MOROCCO – Bank of Africa has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Zhejiang China Commodity City Group (CCC Group) to boost their trading partnership.
The purpose of the agreement is to enable the two institutions to work together to build a trading and logistics park in Morocco.
The agreement is also part of the determination of Morocco and China to advance their relations at all levels, including economic partnerships.
“Through this agreement, Bank of Africa strengthens its power in the financial market in China and becomes the main financial support for Chinese exporting companies located in the city of Yiwu,” the Moroccan bank said in a statement.
The statement explained that the agreement seeks to mark Bank of Africa’s determination to implement all the necessary means to advance the “realization of projects in line with the strategic vision inspired by the government.”
Zhejiang CCC Group is a state-owned development company in China. The group is listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange with a capital of US$4 billion.
CCC Group manages an international trading park in Yiwu covering an area of 6.4 square kilometers, with 75,000 small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The UN and the World Bank consider the trading park the largest in the world.
The group also built a large industrial park in Rwanda as well as similar projects in Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, and Morocco.
Zhejiang China Commodity City Group’s MoU with Bank of Africa follows the signing of partnership agreements between Moroccan and Chinese corporations relating to the Mohammed VI Tangier Tech City.
The China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) and the China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) formalized their ownership of 35% of the capital of the Tangier Tech Management Company (SATT), which is responsible for building and managing the Mohammed VI Tangier Tech City.
The new MoU with Bank of Africa reflects the determination of China and Morocco to boost cooperation in all fields.
The relationship between the two countries saw a strategic change after King Mohammed VI visited the Asian country in 2016. The two countries cooperate in all fields, including trade, industry, and the health sector.
The North African country’s exports to China include ores, slag, ash, copper, animal fodder, salt, sulfur, plaster, cement, coffee, tea, spices, and electronic equipment, among others.
In 2018, the Moroccan Ministry of Industry said China was Morocco’s third trade partner. with a total trade volume of MAD 39.5 billion (US$4.33 billion) in 2016.
Direct foreign investment in Morocco from China reached MAD 362.5 million (US$39.76 million) the same year and amounted to MAD 582.4 million (US$63.89 million) in the first six months of 2017.
Under the agreement, Morocco hopes to be among the first countries to receive doses of a China-made COVID-19 vaccine amid the spread of the pandemic in the country.
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