MOROCCO: First North African Belt and Road Agreement Signed with China
19 January 2022
Morocco signed an accord with China on 5 January 2022 facilitating joint implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), making it the first North African country to do so. The initiative will promote cooperation in trade, investment, infrastructure, agriculture, energy, finance, science, education, technology, security, research and development, health and industry, according to a Moroccan government statement. The plan also provides access to Chinese BRI funding for large-scale projects. China has committed to encouraging Chinese firms’ expansion and investment in Morocco, particularly in e-commerce, high-tech, automotive, aeronautics, textiles and agriculture.
Morocco is well-placed for Chinese export manufacturers to reach African markets, also gaining access to ports on the western Mediterranean and Atlantic. Firms can benefit from Morocco’s relationships with the European Union and countries in the Middle East. In 2020, trade between Morocco and China reached US$4.76 billion. Morocco mainly exports calcium phosphate, raw copper and zinc ore to China, whereas China’s primary exports to Morocco are tea, pile fabric and broadcasting equipment.
- Mainland China