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Morocco and UAE Sign bilateral pact in Abu Dhabi

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King Mohammed VI of Morocco and UAE President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan signed a declaration aiming to strengthen Morocco-UAE relations and promote economic cooperation, aiming to enhance mutual interests and promote progress and prosperity.

The signed Declaration focused on

An invitation of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the State of the United Arab Emirates, King Mohammed VI, of Morocco, who paid a working and fraternal visit to the State of the United Arab Emirates between December 4 and 5, 2023.

This visit comes as an enshrinement of the deep-rooted relations between the two brotherly countries, whose foundations were laid by the late Hassan II and HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan, consolidated and enhanced by the bonds of genuine brotherhood and sincere affection between the Heads of State of the two countries.

The bilateral talks focused on full convergence of views on the opportunities and possibilities for complementarity and pragmatic cooperation between the two countries within the framework of synergy and intensified exchanges, the two Heads of State reiterated their firm and resolute determination to enhance relations between the two countries and their joint cooperation towards broader horizons, through active economic partnerships serving the supreme mutual interests, and generating progress and prosperity for the two brotherly peoples.

The two Heads of State emphasized the ambition of the two countries to establish joint, pioneering strategic economic partnerships in regional and international markets, particularly in Africa.

Capitalizing on bilateral relations and the success of Emirati investments in Morocco, in support of the economic and social development program for the years 2024-2029 and accompanying the evolution of the legislative and regulatory arsenal guaranteeing promising investment opportunities and an attractive business climate, the two Heads of State, may God preserve them, have decided as follows in accordance with the arrangements recorded in this Declaration:

Working in order to establish an innovative, renewed and consolidated partnership between the Kingdom of Morocco and the State of the United Arab Emirates.

The partnership aims to transform complementarity between two countries into qualitative solidarity and sustainable investment, aiming to raise bilateral economic, trade, investment, and industrial relations to deep political and popular ties.

It aims to establish a comprehensive model of economic cooperation and investment, open to the private sector, generating benefits and development for all.

The partnership will focus on projects in social, economic, infrastructure, transport, drinking water, agriculture, energy, tourism, real estate, training, and employment sectors.

The principles of cooperation include providing a strong impetus to partnership, considering mutual trust, and implementing pragmatic and innovative models of cooperation to support qualitative projects through public-private financing, partnerships.

The Elements of the Partnership and Cooperation

Both parties commit to working on the basis of mutual agreement with the aim of prioritizing the following sectors:

1.Identification of investment opportunities in the field of infrastructure:

a.Expansion of railways, with a particular focus on the Kenitra-Marrakech High-Speed Train;

b. Development of airports, including those in Casablanca, Marrakech, Dakhla (Dakhla Hub), and Nador;

c. Development of ports while investing in their management, especially the Nador West Med port and the Dakhla Atlantic port;

d. Both parties will later agree on the feasibility of any related projects.

2. Exploration of investment opportunities in the water, energy, and sustainable development sectors:

a. Existing and future water transfer projects, the construction of dams for drinking water, agriculture, and hydroelectric dams;

b. Renewable energies and the production of green hydrogen and its derivatives;

c. Energy transportation, especially the construction and operation of electricity transmission lines;

d. Both parties will later agree on the feasibility of any related projects.

3. Identification of opportunities for strategic cooperation in the field of food security, through exploring partnership opportunities with the Office Chérifien des Phosphates in the field of fertilizers.

4. Development of joint projects in the tourism and real estate sectors, especially on the Mediterranean coast and in the regions of Dakhla and Tarfaya.

5. Examination of cooperation in development and opportunities for socio-economic projects:

a. Opportunities to contribute to the reconstruction and redevelopment of regions affected by the Al Haouz earthquake;

b. Exploration of the realization and financing of projects in the construction of educational, university, and health facilities;

c. Study of the realization and financing of projects in the fields of communications and digital economy;

d. Examination of other economically viable projects and cooperation within a partnership between the public and private sectors.

6. Exploration of cooperation opportunities in the fields of industry, agriculture, and agro-food, and the encouragement of these sectors to contribute to the promotion of economic and trade relations.

7. Examination of cooperation opportunities in the financial sector and capital markets.

8. Examination of cooperation and exploration of partnership prospects between the sovereign funds and investment funds of both countries.

9. Examination of possibilities for cooperation in the field of economic partnerships and the development of energy infrastructure with African countries, in accordance with legal and legislative systems, especially regarding:

a. The Africa-Atlantic gas pipeline project;

b. The planning and development of the integrated “Dakhla: Gateway to Africa” project;

c. The creation and management of a commercial maritime fleet.

10. For all related projects, both parties will later agree on their feasibility.

Thirdly: Memoranda of Understanding

Both parties will work through competent institutions to examine the strategic projects mentioned in this Declaration.

King Mohammed VI of Morocco given a Guard of Honour upon arriving in Abu Dhabi alongside his host Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan

The aforementioned projects and others will be the subject of specific Memoranda of Understanding, mutually agreed upon, meeting the expectations and objectives of both parties, and defining the characteristics of the project and its financing methods, the necessary schedule for its implementation, and the commitments of all contributing parties.

These memoranda will be reviewed and concluded within a period not exceeding three months from the date of this Declaration.

Fourthly: Financing of Investments Mentioned in the Declaration

1.Both parties will mutually agree on the financing methods of the projects in accordance with the visions defined by both parties, in collaboration with their potential partners if applicable.

2. Both parties agree that these investment financings will combine:

a. Capital;

b. Concessional loans;

c. Competitive commercial loans;

d. Innovative financing mechanisms;

e. Grants.

Fifthly: Implementation and Monitoring Mechanisms

1.Both parties establish, through a specific memorandum of understanding, a mechanism for the implementation and monitoring of projects that will be scheduled in accordance with the provisions of this Declaration.

2.This mechanism includes representatives from both parties who will define its composition as needed.

3.This mechanism meets regularly and alternately between Morocco and the United Arab Emirates, in a format agreed upon by both parties, and submits its reports to the competent authorities

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