Corporate Council on Africa UNGA Series Spotlights Economic Recovery Strategies in Morocco
On Wednesday, September 23, 2020, Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) hosted the first session of its series of country-focused events on the sidelines of the 75th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) meetings. The series themed Partnering for Economic Recovery, highlighted key economic recovery strategies and investment opportunities in Morocco, Nigeria, and Senegal.
Wednesday’s session highlighted the country of Morocco. Ambassador Tom McDonald, Partner at Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP, provided welcoming remarks and introduced the keynote speakers, H.E. Moulay Hafid Elalamy Minister of Industry, Trade, Green and Digital Economy, Kingdom of Morocco, and Honorable Wilbur Ross, Secretary of Commerce, U.S. Department of Commerce.
In response to the pandemic H.E. Elalamy stated that “Morocco, which produced absolutely no masks, began manufacturing 17 million masks per day for a population of 36 million,” highlighting the country’s ability to mobilize their industrial and aeronautical sectors to combat the virus.
H.E. Moulay Hafid Elalamy Minister of Industry, Trade, Green and Digital Economy, Kingdom of Morocco
Secretary Ross spoke on the United States’ “special bond with Morocco”, highlighting that in 2019 the U.S. exported $3.5 billion to Morocco, thereby creating 12,000 U.S. jobs.
Opening remarks were followed by a panel featuring Rick Angiuoni, Director for Africa of U.S. EXIM Bank, Douglas Kelly, Regional Director, Morocco Senior Manager, BCA Supplier Operations, Boeing, and Ali Seddiki, Managing Director Industry, Ministry of Industry, Investment, Trade and Digital Economy for the Kingdom of Morocco. The discussion was moderated by Meriam Al-Rashid Partner, U.S Chair Public International Law & International Arbitration at Eversheds Sutherland LLP.
Panelists discussed pandemic mitigation measures in Morocco and the opportunity for economic growth beyond the pandemic through public-private partnerships. According to Mr. Seddiki, Phase 1 measures taken by the Kingdom of Morocco to isolate the spread of COVID-19 included collaborating closely with the private sector, monitoring the virus spread, and working with local authorities to keep businesses running. Rick Angiuoni regarded Morocco as a “strong trading partner of the U.S.” as the third-largest destination market in Africa for U.S. exports. Mr. Kelly expressed his belief that Morocco “will grow exponentially”, referencing Boeing’s Memorandum of Understanding with Morocco, which is predicted to generate $1 billion in annual growth and create jobs.
In her closing remarks Florie Liser, CEO and President of CCA, emphasized CCA’s continued mandate to support the economic recovery of Morocco and other African nations by continuing to provide a platform for discussions on U.S.-Africa collaboration for economic growth.
The CCA UNGA Special Sessions were generously sponsored by Abbott Laboratories; Acrow Bridge; AfroTourism; Caterpillar Inc.; Citibank; Creative Associates International; Development Finance International (DFI); ExxonMobil Corporation; Flutterwave; Lockheed Martin International; Procter & Gamble; Rabin Martin; and VISA Inc.
About Corporate Council on Africa (CCA)
Corporate Council on Africa is the leading U.S. business association focused solely on connecting business interests between the United States and Africa. CCA uniquely represents a broad cross section of member companies from small and medium size businesses to multinationals as well as U.S. and African firms. Learn more at www.CorporateCouncilOnAfrica.com