First Joint Session of the Russian-Moroccan Business Council

On September 7, 2006 the First Joint Session of the Russian and Moroccan sides of the RMBC took place in Casablanca, timed to the visit to the Kingdom by RF President, Vladimir Putin.

The Russian-Moroccan forum was attended by Chairman of the RABC Russian side, Chairman of SISTEMA Board of Directors, V.Yevtushenkov. The RMBC Russian side was headed by Chairman of the Board of Directors with Magnitogorski Metallurgicheski Kombinat (Magnitogorsk Metallurgy Works), V.Rashnikov; the Moroccan part, by President of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Services for the Kingdom, A.Kemmou, respectively. Participating in the forum was Advisor to President of the RF CCIs, RABC Director, T.Gvilava, as well s a number of representatives of both Russian and Moroccan entrepreneurial community – RABC members.

Russian-Moroccan co-operation has been given fresh impulse over the past years by the signing and step- by- step implementation of the Declaration of Strategic Partnership between the two countries, signed by the King of Morocco, Muhammad V1, and RF President, V.Putin in 2002. Morocco is now one of Russia’s leading partners in Northern Africa.

His Majesty the King Muhammad V1 and RF President V.Putin had sent their welcomes to the business communities in both countries.

Addressing the session participants, RABC Chairman, Mr. V.Yevtushenkov, noted hat the RABC sees as its strategical objective the intensification of business contacts between the entrepreneurial and business communities in Russia and the Arab world. “ It is in order to successfully realize this project within the framework of the Council that bilateral councils have been formed, which currently are more than instrumental in the promotion of specific mutually advantageous projects”, Mr. V.Yevtushenkov said. He expressed his confidence in the key role the RMBC is to play in the development and consolidation of interaction between the business communities of the two countries and in the improvement of their investment climate.

RMBC Co-chairman, Viktor Rashnikov, informed on the production and investment activities of Magnitigorski Metallurgicheski Kombinat (MMK) and its ongoing collaboration with Moroccan companies. The MMK works shipped to Morocco about 90 000 tons of rolled metal in 2005. Since 2006 MMK deliveries to their Moroccan consumers have exceeded 140 000 tons. “Yet, we consider even these volumes far from satisfactory – Viktor Rashnikov said – as they only amount to as little as 2% and 4 % respectively in the total volume of our exported production. Our company is very interested in enhancing Russian-Moroccan collaboration, which will enable us to increase deliveries of rolled metal and, if the terms are mutually advantageous, invest in the development of Moroccan industry”.

The Session resulted in the adoption of a Council’s Statute and a plan of RMBC activities for the nearest future. The Russian and Moroccan entrepreneurs discussed the current trends of, and prospects for, joint entrepreneurship, re-affirming their reciprocal interest in, and support for, building up trade and economic interaction between the two states.