Morocco-Portugal: Future-Oriented Bilateral Relations – OpEd


Portuguese president Marcelo Duarte Rebelo de Sousa arrived on June 27 in Morocco on an official visit to the North African Kingdom at the invitation of King Mohammed VI.

The Moroccan monarch welcomed the Portuguese president with an official ceremony and both leaders held one-to-one talks.

The visit reflects the already excellent Moroccan-Portuguese bilateral relations, which are based on solid partnerships and a shared will to strengthen ties between both countries. Both leaders applauded their bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership. In fact Morocco presents an important opportunity to Portugal. The vibrant Portugal-Morocco relations have yielded fruitful results in politics, economy, culture, energy and other fields. Frequent mutual visits, bilateral cooperative agreements and mutual support in the international arena were all proof of the robust bilateral relations.

Both countries voiced to bolster cooperation in the fields of security, energy, maritime transport, tourism, training and scientific research.

Energy cooperation appears to be the top priority of bilateral cooperation, as both countries currently work on setting up an undersea power link. the second Europe-Africa link.

Morocco is Portugal’s current primary trade partner in the Arab world and the second in Africa, following Angola which was a former colony of Portugal.

In 2015, Morocco’s imports from Portugal increased by 18.5 percent while exports grew by 12.2 percent

Morocco, as an important gateway to Africa now has great opportunities to attract investment and seek Portuguese partners. Enormous opportunities awaited through exploring and deepening bilateral or multi-lateral cooperation, especially that Morocco has now developed a strong economic presence in Africa.

Portugal and Morocco can further tap into trilateral cooperation with other regions, especially African countries, and Morocco can extend its geographic landscape and economic strength.

Rabat and Lisbon have great capacities to further increase the volume of their trade exchanges in diverse fields. The Portuguese President’s current visit to Morocco aims to handle external trade and investment and to find ways to increase external trades. This visit will seek more investment opportunities for Portuguese companies in Morocco at this time where the potential full partnership is great.

The visit will boost the existing excellent and comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries. The friendly relations between Morocco and Portugal, that date back to the 18th century, are future-oriented. This visit is another expression of the positive developments in relations between the two countries and confirms that Morocco enjoys a very positive economic environment that encourages world private sector, organizational and administrative frameworks to develop strategic partnerships and attracts value-added investments to the North African kingdom.

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