Pakistan Trade Relations with Morocco

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Morocco and Pakistan have always enjoyed close, cordial and fraternal relations, which are deeply rooted in a common Islamic heritage. The two countries established diplomatic relations in 1958, the year during which Morocco opened its Embassy in Pakistan.

Over the years, the excellent bilateral relations between Pakistan and Morocco have been strengthened and reinforced. These relations are characterized by a similarity of views and a shared perception on major global and regional issues. They have always coordinated their actions in different international forum and mainly on the level of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, where they are very active members.

Political relations:

The number of high official visits to and from the two sides reflect the strong will the leadership of the two countries, to make the bilateral relations live up to the expectations of the two Governments and to the aspiration of the two peoples.

Mr. Abderrahman Youssoufi, then Prime Minister of Morocco, visited Pakistan from 16-18 April 2001.

With a 47 members delegation with 3 Ministers, Ministers of state, advisors, senior officials and businessmen. Both sides affirmed positive stance on important issues and vowed to improve commercial relations.

This visit was followed by the visit of the former Pakistani Minister of Commerce to Morocco from 3-5 July 2002, with a delegation comprising some officials and businessmen.

During the former Pakistani Prime Minister's visit to Morocco in 1994, a proposal to establish a Joint Commission was discussed with late King Hassan II and Prime Minister of Morocco. Both governments agreed to establish a Joint Ministerial Commission at the level of the foreign Ministers. In this connection, an agreement for the establishment of this commission was signed on 16th April 2001 in Islamabad. The first session of the commissions is to be held very soon.

This visit was, in fact, of paramount importance to the development of the bilateral relations. It was also an illustration of the strong desire of both countries to reinforce and deepen the existing ties particularly in the economic and commercial fields.

The Heads of State of the two countries agreed to increase trade exchanges, which is quite below the desired level, especially that the economies of both countries offer large perspectives of investments in a different areas as well as opportunities to the business communities in Pakistan and Morocco to develop bilateral exchanges.

Cultural Relations:

A cultural exchange agreement was first signed with Morocco in 1967. The last cultural exchange program signed was for 1995-1997 period, which has remained largely unimplemented. However, Pakistani Qawwals have been participating at the annual Fez Festival of Spiritual Music for last few years. Their participation in the next edition is also confirmed.

A Pakistani studies and Urdu language Chair was also established at the Mohammed V University, Rabat and professors were appointed against the chair since 1986. However, more efforts should be made by both countries on this aspect to allow the two people discover cultural richness of each other.

On the level of exchange of experiences, it is worth mentioning that it has become almost a yearly tradition that few Moroccan young diplomats come to Pakistan to participate in either the specialized or advanced courses, organized by the Foreign Service Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the brotherly country of Pakistan.

Economic relations:

Despite the enormous economic opportunities that exist both in Pakistan and in Morocco, the bilateral exchanges remain still low in comparison with the excellent political relations. To remedy this situation, both countries signed different agreements in different field, mainly in the economic sectors in order to provide investors and businessmen in both countries with necessary Legal Framework.

The signature of an important agreement between Morocco's The Cherifien Office of Phosphates and Pakistan's Fauji Group to create a joint venture of about 200 million US Dollars strengthened the economic cooperation between the two countries. This plant, which will be based in Morocco and is expected to start by the end of 2006, will produce 375.000 tons of Phosphoric Acid, destined exclusively for the Pakistani growing market.

The second step consists of establishing, later on, a joint venture between OCP and Fauji Fertilizers in Karachi. Its main objective is to supply the local market and also be a platform for exporting towards the Central Asian Republics markets.

Regarding the trade relationship some newspaper clippings and reports of the previous years are as follows

Morocco, Pakistan sign cooperation agreements

08 May 2001

Rabat

"Morocco and Pakistan signed in Rabat on Wednesday a trade and economic cooperation while the two countries' export promotion bodies concluded a memorandum of understanding.

The two countries were signed in the presence of Pakistani minister of trade, industry and production minister Abdul Razak Dawood, who started on Wednesday a visit to Morocco at the head of a delegation of 15 businessmen."

According to this report in the paper Arabic News, the Moroccan minister of trade, industry and mining dropped light on the low level of trade exchanges stood at $50.6million in 2001. But they are ready to open their exports to benefit Pakistanis by their expertise in the textile sector.

Pakistan, Morocco sign accords to boost trade: Musharraf, King Mohammad holds talks

18 July 2003

Rabat

"Morocco and Pakistan signed an agreement on Friday designed to encourage bilateral trade and the practice of a moderate form of Islam in both countries through a program of exchanges.

Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf signed the accord at the end of a two-day official visit to Morocco.

Earlier, President Gen Pervez Musharraf held talks with Morocco's King Mohammed VI on wide-ranging issues and witnessed signing of accords to promote cooperation between the two countries in the fields of science and technology, environment and on increased interaction between their religious affairs ministries."

Both of these Islamic countries are trying to bond on this common ground. Pakistan will also benefit from morocco's proficiency in Islamic sculptures and decorations.

Scientific and technological knowledge and specialists would also be shared between the two countries and that is why environmental agreements setting up bilateral policies in the field are signed.