With India keen to tap Morocco as the hub for its economic activities in the resource-rich Africa region, the two countries have jointly launched a trade body to boost bilateral commercial engagements.
The India-Morocco Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IMCCI) was launched by visiting Vice President Hamid Ansari and Moroccan Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane at a function here yesterday.
Speaking on the occasion, Ansari said that a Chamber of Commerce and Industry did not exist because “we took things for granted”.
He said that the world is changing and it has become a globalised world.
“We do need bodies like the IMCCI,” he added.
“It is a testament to the growing importance of commercial engagement between our two countries, said Ansari, whose visit marks the first by an Indian Vice President in 50 years to Morrocco.
He said that the IMCCI should focus on the requirements of both sides.
An official spokesman said that bilateral trade between the two countries stood at USD 1.26 billion in 2015 with Indian exports forming roughly 25 per cent of the trade volume.
He said that Morocco has emerged as a favoured destination for investments by Indian firms, adding that Indian companies have cumulatively invested more that USD 320 million in Morocco, including in the flagship project, the Indo-Maroc Phosphore SA joint venture.
The last two decades of economic growth have also strengthened India’s private sector and it is keen to expand its global operations, the spokesman said.
Earlier in the evening, Ansari visited the Mohammed VI Imam Training Centre which promotes the values of moderate Islam and is actively working on ideologies and beliefs.
The Centre trains a large number of preachers from the Arab world besides Africa, including women.