Flanders targets Morocco as key trading partner
A delegation of 45 business leaders led by Flemish minister-president Kris Peeters CD&V left for Morocco yesterday as part of the region’s focus on this North African country as export destination. the so-called Focus Countries targeted by the agency for international entrepreneurship, Flanders Investment & Trade FIT, are those countries where extra efforts are made to increase the potential of export and business opportunities for Flemish companies. On the African continent these countries are Morocco and South-Africa. Morocco is currently modernising its economy, stimulated byr King Mohammed VI, with the government strongly supporting industry automobile, aviation and textile and investing heavily in the agricultural and tourist sectors. The country also signed an agreement with the European Union to scrap all import duties on industrial goods. From an economic point of view Morocco is doing very well and recorded an average growth rate of 5.1% between 2001 and 2010. Even in 2009, when the financial crisis hit Europe, the country managed to increase its GDP by as much as 4.8%. Prospects for the future continue to be upbeat, and the World Bank’s 'Doing Business Repor't, which ranks the business climate in various countries, has indicated its belief in the country’s economic growth by moving it 21 places up the ranking to position 94. The FIT has specifically set its sights on business opportunities in the logistics, building, food and renewable energy sectors. This is obvious if one looks at the mix of sectors in the Flemish business delegation with six companies from the logistics sector, eleven from the building sector and eight from the cleantech sector, i.e renewable energy and the environment. Some businesses in the building and logistics sector are already active in Morocco.