Your Highness chrifa Lalla Joumala ALAOUI,

Our Distinguished Guest, the Right Honourable, the Lord Mayor of the City of London, Alderman Fiona WOOLF,

Your Excellency Mr Clive ALDERTON,

Your Excellency M. Lord Colin Sharman

M. Mostafa Terrab, co-chairman of the MBBLF

M. Mohamed Raihani, president of the British Chamber of commerce in Morocco

Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am deeply honoured to welcome all of you today in the General Confederation of Moroccan Enterprises (CGEM).

Today holds a significant symbolic value as it represents a new milestone towards the achievement of Morocco’s and the United Kingdom’s efforts to boost mutual trade and investment.  

Casablanca and London are two cities from different continents, but connected by an intertwined history, prosperous trade partnerships, common values and economic interests. Not to account many personal ties and friendships.  

Despite this fast-paced context of globalization characterized by a sharp economic crisis, Morocco’s economy as well as our financial sector remained resilient, open, and continuously moving forward. Thanks our diversified economy of course, but also our sectorial plans in the industry field, in tourism, in agriculture, in renewable energies and in logistics. Many of them launched by our King His Majesty Mohammed 6th who kept on leading and supporting economic initiatives.  The GDP growth remained positive event in the darkest days of economic crisis.  
Morocco’s trustworthy business climate and political stability has enabled it to attract a wide-range of Foreign Direct Investments, which evolved from 2, 4 billion dollars in 2009 to 5, 4 billion dollars in 2013. It shows that whatever political, ideological or cultural perceptions are, when a fertile and credible ground for business and profit making exists, it attracts investment.  

Morocco seeks to be the first financial place in Africa. Our Kingdom has one of the most advanced regulatory framework which is getting aligned with the international norms. More to that, our Banks and Insurance companies operate today in more than 20 African countries, giving a breath to local economies and implementing best practices.
London has always been a key place in the financial services industry. Morocco aims at building up a future financial place and has much to learn from the British business world.
We are thrilled by the partnership agreements that were signed between Casa Finance City and the “City of UK” and between the CDVM and the Financial Services Committee.
Over the past few decades, Morocco has reaffirmed and reinforced its strategic choices by entering a new stage of partnerships with several countries particularly with the European Union, Morocco’s major trade partner and investor, and we are about to be part of the single market through the “Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA)”
We also signed free-trade agreements with 35 countries among which United States, United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Jordan, Egypt and Tunisia, paving the way to an open economy, learning to deal with the international competition and adapting to it.    
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today, I also deem necessary to call your attention on the African dimension of our Kingdom. Morocco is considered as a valuable trade and investment partner for investing in the African market.
It is therefore relevant to start exploring joint initiatives for the economic development of Africa by initiating and developing concrete projects. Morocco is eager to play a central role in the new British strategy in Africa. There is indeed a great potential for cooperation between these two countries.
I wish you success all throughout today’s plenary sessions and sectorial workshops and give the floor to the Honorable Alderman Fiona Woolf.

Thank you.

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