H.E. Ambassador Azzeddine Farhane (Photo from Morocco's Embassy)
H.E.Azzeddine Farhane, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco in Vietnam, tells VET's Van Hai about relations between Morocco and Vietnam as celebrations for Enthronement Day, July 30, are underway.
by Van Hai
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What is your evaluation of economic and cultural cooperation between Vietnam and Morocco in the first half of this year?
Through their strategic locations in North Africa and Southeast Asia, Morocco and Vietnam offer promising economic and cultural cooperation that can be harnessed efficiently. Hence, during the first half the year, the Embassy of Morocco in Vietnam, in cooperation with Vietnamese partners, organized an international seminar on cultural diversity for national unity and territorial integrity, which brought together renowned experts and professors from both countries who exchanged experience and lessons learned on cherishing the cultural components of society while forging national unity. Moreover, the Embassy is currently working on establishing and strengthening bilateral ties by way of people-to-people exchanges and the signing of twin city agreements between Moroccan and Vietnamese cities. Regarding economic cooperation, it still doesn’t reflect the ambition of Morocco and Vietnam of boosting trade volumes. Bilateral trade turnover reached $170 million in 2017; a modest level compared to the economic potential of the two countries. To boost relations in this area, the fourth meeting of the Joint Committee of Cooperation was held on April 23 and 24 in Hanoi, with several measures agreed upon by both parties to boost economic exchange and provide impetus to trade and investment opportunities, primarily in fields such as fertilizer production, pharmaceuticals, aquaculture, and banking transactions.
What attracts Moroccan enterprises to invest in Vietnam?
Vietnam is exhibiting strong and stable economic performance, as one of the key emerging economies in the medium and long terms. The country’s business environment presents numerous opportunities for investment, despite challenges relating to administrative red tape. Moroccan enterprises need to establish contact with Vietnamese partners in order to set up investments projects. To this end, the Embassy is working on establishing a Morocco-Vietnam Business Council, which was agreed upon during the third session of the Joint Commission of Cooperation. The objective is to create a new atmosphere between the business communities of the two countries through meetings and seminars that could inject a new economic dynamic into the relationship.
What sectors do Moroccan companies wish to invest in in Vietnam?
Vietnam has a very dynamic economy, characterized by its diversity and the steady performance of its sectors. Moroccan companies are mainly interested in investing in sectors in which they have accumulated solid experience, such as banking, renewable energies, fertilizer production, and pharmaceuticals. These specific sectors have the greatest potential for growth and investment for Moroccan companies in Vietnam.
Regarding phosphate and fertilizers, OCP, as a global leader in the phosphate industry, has opened offices around the world, in Paris, Sao Paulo, New Delhi, Buenos Aires, and Istanbul, and has established several joint ventures, such as BSFT, a trading company based in Turkey, and OCP Fertilizantes, a local fertilizer distribution company in Brazil. It also launched Performance Phosphate Products, a new range of products that are adapted to customers’ needs, including delivery-related logistics services. The OCP business model could interest the PetroVietnam Fertilizer and Chemicals Corporation in exploring ways and means for establishing a joint venture in Southeast Asia.
What should Vietnamese enterprises do to export to Morocco?
Vietnamese companies willing to invest in or export their products to Morocco should initially contact the economic section at the Embassy. The Embassy will be happy to provide all Vietnamese businesspeople interested in the Moroccan market with the necessary information and guidelines, so they may conduct business smoothly. The Embassy’s website is also a good source of information on Morocco’s economic panorama and the opportunities offered for businesses and can be found at www.moroccoembassy.vn.
What do you think about the potential of Vietnam-Morocco cooperation?
The prospects for cooperation between Morocco and Vietnam remain bright and untapped, especially given the two countries have a rich shared history and also have some economic commonalities. There are numerous fields of cooperation that can create the foundation for strong economic ties between the two, among which tourism and professional training and education stand out.
In this respect, I would like to mention that the first roundtable organized by the Embassy on March 29 in Hanoi, on the sidelines of the 6th Vietnam International Travel Mart (VITM), with the theme “Potential Cooperation between Morocco and Vietnam in the Promotion of Tourism”, was an opportunity for some 30 Vietnamese tourism agencies to present the opportunities Morocco and Vietnam offer in terms of tourist attractions and the hotel industry, in both countries and, more broadly, as gateways to Africa and Southeast Asia.
It was also an opportunity to explore the prospects for cooperation between the two countries, by promoting the exchange of information on the respective tourism products as well as on ways to jointly develop new forms of cooperation in tourism and the hotel industry.
It was highlighted that Morocco and Vietnam share a variety of similarities and tourism potential, in terms of stability, geographical position, and tourism numbers, with Morocco welcoming 11.3 million tourists and Vietnam 13 million tourists last year.