Morocco looking for more trade - Reffouch | Daily News

Morocco looking for more trade - Reffouch

Minister Bathiudeen and Reffouch, the Moroccan Ambassador to Sri Lanka discuss bilateral cooperation at EDB premises, Colombo.

Morocco, the emerging North African aeronautics supplier and the second biggest apparel maker in North African region, is highly taken up by the ‘Made in Sri Lanka’ apparel brand. “Your apparels are so good! I always remember to pick up a Sri Lankan made high quality coat or clothes in Bloomingdale whenever I shop (there)” said an excited Larbi Reffouch, the Moroccan Ambassador to Sri Lanka.

Reffouch also revealed that Morocco is eager for closer trade and industrial cooperation with Sri Lanka.

Reffouch was addressing Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry & Commerce recently at the EDB premises in Colombo during his courtesy call on Minister Bathiudeen.

According to the Department of Commerce, Sri Lanka exported tea, coir products and rubber based products to Morocco while spices and precious stones have been imported in small quantities to Sri Lanka from Morocco. For the past few years, Sri Lanka has been reporting a favourable trade balance in its bilateral trade with Morocco, and in 2012, the total trade volume stood at $ 2.06 Mn-of which $ 1.71 Mn consisted of exports.

“We are the second biggest apparel supplier in the North African region, helped by no less than our bilateral FTA with USA. And we are also located very close to EU markets, only eight miles away from Spain and just one hour by ferry to Southern Spain” said Reffouch.

“We know Sri Lanka and we have strong historic relations and Moroccan explorer Ibn Batuta’s visit to Sri Lanka is known by most Lankans in general. We need to expand our bilateral trade as well as our industrial cooperation. Investors from both countries can also enter into joint ventures in many sectors; we are strong in in rubber and fishery -technologies that Sri Lanka can benefit from us considerably-and money is no problem!” he added.

The World Economic Forum said that Morocco is the best performing economy in North Africa in 2013. Morocco is also the biggest holder of phosphate reserves in the world.

Addressing Reffouch Minister Bathiudeen said, “I also invite capable Moroccan investors to Sri Lanka’s apparel sector for synergies; we are well known around the world for our high quality and you are the second biggest apparel power in North Africa. On the other hand, we are closer to East Asian hubs. I also invite a strong Moroccan delegation for the forthcoming CHOGM trade fair in Colombo.”