DIPLOMACY

ForMin Melescanu, Moroccan officials discuss identifying new ways to diversify economic relations

Boosting investment and Romanian business operators getting involved in projects developed by Morocco both at home and elsewhere in Africa were topics discussed by Romania’s Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu and Moroccan officials as part of an ongoing Moroccan tour.

According to a press statement released by Romania’s Foreign Affairs Ministry (MAE), on the first day of his visit to Morocco, the head of the Romanian diplomacy had talks with the head of the Moroccan Government, Saadeddine El-Othmani; as well as meetings with Hayat Bouffarrachen, vice-president of the House of Representatives; and Larbi Laraichi, chairman of the Morocco-Romania Parliamentary Friendship Group in the House of Councillors of the Moroccan Parliament. He also had a meeting with Morocco’s Minister of Education, Vocational Training, Higher Education and Research Saaid Amzazi.

Melescanu highlighted the excellent nature of the bilateral relationship, “grounded in the traditional friendship for more than half a century,” as well as the desire of the Romanian side to stimulate the bilateral political dialogue at all levels and noted the upward developments in the consolidation of bilateral economic exchanges in recent years, as Morocco became Romania’s first foreign trade partner in Africa and the Middle East, MAE says.

“At the meeting with Moroccan Prime Minister Saâzeddine El-Othmani, the two officials expressed mutual interest in intensifying political and sectoral contacts, while stressing the need to identify new ways to boost and diversify economic relations, especially in areas where there are special opportunities for the business environment of the two countries, leading to the implementation of joint co-operation projects. Boosting investment and the association of Romanian business operators to economic projects developed by Morocco both internally and elsewhere on the African continent were an important item on the agenda (…) Minister Teodor Melescanu welcomed Morocco’s sustained efforts to ensure regional stability and security in the southern neighborhood of the European Union, with emphasis on combating terrorism and prevent radicalisation.”

In his conversations with representatives of the Moroccan Parliament, Melescanu reiterated the importance of parliamentary diplomacy, including contacts of the heads of parliaments, of the specialist parliamentary committees, as well as of the parliamentary friendship groups of the two countries.

“The importance of human interactions as a vector in the stability and sustainability of the bilateral relationship and the tradition of bilateral cooperation in the field of education, scientific research and vocational training was raised by the Romanian Foreign Minister in dialogue with Minister of Education Saaid Amzazi. The two dignitaries noted with satisfaction the increasing interest of young Moroccans in continuing their university studies in Romania, saying that academic mobility, direct contacts and co-operation between universities in the two countries should be encouraged and sustained, especially with the presence in Romania of almost 1,350 young Moroccans studying at various faculties in Romania,” says MAE.

Also welcomed was the establishment of the first Romanian Language Lecturer’s Office in North Africa, which will become operational in the academic year 2018-2019.

“During the talks with the chairman of the Morocco-Romania Bilateral Chamber of Commerce, Minister Teodor Melescanu was appointed honorary chairman of this association, tasked with boosting the economic relations. In the context of the discussions, the head of the Romanian diplomacy emphasised the fact that multiplying contacts between the two business communities is a first step toward increasing trade and mutual investment.”

The first day of the official visit to Morocco ended with Melescanu meeting the local Romanian community and former Moroccan students in Romania, where the diaspora’s role in promoting the Romanian interests in the Moroccan society was emphasised along with the added value it can brings to the development of the Romanian-Moroccan bilateral relationship.

Melescanu was on an official visit to Morocco on May 3-4, at the invitation of his Moroccan counterpart Nasser Bourita.

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