Morocco can be India’s window to Africa, EU, North America

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New Delhi, April 28 (IANS) Morocco, which has free trade pacts with countries in North America and Europe, can be a window for Indian businesses in these regions, according to a Moroccan business delegation on a visit to India.

“Morocco has free trade agreements with Europe and is a member of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA),” Jawad Kerdoudi, president of the Moroccan Institute for International Relations (IMRI), said at an interaction at the Observer Research Foundation here.

Explaining that IMRI’s objectives include promoting Morocco’s trade with other nations, Kerdoudi also proposed a framework for tripartite cooperation involving Africa, India and Morocco.

“We can manage a tripartite cooperation between India, Africa and Morocco that will benefit all three parties because we are very present in the continent. Morocco has been too linked to Europe. We want to diversify our relations to Africa, Latin America and Asia, and above all with India,” he added.

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King Mohammed VI of Morocco was among the heads of state present at the third India-Africa Forum Summit here last year. Trade between the two countries stood at $1.36 billion, with Indian exports to Morocco amounting to $500.5 million and imports valued at $855.8 million.

The interaction also touched on the new congruity in strategic interests in combating terrorism worldwide.

Noting that Morocco was one of the founding members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Kerdoudi said that at a time when Islam was under attack from the West, it was possible to speak frankly.

“The OIC must explain what is Islam… That it is tolerant and does not support terrorists. It has good values and is against people like ‘Daesh’ (Islamic State) who give a bad image to Islam.”

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