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Conference to Highlight Business Opportunities in Morocco – Jean R. AbiNader

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Jean R. AbiNader, Exec. Dir., Moroccan American Trade and Investment Center

Jean R. AbiNader, Exec. Dir., Moroccan American Trade and Investment Center

Jean R. AbiNader, MATIC 
February 6, 2014

A preliminary agenda has been released for the 2nd Annual Morocco-US Business Development Conference in Rabat March 10-11, 2014. It brings together three principal themes of Morocco’s effort to promote economic growth:

  • Enhanced bilateral trade with the US
  • Investment opportunities in Morocco
  • Morocco as a platform for trade and investment development in Africa.

The first day of the conference will take place at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation with space available for B2B meetings. In addition to the three principal theme sessions, there will be concurrent sessions in the afternoon on the most dynamic sectors in Morocco: energy (renewable and carbon-based) and automotive and aeronautics manufacturing. The second day will feature travel/site visit options to Tangier, Casablanca, or elsewhere for meetings and orientations that advance the attendees’ objectives in visiting Morocco.

Organizations supporting the conference include major business groups in Morocco: the General Confederation of Moroccan Enterprises (CGEM); the Rabat and Casablanca Chambers of Commerce; the Moroccan Export Agency; the Moroccan Investment Development Agency (AMDI); the US Commercial Service; and the American Chamber of Commerce in Morocco (AmCham). They are actively promoting the conference to hundreds of companies that match the sectors and services targeted by Morocco.

According to Moroccan Embassy sources in the US, the goal is to attract upwards of 200 attendees, and it is anticipated that key decision-makers in the government and private sector will participate including, Salaheddine Mezouar, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Mrs. Miriem Bensalah Chaqroun, President of CGEM, and Scott Eisner, Vice-President of the US Chamber of Commerce responsible for North Africa. Panels will feature Moroccan and US speakers with extensive experience in their fields, with a special presentation on investment opportunities by AMDI.

Of particular value to American companies new to the region will be the session on Morocco in Africa. There will be a presentation on current Moroccan projects in west and central Africa, as well as details of the logistics, financial, and commercial services that are available to companies domiciled in Morocco for regional business.

Concurrent Sectoral Panels

While the automotive and aeronautic manufacturing panels will stand out for those in the field, some may be surprised by the extent of these activities already in Morocco. From Renault to Bombardier, car- and plane-parts manufacturing is one of the highest growth industries in Morocco.

Another rising star in the Moroccan economy is the energy sector, both renewables and carbon-based. With construction already starting on its first 500 MW solar plant, its extensive wind farms, and additional projects in the pipeline, Morocco has become a magnet for international companies investing in renewable energy projects. Oil and gas exploration is also high on the energy agenda, with on and offshore concessions attracting investors from the US and Europe.

The Morocco-US Business Development Conference had its initial session in Washington, DC in December 2012 as part of the Strategic Dialogue initiated by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The highly successful visit of King Mohammed VI to President Barack Obama in November 2013 and the upcoming convening of the second session of the Strategic Dialogue by Secretary John Kerry are reminders of the depth and vibrancy of the bilateral relationship.

And this conference focusing on the private sector and its opportunities in Morocco and the region highlights the underlying reality that Morocco’s stability and network of relationships through the region make it an unrivalled platform for trade and investment.

For more details on the conference, contact Mrs. Majda Saber at the Embassy of Morocco in Washington, DC at (202) 462-7979 (Ext 22) Email: majda.saber@gmail.com

The US Commercial Service is hosting a webinar on Feb 11 on business in North Africa; information on time and registration fee is available at http://go.usa.gov/BcPF or contact the friendly and helpful commercial officer: Doug Wallace in Casablanca – douglas.wallace@trade.gov )

Jean R. AbiNader is Executive Director of the Moroccan American Trade and Investment Center.

Co-published with Fair Observer (www.fairobserver.com).

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