Press Advisories

5. 12. 2018 18:36

Prime Minister Babiš visited Morocco and talked with the President of the Moroccan Government on trade and industrial cooperation

Prime Minister Andrej Babiš with Moroccan counterpart Saadedin Al-Otmani in Rabat, 4 December 2018.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš with Moroccan counterpart Saadedin Al-Otmani in Rabat, 4 December 2018.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš visited the Kingdom of Morocco on 4 and 5 December 2018. He met the President of the Moroccan Government, the Vice-President of the Chamber of Advisers, the President of the House of Representatives, and opened a business forum. He was accompanied by Minister of Industry and Trade Marta Nováková and a large business delegation.

The two-day official visit to the Kingdom of Morocco started on Tuesday, 4 December 2018, in Rabat. After a ceremony at the airport, Andrej Babiš visited the Mohammed V. Mausoleum and during the ceremony he laid a wreath to the tomb of His Majesty Mohammed V. and Hassan II.

Subsequently, he had lunch with the members of the business mission led by the President of the Confederation of Industry Jaroslav Hanák and Moroccan guests. “Morocco is our second largest partner in Africa. I think that it’s a great gateway to other African markets and that we could make much better use of that potential. I am convinced that you do not need your politicians inside the European Union, but we can really play a role for you outside of the European Union. So thank you for accompanying us on this mission and I wish you a successful stay and successful negotiations”, said Andrej Babiš in a meeting with entrepreneurs.

Negotiations with Moroccan Prime Minister                               

In the Royal Palace, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Morocco Saadeddine Othmani and Prime Minister Andrej Babis discussed mutual trade relations and industrial cooperation. After South Africa, Morocco is our second most important business partner on the African continent.

In 2017, Czech exports to Morocco amounted to USD 316.8 million, while imports amounted to USD 181 million. According to Prime Minister Babiš, major opportunities for further development are mainly in the fields of energy, automotive, aviation and defence industries, agriculture, food and medical technology and the mining industry.

An important point in the talks between the Prime Ministers was the issue of migration and its management, given that the Western Mediterranean route through Morocco became the busiest migration route to Europe this year. The Prime Minister said he considers the Kingdom of Morocco to be an indispensable player for the stability and development of the region.

We had negotiations at delegation level, the Minister for Industry and Trade signed a cooperation agreement, and I had a conversation with the Prime Minister in a narrower circle, and we really discussed an awful lot of topics. I have learned, for example, that Morocco is the largest car manufacturer in the African continent, we even import Renaults and Dacias into the Czech Republic from Morocco. Of course, we are exporting our Škodas, so far only 2,400, but with the new models that are coming there is an ambition to reach 4,000”, said the Czech Prime Minister after the meeting.

Minister of Industry and Trade Marta Nováková met with the Minister of Industry, Investment, Trade and the Digital Economy Moulay Hafid Elalamy. They subsequently signed the Framework Agreement on Economic Cooperation between the Czech Republic and the Kingdom of Morocco, with the participation of the two Prime Ministers. The aim of the Agreement is to support growth in bilateral trade.

Meetings with other prominent personalities

The talks with the Vice Chairman of the Chamber of Advisers of the Kingdom of Morocco Abdullah Chalouti mainly focused on bilateral Czech-Moroccan relations. According to Prime Minister Babiš, both countries should aim for greater cooperation between security services in the exchange of information to help prevent terrorist attacks or smuggling of people and drugs.

Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and the President of the National Assembly of the Kingdom of Morocco Habib El Malki spoke, for example, on the support for agriculture and economic cooperation.

He also met with Minister of Agriculture, Sea Fishery, Rural Development, Water Bodies & Forests Aziz Akhannouch, and before the start of the Business Forum he talked with Salaheddine Mezouar, President of the Moroccan Business Union CGEM and the former Foreign Secretary of the Kingdom of Morocco.

Czech-Moroccan Business Forum

From Rabat, the Prime Minister took the recently opened high-speed TGV railway line to Casablanca, where he attended the Czech-Moroccan Business Forum. Andrej Babiš commended Morocco for being a safe and stable country which excels in its quality infrastructure, exemplified by the use of high-speed trains and the development of the automotive industry. Mutual cooperation between the two countries will be of great benefit to all, as the Kingdom of Morocco can become the gateway of Czech entrepreneurs to West Africa. “I consider this visit to be a kind of a start of cooperation, which should be much more extensive than it has been so far. We have agreed on this both with the Ambassador and the Minister, and it is also important that the Czech companies tell us what would be interesting for them, what investments in Morocco they are interested in”, said Andrej Babiš in his speech.

The forum was also attended by Minister of Industry and Trade Marta Nováková and nearly four dozen entrepreneurs under the leadership of the Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic. The attendees mainly involved companies from the agricultural and defence industries. At the edge of the Business Forum, Prime Minister Babiš met with a number of entrepreneurs.

The Prime Minister was accompanied by his wife

In his visit to the Kingdom of Morocco, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš was accompanied by his wife Monika. She attended the Mohammed V. Mausoleum ceremony, lunch with the business delegation and the gala dinner.

Separately, she visited the association AMSAT of the King’s brother, which cares for children with trisomy. Furthermore, she visited the association of the Moroccan Prime Minister’s wife focusing on the fight against the consumption and trafficking of drugs and drug addiction. She also visited the headquarters of the Association of Solidarity with Single Mothers.

A Czech Prime Minister last visited Morocco in February 2006. Next year, both countries will celebrate the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.

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