Upper House Speaker Says Morocco, Andean Countries Have Opportunities for Joint Development

House of Advisors Speaker Naama Mayara on Tuesday said that Morocco and the countries of the Andean Community have all the opportunities for joint development, noting that the geographical position and the promising logistical infrastructure qualify both parties to play a central role in the global trade equation. Speaking at the opening of the Moroccan-Andean Community Parliamentary Forum at the headquarters of the Moroccan Parliament, Mayara said that the Andean countries are the western gateway to the Atlantic economic space, while Morocco is the gateway to the economic system and the Mediterranean value chain. This situation, added Mayara, facilitates trade and the establishment of a range of industries, services, logistics activities and export processing zones. In this context, he pointed out that the Moroccan-Andean common market includes about 195 million consumers, while the continental common market includes about 2.1 billion consumers, including 1.3 billion on the African continent and about 700 million in Latin America and the Caribbean. In addition to these demographic indicators, Mayara said, it is worth highlighting a range of natural assets, including large coasts that would facilitate the development of an integrated system for the maritime economy, the availability of strategic natural resources such as phosphate, which is a central element in the equation of global food sovereignty, as well as oil and gas and enormous natural potential that will allow Morocco and the Andean Community to confirm their leadership in the production of green hydrogen, which would be the real fuel for the future. However, the Moroccan official noted that despite all these important capabilities, the level of economic cooperation and trade between the Kingdom and the Andean Community remains below the common aspirations, believing that the development of economic and trade relations between the two parties must be placed at the center of common interests. In this regard, he said that Morocco could open an important market of 1.3 billion consumers to the benefit of Andean countries under a continental free trade agreement, and that the Andean countries constitute about 32% of the Latin American market, noting that both parties have the capacity to build a common value chain, especially in the agri-food and electronics industries, fertilizers and marine industries. In this sense, he called to reflect on the possibility of creating a mechanism for consultation and political cooperation to promote development, trade and exchange of best technological practices, and to work for the emergence of a practical and effective cooperation framework that can reach the level of a free trade area or an advanced economic space in the future. He also stressed the need to encourage the creation of investment funds between Morocco and the Andean Community to promote the joint establishment of industrial, agricultural and service activities, and to consider the creation of a joint development financing institution, in addition to the importance of coordinating efforts to develop innovative plans to keep pace with the major transformations of the global trading system. It is also about putting in place practical measures to strongly access the dynamism of the fourth industrial revolution and digital transformation, and to continue to strengthen logistical cooperation between the airports of the Andean countries and Morocco, as well as between the ports of Tanger Med and Dakhla Atlantic in the Moroccan Sahara, and the Andean port system. This Parliamentary Forum, which addresses two major themes that are “economic cooperation and trade” and “energy security”, is held in the context of the visit of members of the Andean Parliament in the Kingdom, from 1 to 9 July, at the invitation of the Moroccan Parliament. This visit is part of the strengthening of South-South cooperation advocated by His Majesty King Mohammed VI, as well as the consolidation of the existing partnership between the Moroccan Parliament and the Andean Parliament, in addition to the consultation and exchange on a range of issues of common interest.