UK-Morocco relations following the UK-Africa Investment Summit 2020

By Maureen Maingi

Business Chief looks at some of the major outcomes following the UK-Africa Investment Summit 2020

On 20 January 2020 the UK hosted the UK-Africa Investment Summit in London. As the new Brexit deadline approaches, building upon UK-African relations will build the foundations for partnerships that will drive job creation and economic growth in both nations. Business Chief looks at UK-Morroco relations following the event. 

Conor Burns MP, Minister of State at the Department for International Trade (DIT), hailed the future relationship for Morocco and the UK in the future: “We all know about the amazing opportunities emerging in Africa. Africa has a young and rapidly growing population.It is home to 8 of the 15 fastest growing economies.” Burns went on to explain that By 2050 over 2 billion people will live in Africa and that 1 in 4 global consumers will be African. “It is a market we cannot and must not ignore,” he said, going on to emphasise the UK’s need for Britain to create new and lasting partnerships as it leaves the EU. 

Burns goes on to say that the last of good relations between the two nations was the leactor factor preventing the increase in trade. “Familiarity is important in business. Contacts are crucial. They give us information, they build trust, they create opportunities. That is why today’s event is so important,” he said. 

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“I want British companies to think about Morocco when they are developing their export plans.

"I want Moroccan companies to think about the UK when they are looking for new partners and expertise. I want Moroccans and Britons to see each other’s flags as a hallmark of quality whenever they see them. And we are building the groundwork for that shared vision as I speak.”

There have been a number of steps taken to begin building the relationship between the two nations. Before the event, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed between the UK’s Reigate Grammar School and Morocco’s British International School Partners. In addition to this, Coventry University has signed a MOU with Superior Institution of Science & Technology (worth £14mn), which will assist in the development of joint educational facilities and programmes on teacher training, research and staff and student mobility. Most notably, the UK’s Development Finance Institution, CDC, invested US$200mn in BMCE-Bank (which is currently rebranding to The Bank of Africa) in a bid to promote financial inclusion across Africa, the biggest in the world according to Burns. 

"Let us embrace the opportunities before us and build our relationships, strengthen our ties, and increase the future prosperity of people in Morocco and the UK," concluded Burns.

Watch the event here 

For more information on business topics in the Middle East and Africa, please take a look at the latest edition of Business Chief MEA.

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