Morocco looks to boost bilateral trade with India
With trade crossing USD 4 billion, the two nations are strategic partners now.
NEW DELHI: IT major HCLTech is the latest Indian company to set foot in Morocco, taking the number of Indian firms there to 37.
From automobile manufacturers such as Mahindra and Tata Motors and pharma major Cipla to business conglomerate L&T and hospitality group Oberoi Hotel, India’s presence is spread across the country, in Rabat, Casablanca, Marrakech and Tangier.
“India and Morocco are strategic partners and our bilateral trade has crossed $4.1 billion. India is also our largest market in Asia for phosphate exports. We are trying to fortify our ties further by introducing e-visas for Indians and also holding discussions to have direct air connectivity between our two nations,” Minister Counsellor, Deputy Head of Morocco’s Mission in Delhi, Errachid Alaoui Mrani, told this newspaper.
India imports nearly 1.1 million tonnes of rock phosphate from Morocco which is nearly 22 per cent of India’s total import of rock phosphate. In addition, India imports 1.2 million tonnes of phosphoric acid from them, which is 50 per cent of its total imports.
Among the most recent developments is Morocco appointing a defence attache in Delhi and an official representative of the National Tourist Office of Morocco (ONMT). The e-visa facility that Morocco has introduced for Indian tourists in July has found over 15,000 takers.
India is likely to reciprocate by introducing e-visas for Moroccan tourists. Over 20,000 Indian tourists visited Morocco in 2022, and the ONMT representative hopes to see an increase in the numbers. The Moroccan Civil Aviation Department is exploring having direct flights with India.
“The strategic partnership between Morocco and India rests on trade and investment, defence and security, cultural and people-to-people connect and tackling global challenges together,” Mrani added.