Russian-Moroccan Business Council formed

On June 8, 2006 Moscow saw the ceremony of signing an Agreement on the Russian-Moroccan business council to work within the framework of the Second Mixed Russian-Moroccan Inter-governmental Committee (IGC) for Economic and Technological Co-operation.

The document was signed by RABC Director, Advisor to RF CCIs President, Tatyana Gvilava, on the Russian side, and President of the Moroccan Federation of Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Services, Abdel Hakim Kemmou. Present at the ceremony were Co-chairmen of the Russian-Moroccan Inter-governmental Committee – RF Minister of Justice Yu.Chaika, and Moroccan Foreign Minister, Mohammed Benaisa. Attending the session were Moroccan delegates, participants in the IGC, as well as a number of representatives of Russian companies – RABC members.

In his opening address, Yury Chaika said that the Council now being formed should be aimed at developing a strategy of joint effort to create a welcoming investment climate as well as establishing direct contacts between the regions and specifically the companies in the two countries. He also noted that besides the favorable political factors already in operation, the commercial and economic relations need an efficient business mechanism to be successful. The Minister of Justice expressed his hope that it is the Russian-Moroccan Business Council that will act as such a mechanism of boosting interaction between the countries, and he wished all the Council participants success in their efforts.

Moroccan Foreign Minister, Mohammed Benaisa, welcomed the establishment of a Russian-Moroccan Business Council – a non-governmental body designed for promoting the relationships between the two fraternal nations in the name of their progress and prosperity. He emphasized that while governments are political decision-makers, it is the private sector that is instrumental in the creation of an overall co-operative climate. “A heavy responsibility is lying upon us concerning the development of relations between Morocco and Russia. In conclusion,

I wish that our “business vocabulary” would be enriched, besides the common concept of “businessman”, with that of a “business lady”, - the Minister added with a smile.

RABC Director, Advisor to RF CCI President, Tatyana Gvilava, reminded those present that the two-year history of the RABC activities within the framework of the RF CCI has resulted in the formation of as many as 11 (sub)councils, the RMBC being the twelfth. She informed about the results of the 5th Session in Riyadh and invited the session participants to attend the 6th Session to be held in St. Petersburg on Sept. 4-5, 2006.

T.Gvilava noted that Russia and Morocco have been historically bound by friendship ties, and time has now come to develop business contacts in numerous other sectors of reciprocal interest, apart from tourism. “Business people should have an opportunity to meet face-to-face, - she stressed – and the doors of the RABC are wide-open for Moroccan businessmen”.

President of the Moroccan Federation of Commerce, Industry and Services, Abdel Hakim Kemmou, thanked the RABC for the invitation to participate in the session of the 2nd Mixed Russian-Moroccan Inter-governmental Committee, which resulted in the formation of the Russian-Moroccan Business Council. He noted that “the establishment of the Council is sure to mark a new stage in the evolution of friendly and cooperative relations between our two countries. Moscow and Rabat are tied by close political, historical and cultural bonds, and the present day is offering new opportunities for all-round business interaction”.

A.Kemmou noted that Moscow is currently going through a period of reformation that is expected to give a fresh impetus to the country’s economy. Yet, Russia, being as it is a leading center of economic activities, the level of commercial and economic interaction between Russia and Morocco is, paradoxically, far below that of which the two countries are capable. It is imperative, he said, that our cooperation spread over the High tech sector rather than be restricted to the traditional areas of cooperation, such as agriculture and fishing.

Further in his speech, A.Kemmou analyzed the commercial trade balance between Russia and Morocco and re-affirmed that the Federation of Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Services for Morocco is very interested in expanding trade and economic relations with Russia for the sake of further prosperity and progress of the two countries.