Flemish exports to Morocco ‘should reach €1bn by 2020’

Summary

With a goal to increase export of goods and services, Flemish minister-president Geert Bourgeois and Flanders Investment & Trade took nearly 90 companies to Morocco this week

‘A significant destination’

Flemish minister-president Geert Bourgeois spent much of this week on a trade mission to Morocco, celebrating existing links and encouraging business to build new partnerships. Exports from Flanders to Morocco totalled over €771 million in 2017, but Bourgeois would like to see this reach €1 billion by 2020.

“The proximity of the country, its economic diversification and its strategic position at the crossroads between Europe and Africa make Morocco a significant destination,” Bourgeois said, in advance of the trip. “With a well-thought-out policy and targeted investments in infrastructure and industry, the North African country is positioning itself as an important transport hub and an interesting destination for entrepreneurs.”

Bourgeois, together with Flanders Investment & Trade, was participating in a week-long Belgian trade mission to Morocco. As well as politicians from the federal and regional governments, the delegation involved Princess Astrid and former members of the Belgian football team. With nearly 90 Flemish companies and 469 total participants, this was the largest ever Belgian trade mission to the North African country.

Co-operation agreements signed

The itinerary took in Casablanca, Rabat and Tangier, with a business-to-business meetings, seminars, company visits and networking events all on the agenda. At the Factory innovation hub in Casablanca, for example, a debate was held on innovation policy, followed by a matchmaking event with Moroccan start-up companies.

There were also visits to renewable energy and waste treatment projects with Flemish partners, and to the ports of Casablanca and Tangier, to highlight collaboration with Flemish operations.

At the end of the mission, eight co-operation agreements were signed between Flemish and Moroccan companies. These included waste treatment company Waterleau and wind energy company Windvision, which has plans to build a 200 mega-watt windfarm in the country. The other companies involved were Boeckmans België, Intix, SCE, Qualiphar, Stoopen & Meeûs and Zingametall.

Photo, from foreground left: Walloon economy minister Pierre-Yves Jeholet, federal foreign affairs minister Didier Reynders, Princess Astrid, foreign trade state secretary Pieter De Crem, Flemish minister-president Geert Bourgeois in Casablanca
©Dirk Waem/BELGA