In 2006, Morocco and the US entered into a Free Trade Agreement and bilateral trade between the two countries has since doubled, reaching $2.6 billion in 2010. More and more US companies are taking advantage of the growing economic opportunities thanks to the FTA with Morocco—the only African country that has an FTA with the US.
Earlier this month, Bridgestone Corporation, the world’s largest tire and rubber company, opened a new tire sales facility in Casablanca, Morocco. Bridgestone, which ―aims to further strengthen its business in Morocco’s highly promising market,‖ called Morocco ―a key region in which rapid economic expansion can be anticipated.‖
NEC Unified Solutions, international specialists in communication solutions for small, medium, and large enterprises in both the private and public sectors, has partnered with a Moroccan company, Encom, to distribute communication servers and applications for the growing SMB and Enterprise market segments.
―We are seeing a growing demand for our solutions across the North Africa region and needed a partner that understands the market and our evolving technology,‖ said Frits Neyndorff, Vice President for the Middle-East & Africa operations of NEC Unified Solutions, in last week’s announcement.
―Morocco has witnessed in the last decade, substantial political, economic, social and legal reforms and has made considerable progress in enhancing the investment climate to attract foreign direct investment,‖ said Rabia El Alama, Executive Director of The Moroccan-American Chamber of Commerce in Casablanca. ―Morocco offers almost infinite opportunities for US businesses interested in using this country as a platform for production and export to other regional markets. Morocco is becoming a regional hub for key industries such as aeronautics, automobile, IT and off-shoring, as well as a distribution hub for North and Sub Saharan Africa, Europe, and the Middle East.‖
In addition to individual corporate meetings, Minister Chami will participate in the following events during his US visit:
Corporate Business Breakfast sponsored by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs
Corporate Dinner hosted by the American Arab Chamber of Commerce
Opening Bell and seminar on investing in Morocco at NASDAQ in New York City
Corporate Roundtable at the Kennedy School of Government, Cambridge
The Moroccan American Trade and Investment Center (MATIC) was established under the Royal Patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI as a vehicle to promote the Moroccan-US FTA. MATIC is an American based non-profit trade association that assists the country of Morocco in its quest to encourage economic growth and stability through the promotion of its private sector. For more information, please visit www.moroccanamericantrade.com.