Princess Astrid leads economic mission to Morocco
Princess Astrid will lead, as representative of the King, a Belgian Economic Mission to Morocco from this Sunday, November 25 to Friday, November 30. With 469 participants, it is the largest ever organized to date. Nearly 10 years after the last Economic Mission, this enthusiasm reflects the wealth of the relations between our two countries. The importance of the delegation, which covers more than 30 sectors of activity, also underlines the significant growth potential that they still hold. The many events planned in Casablanca, Rabat and Tangier will provide an opportunity to boost business relations between our two countries and further strengthen their human and political dimension.
The official delegation of the economic mission will be composed of the following ministers and secretaries of state:
- Didier Reynders, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign and European Affairs, Federal Government;
- Geert Bourgeois, MinisterPresident of the Flemish Government and Flemish Minister for Foreign Policy and Real Estate Heritage, Flemish Government;
- PierreYves Jeholet, Vice-President of the Walloon Government and Minister for the Economy, Industry, Research, Innovation, Digital, Employment and Training, Walloon Government;
- Pieter De Crem, State Secretary for Foreign Trade, Federal Government;
- Cécile Jodogne, Secretary of State of the Brussels Government responsible for Foreign Trade and Investment, and Minister of the Frenchspeaking Government of Brussels in charge of the Civil Service and Health, Government of Brussels.
Princely Economic Missions are jointly organized by the three regional trade and investment promotion agencies (Flanders Investment & Trade, Brussels Invest & Export (hub.brussels) ; Agence Wallonne à l’Exportation), the Foreign Trade Agency and the Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs.
Belgium and Morocco are already strong partners on the economic and commercial level. Belgium is the 8th exporting country to Morocco and its 9th customer, and these figures are evolving favorably. However, our exchanges do not yet fully reflect the intensity of the relations that exist, at all levels, between our two countries. Beyond sustained growth, which makes Morocco the “locomotive of North Africa”, there are many opportunities for Belgian companies, both large and small and medium-sized. This is certainly the case in sectors such as construction and infrastructure, transport and logistics, agri-food or textiles, but also in the automotive, aeronautics or renewable energies.
Morocco also offers a strategic location at the crossroads of Europe and Africa. This makes it a gateway to the African continent – as Belgium is to Europe. Our companies are closely following Morocco’s efforts to develop its economic relations with sub-Saharan Africa, and are well aware of the role that this country could play as a strategic partner to enable them to deploy in this region of the world. The Princely Economic Mission will therefore also be an opportunity to encourage triangular cooperation towards sub-Saharan Africa. Three pilot projects are already under way with the Moroccan Agency for International Cooperation, which show that this approach should be pursued.
Registered companies will participate in B2Bs, high-level conferences, seminars, official meetings and networking events. More than twenty contracts and agreements will be signed between Belgian and Moroccan partners.
Princess Astrid and the ministerial delegation will be received by the Head of the Moroccan Government Mr. Saad-Eddine El Otmani. During the week, they will also meet with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr. Nasser Bourita, and a number of other ministers in the government.
Trade relations between Belgium and Morocco
In 2017, Belgium accounted for 4% of European exports to Morocco (6th place), for an amount of nearly 900 million euros. The main categories of products exported by our country to Morocco are base metals, machinery, equipment and chemicals. On the import side, Belgium represents 2.2% of Morocco’s imports from the European Union (€333 million, 7th position). In 2017, the main products imported from Morocco were chemicals, food products and textiles.
Business & Human Rights
As part of the commitments of the Belgian National Action Plan “Business & Human Rights”, a seminar will be organised on women’s entrepreneurship. A memorandum of cooperation will be signed on this occasion between the Belgian and Moroccan networks of women entrepreneurs.