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Saudi-Morocco fund to drive investments – and closer ties

Cargo ships near Tangier. A agreement on shipping projects was signed at the Saudi-Moroccan Economic Forum, held in Riyadh Reuters/Youssef Boudlal
Cargo ships near Tangier. A agreement on shipping projects was signed at the Saudi-Moroccan Economic Forum, held in Riyadh
  • Agreement on shipping projects
  • Moroccan executives visit Riyadh
  • Trade trebles between countries

Saudi Arabia and Morocco are setting up a joint investment fund as part of a deal to strengthen co-operation between their private sectors.

The Saudi-Moroccan Economic Forum, held in Riyadh on Sunday, also included an agreement on direct shipping line projects.

In addition, Saudi companies will get more support in accessing North African and European markets, and Saudi Arabia will speed up the pace of participation by Moroccan companies in Vision 2030 projects.

Executives from more than 100 Moroccan companies, plus government representatives, visited Saudi Arabia to explore investment opportunities in agriculture, industry, finance, renewable energy, real estate, construction, services, healthcare and technology.

Saudi-Morocco trade more than trebled in 2022 to reach SAR16.4 billion ($4.4 billion). 

The value of Saudi exports to Morocco rose by 234 percent, while Moroccan exports increased by 153 percent, according to the state-run Saudi Press Agency.

The World Bank reports that foreign direct investment inflows to Morocco remain strong and increasingly directed towards the manufacturing sector. 

“Morocco has shown strong resilience in the face of a number of shocks, most recently the September earthquake,” said Jesko Hentschel, the World Bank’s Maghreb and Malta country director.  

The forum in Riyadh, organised by the Federation of Saudi Chambers in collaboration with the General Confederation of Moroccan Enterprises, follows the signing of a declaration that aims to boost Morocco’s trade with the UAE.

The declaration, which includes a commitment to invest in high-speed trains in Morocco, was agreed in December during King Mohammed VI’s state visit to Abu Dhabi.

Morocco’s economic growth is expected to have increased by 2.8 percent in 2023, driven by a partial recovery of agricultural output, services and net exports, the World Bank has predicted. 

This recovery is expected to continue in the medium term, with real GDP growth projected to reach 3.1 percent in 2024, 3.3 percent in 2025, and 3.5 percent in 2026. 

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