Morocco and UAE to hold an Africa Investment Summit in Marrakesh

Morocco and UAE to hold an Africa Investment Summit in Marrakesh

CASABLANCA, MOROCCO - March 17, 2015: HH Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces (back center L), and HM King Mohammed VI of Morocco (back center R), witness the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Mubadala Petroleum and Morocco in regards to exploration of the sea north of Morocco. Seen signing on behalf of the UAE is HE Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber UAE Minister of State, Chairman of Masdar, and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC) , and Mubadala CEO, Energy (L), and signing on behalf of Morocco is HE Amina Benkhadra General Director of The National Office of Hydrocarbons and Mines (ONHYM) of Morocco (R). ( Donald Weber / Crown Prince Court - Abu Dhabi )
Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and King Mohammed VI witnessing the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Morocco and the UAE. Image from archive.

Dubai, UAE- Dawood Al Shezawi, CEO of Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) Organizing Committee, signed a strategic MoU with HE Ahmed Akhchichine, President of Marrakech-Safi region, Kingdom of Morocco to organise Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) – Africa Chapter, in Marrakesh on 29-31 October 2017 under the theme “The Future Investment Landscape of Africa: Sustainable Investment through Innovation and Partnership”.

The MoU was signed along number of officials from the Annual Investment Meeting and Marrakech Safi. By the virtue of this agreement, Marrakech will be the first to host Annual Investment Meeting outside the UAE, so that AIM can drive direct international investments to the continent and other promising markets in Africa. AIM reflects the UAE-Moroccan economic cooperation in particular and UAE-Africa cooperation in general.

Prior to its being held in Morocco, the 7th Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) is set to run from April 2-4, 2017, at the Dubai World Trade Center, under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, with the theme “International Investment, Path to Competitiveness and Development”.

“We are delighted with our new partnership and the signing of the agreement with Marrakech Safi to host the Annual Investment Meeting for the first time outside the UAE. This reflects the prospering UAE–Morocco relations, especially at the economic level and direct investments. The agreement also demonstrates the great importance attached by international and UAE investors for the African market and their quest to expand investment there, which was evident over the past few years through numerous visits by delegations of the investment companies to a number of African countries,” said Dawood Al Shezawi.

Akhchichine commented: “As the host destination for the Annual Investment Meeting, Marrakech-Safi believes this is a great opportunity for the Kingdom of Morocco to boost its presence on the map of international investment and diversify the aspects of direct investment into the country and other African countries. This will provide new avenues for the diversification of industries, which is already pursued by the major global investment companies, led by leading UAE companies.”

“AIM – Africa Chapter 2017 will include a number of events, workshops and meetings between investors and government delegations as exhibitors will showcase the latest projects in the African continent, which represents enhance investment opportunities and present them to potential international investors. In addition, AIM will include organizing special trips to many locations within the city of Marrakech to promote tourism to strategic partners,” added Akhchichine.

Al Shezawi added: “Organising the debut of AIM in the Kingdom of Morocco in Marrakech-Safi is an important step as it will be hosted by Africa’s most dynamic markets. AIM will provide an attractive environment for reviewing promising African investment opportunities in many of the countries that have begun to achieve significant economic growth rates and become eager to attract more direct investments into diverse sectors.”

“AIM – Africa Chapter 2017 will provide an integral platform for the meeting of the world’s top investors and government officials from African countries to participate, enabling exchange of information on procedures, investment laws and convergence of views in order to provide a favorable environment for strengthening of relations that would stimulate more investment and address many of the issues and activities related to direct investment,” he added.

Al Shezawi stressed the important role of the UAE and its effective presence in the African market. The strong economic relations between the UAE and Morocco was evident over the last few years with the signing of 8 bilateral agreements, 11 agreements and four cooperation protocols covering many areas, including, for example, the establishment of a free trade zone between the two countries, an agreement on economic and trade cooperation in the field of telecommunications and information technology. In addition, UAE was the first investor in the Casablanca Stock Exchange in 2014, with an investment of 55 billion Moroccan dirhams.

He referred to many economic and investment areas between the UAE and Morocco, especially in renewable energy and green economy, and sustainable development.

The UAE – Africa relations have taken a new approach in the area of direct investments, which certainly will be supported by the Annual Investment Meeting in Marrakech. According to latest indicators, UAE is the fourth largest source of FDI projects in Africa in 2014, while United States still accounts for the largest share of the total direct investment projects in the continent. The retail trade is the biggest area for investments for UAE companies in Africa, especially in Egypt, where UAE investments reached $ 2.3 billion.

Africa is growing rapidly, with immense natural resources and favorable demographics, technology acceleration and intention to join the global financial system, attracting significant international interest.

AIM – Africa Chapter 2017, will highlight how Africa is transforming, what the new investment trends in the continent are, who are the main players and what are the rules of the investment game.