Chairman of the Moroccan-Saudi Business Council, Khalid Benjelloun, stated that Morocco and Saudi Arabia plan to launch a joint fund to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in export and investment, to increase the volume of bilateral trade.
Benjelloun explained, in a statement to Asharq Business, that the Moroccan and Saudi public and private sectors are expected to participate in the creation of the fund, namely Moroccan banks Attijariwafa Bank, Banque Populaire, Crédit Agricole du Maroc and the Bank of Africa, in addition to the Saudi Investment Bank and the Islamic Development Bank Group’s Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector.
Following a meeting of the Council last week in Casablanca, Benjelloun stated that the fund “would serve as an opportunity to facilitate funding and logistic procedures to support the orientation of companies towards exports and investments between the two countries.”
The Moroccan Ministry of Trade and Industry had previously stated that trade between Morocco and Saudi Arabia recorded over MAD 17 billion ($1.7 billion) in 2021, 10 billion dirhams of which came from the import of oil and its derivatives from Saudi Arabia, noting that Morocco aims to double the volume of its export to Saudi Arabia to reach MAD 5 billion compared to the current MAD 700 million.
Benjelloun stated that opportunities to increase trade between the two countries are “auspicious,” calling for overcoming administrative and logistical challenges to boost bilateral trade.
The Chairman explained that economic relations between the two countries are characterized by “the predominance of hydrocarbons and agricultural products,” underlining that the aim is to further diversify these relations by simplifying administrative procedures and facilitating trade operations through the launch of a direct shipping line.
The latest meeting of the Moroccan-Saudi Business Council identified several Moroccan products that could increase the volume of their exports to Saudi Arabia, including textiles, handicrafts, automotive parts, and food and technological products. As for Saudi exports to Morocco, they include chemicals, oils, and plastic products.