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Morocco, China Sign Agreement on Joint Implementation Plan for Belt and Road Initiative

Morocco, China Sign Agreement on Joint Implementation Plan for Belt and Road Initiative

Image frommMoroccoworldnews

Morocco and China signed today an agreement on the joint implementation plan for Belt and Road Initiative.

Morocco's Minister of Foreign Affairs participated in the signing ceremony held virtually as part of the preventive measures to limit the spread of COVID-19. Moroccan Foreign Affairs Minister Nasser Bourita commended the cooperation between the two countries.

Bourita says the signing comes as one of the first “if not the first diplomatic activity” of 2022. He said the signing reflects China’s place in Morocco.

The Moroccan FM emphasized that the partnership between the two countries “was not born yesterday.” “It is supported by long-standing diplomatic relations,” he said.

He added that bilateral cooperation and friendship in several aspects showed the two country’s “strong solidarity.”

The Moroccan official recalled large-scale projects connecting the two countries, including the Belt and Road Initiative.

Ning Jizhe, vice chairman of China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) participated in the signing of the implementation plan. He stated that the Belt and Road Initiative “carries a spirit of peace and cooperation.”

Jizhe added Morocco and China enjoy steady friendly relations, recalling the mutual benefit and learning this initiative would bring to cooperation between the two countries.

He emphasized that such an agreement will open corridors for other areas of cooperation.

The Chinese official recalled the signing of the Morocco-Sinopharm cooperation agreement, enabling Morocco to outperform its African neighbors in the drive to vaccinate citizens.

The two parties signed the agreement to enable Morocco to manufacture Sinopharm vaccines. Both China and Morocco cooperated in various aspects of Morocco’s  anti-COVID-19 campaign.

Jizhe shared data on trade cooperation between the two countries, emphasizing that it is expanding.

“Currently, the direct investment from China to Morocco reaches 380 million USD. Most goes into infrastructure, mobile parts, telecommunication and fishery. In 2020, the bilateral trade reached 4.76 billion USD with a 2% increase compared with last year, even with COVID-19 Pandemic and a recession in international trade,” he said.

The Chinese official forecasts the trend will break the $6 billion record this year.“It is the position that 2021 is a year of abundance in bilateral trade,” he said.

Morocco and China signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on China’s Belt and Road Initiative in 2017.

The agreement aims to revive the historic Silk Road on land and sea by establishing a trade and infrastructure bridge linking Asia to Europe and Africa. As well,  it seeks to expand Chinese companies' presence in Africa. Morocco, with its geographical location, serves as a bridge between Europe and Africa.

The agreement seeks to boost cooperation in different fields, including trade, investment, military,security, culture, education, and tourism.

Morocco and China repeatedly expressed determination to see their cooperation advanced in all fields.

In November 2020, China ambassador to Morocco Li Changlin expressed satisfaction with the existing “strong, good, and strategic relations” between the two countries. 2020 marked the 60th anniversary of cooperation between the two countries.

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