Rabat – The relationship between Morocco and the United Kingdom is a long and deep one, UK Minister of State for Development and Africa, Andrew Mitchell, recently told Morocco World News (MWN) on the sidelines of last week’s IMF-World Bank Meetings in Marrakech.
“We have no closer friend than Morocco,” he said, adding that for Britain, Morocco is the link that joins Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.
Mitchell went on to shed light on the strong momentum of UK-Morocco ties, stressing: “We trade together, we are able to increase the volume of that trade year on year.”
The positive trend in bilateral trade translates into more jobs for both countries, more deals signed, more investment, more business, and “that is at the heart of economic development,” he explained.
In recent years, Morocco’s trade with the UK has been on an upward trajectory. Total trade between the UK and Morocco reached $3.6 billion between the end of the third quarter of 2021 and the same period in 2022, marking a 53.3% increase, according to official data.
According to Mitchell, Morocco and the UK share the same views on “very important international issues.”
He further expressed hope for stronger ties with “more business, more cultural links,” and for the two countries to work together on the international stage.
The British minister also hailed Morocco’s relief efforts following the September 8 earthquake, describing the Moroccan government’s response to the disastrous tremor as “heart-lifting.”
Beyond the strong state response to the earthquake, Morocco received a great deal of support and assistance from its international partners, he noted. “We were proud to support the people of Morocco in the aftermath of this dreadful disaster,” he said.
The UK has pledged $1.7 million through the Red Cross to help earthquake relief efforts in Morocco, and another $450,000 to the Global Diversity Foundation (GDF), the minister recalled.
IMF-WB Meetings in Marrakech
The British minister lauded Morocco’s successful hosting of the IMF-WB Meetings less than a month after being hit by a devastating earthquake that claimed nearly 3,000 lives.
“I think one should pay tribute to the extraordinary skill and success of Morocco hosting these annual World Bank and IMF meetings,” he told MWN, describing the event as a “strong and brilliantly organized occasion.”
The hosting of the meeting in Marrakech was of historic significance, as it was the first time in 50 years that the meetings had been held in Africa, he noted.
This year’s meetings centered on the need to address climate change,e, he explained.
“We need to deliver on these sustainable development goals which have been agreed by the international community,” he said. “Coming to a place where this dreadful earthquake had taken place was the right thing to do because it underlines that climate change is the existential crisis of our time and we need to make sure we tackle it.”
This year, the IMF-WB Meetings focused on advancing climate goals, ‘finding more money for climate finance, but also establishing the importance of recognizing at this halfway point that these Sustainable Development goals are way off track and we need to get them back by 2030,” the British minister explained.
Yet, he concluded, winning the fight against the consequences of climate change requires “multilateral development banks” and improved coordination in the international community.
Source : MoroccoWorldNews