Huge potential to boost co-operation in multiple fields with Morocco

VOV.VN - Vietnam and Morocco boast great potential for co-operation in chemical manufacturing, mining, fertiliser production, electronics, and mechanical industries.

This view was shared by Moroccan Minister of Industry and Trade Ryad Mezzour and Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh at the first meeting of the Sub-Committee on Trade and Industry Cooperation held recently between the two sides in Rabat, Morocco.

During the course of the meeting both sides reviewed the situation and assessed the results achieved in their trade and industrial co-operation since 2019. In 2021, total bilateral trade exchanges had reached roughly US$218 million, representing an annual rise of 20.8%. Of the figure Vietnamese exports hit roughly US$194 million, up 20.9%, whilst imports stood at around US$24 million, up 20%. They noted that trade exchanges are currently far from matching their full potential and there remains ample room for further improvement.

Both sides identified a number of strategic co-operation areas, including trade in agricultural products, energy, textiles, chemicals, fertiliser production, mining, and mineral processing.

With regard to trade exchange activities, the Moroccan side defined potential commodities including fertilisers, phosphates, and phosphate-based products. This is along with chemicals, machinery, tools, electrical equipment and components, bricks, flours and fish, crustaceans and molluscs, as well as processed foods such as olives and olive oil.

In response, the Vietnamese side outlined potential products for co-operation, including coffee, pepper, seafood, textiles, footwear, yarn, electrical machinery and equipment, mechanical products and processed foods, iron and steel products, and ceramic tiles.

The two sides therefore affirmed their willingness to work closely in an effort to support businesses to carry out trade and investment co-operation activities.

In his remarks at the event, Moucharraf Taoufiq, secretary general of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Morocco, noted the growth in trade exchange between the two nations over recent years. Indeed, although the trade balance is tilted in favour of the Vietnamese side, Moroccan exports to the Vietnamese market remain limited.

The North African nation places great importance on cooperative ties with the country, Taoufiq said, while asking the two sides to work closely together to further develop trading ties, industrial co-operation, and to develop a long-term mutually beneficial partnership.

Strengthening co-operation between both sides can also be considered as part of the "South-South cooperation" to respond to economic and political challenges which are part of the global environment. This will help the two economies solidify cohesion and reduce dependence on major partners.

Deputy Minister Khanh highlighted the significance of the initial meeting, which took place amid both countries moving into a the new normal and safely adapting to the current pandemic situation.

Economic and commercial activities are currently enjoying a rapid recovery and strong development moving into the post-COVID period. The two countries recently celebrated the 60th anniversary of diplomatic ties which initially began in 1961 and are currently in the process of implementing many co-operation activities as a means of contributing to deepening political and diplomatic ties.

Deputy Minister Khanh highly appreciated the potential and strengths of Morocco, assessing that both sides must continue to further enhance bilateral trade exchanges and ramp up industrial co-operation, especially in the field of chemicals and fertilisers.

He added that the structure of goods exchanged between the two countries is completely complementary. As a result, the Vietnamese side wants to import items from Morocco that are in demand in Vietnam, such as phosphates, fertilizers, chemicals, textile raw materials, footwear, and vegetable oil.

In the near future, the country is set to send a multi-sectoral business delegation to Morocco to seek co-operation and investment opportunities, he went on to say.

The Vietnamese Deputy Minister also briefly introduced some outstanding economic and trade achievements, the nation’s international economic integration, and its signing and participation in 15 free trade agreements (FTAs), in addition to the advantages of market access with major economies.

He stated that now is the right time for the North African country to expand and bolster co-operation with Asian partners, including Vietnam, with a particular focus on co-operation in trade, industry, and investment.

During the course of the meeting, the two sides discussed and agreed on a range of orientations, solutions, and plans for co-operation in the post-COVID period. This was done while encouraging the exploitation of co-operation opportunities in both trade and investment in chemical manufacturing, mining and fertiliser production, electronics and mechanical industries, automobile production, garments and textiles, and footwear.

They also consented to work together in order to create a favourable environment for co-operation among businesses.

Morocco remains appreciative of the development potential and opportunities that exist to promote co-operation with Vietnam and are hopeful that the two sides will actively co-ordinate in carrying out the results achieved at the meeting.