Morocco, Wallonia's leading African export partner, is becoming increasingly important for the economy of the French-speaking region. This rapprochement was highlighted by the visit of Walloon Minister-President Willy Borsus to the Kingdom of Morocco at the end of June.
Economic cooperation between Wallonia and Morocco is progressing well. Last year, we sold around 100 million euros worth of goods to Morocco - food products, tobacco, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, electrical equipment, machines and metals -, an increase of 9.7% compared with 2016, making Morocco the 37th most lucrative market for Wallonia. This explains the targeting of the Moroccan market by the Wallonia Export-Investment Agency (AWEX) and the organisation of a mission to the North African country in late June, as part of the MAROC2018 year; the aim was to strengthen economic exchanges and cooperation.
The programme included institutional meetings, particularly in Casablanca where a Cooperation Agreement Protocol was signed with the Casablanca-Settat region. This agreement will aim to exploit the synergies between the economic, cultural, social and environmental dimensions of the two partners. In addition to the institutional aspect, Wallonia also hopes to promote its strengths and step up trade exchanges with Morocco. It is worth stating that Belgium has a very large Moroccan community. There are around 500,000 inhabitants of Moroccan origin or nationality, which represents a significant advantage when it comes to relations between the two countries.
Wallonia and Morocco also signed a cooperation agreement that will allow Walloon and Moroccan companies to work together to sell halal-certified products. This all goes to show that cooperation between the Belgian region and the Kingdom of Morocco is going from strength to strength.