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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - RIYADH: Saudi Arabia and Morocco plan to raise the volume of trade to $5 billion annually in light of the huge opportunities and capabilities of the two countries, according to Moroccan Minister of Industry and Trade Riyad Mezzour.
Mezzour was speaking at the Moroccan-Saudi Economic Forum, held by the Federation of Saudi Chambers and the General Federation of Moroccan Contracting on Oct. 4, with 130 companies from both countries participating.
Mezzour encouraged Saudi investors to take advantage of 670 industrial projects in Morocco.
Businessmen in both Saudi Arabia and Morocco need to establish a clear roadmap for economic relations between the two countries, as it is important to recognize the joint opportunities available in Africa and Europe with the Kingdom's Vision 2030, Saudi Commerce Minister Majid Al-Qasabi said.
The official visits and economic agreements have contributed to rapid trade growth in recent years, according to the chairman of the Federation of Saudi Chambers, Ajlan Alajlan.
The trade exchange reached SR9.7 billion ($2.5 billion) during the first half of this year, a value that exceeds SR5 billion for the entire year 2021.
The joint investments doubled significantly over the past years in various economic sectors such as industry, real estate, tourism, and agriculture, Alajlan said.
The two sides aim to reshape economic relations by studying and analyzing trade and investment opportunities and competitive advantages in the Saudi and Moroccan economies, he added.
Meanwhile, Chakib Alj, the president of the General Confederation of Moroccan enterprises, revealed that there are approximately 250 Saudi companies in Morocco, whereas there are 20 Moroccan companies in the Kingdom.
The current economic environment calls for joint efforts to increase food security through the development of agriculture and the establishment of new integrated value chains that integrate sustainability and innovation, Alj said.
In addition to identifying ways to develop companies and enhance their activities outside the Moroccan and Saudi markets, the forum called for easing administrative restrictions and non-tariff barriers, and the creation of a Moroccan-Saudi fund to facilitate trade.
The meeting focused on enhancing joint economic and trade cooperation, empowering the private sector, and developing investments between the two countries.
The meetings come as part of the minister's four-day official visit to Morocco, leading a government delegation consisting of officials from 14 government institutions and representatives of over 62 Saudi companies.
Furthermore, the Saudi Exports Development Authority partnered with the Moroccan-Saudi Economic Forum organized by the Federation of Saudi Chambers in collaboration with the General Authority for Foreign Trade to organize the "Saudi Made" trade mission to Morocco.
Saudi Exports, through this mission, focuses on several sectors, including construction, food, medical supplies, and auto spare parts.
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