Promoting Inclusive and Diverse cooperation between Morocco and China

Fez – As part of Morocco’s new policy of diversifying its economic and political partners, the royal visit to China comes at a time when Morocco is witnessing a sustained human development. The major objective of this visit is the promotion of investment and trade between the two countries.After the consolidation of economic, social, and political relations with Africa, India, Europe, Russia and the Gulf States, Morocco is turning to China, which is one of the richest and most developed countries, and the most populated worldwide, with a population of just less than a billion and a half.With the signing of a number of commercial, social, and cultural agreements between the two countries, China will become one of the largest investors in Morocco in almost all sectors. Last year, Chinese investments in Arab and Islamic countries reached more than $ 64 billion. Within this context, the Chinese Central Bank has signed with its Moroccan counterpart, Banque du Maroc, a three-year partnership agreement with a grant estimated at $1.53 billion.The agreements signed during the royal visit will double the size of Chinese investments in Morocco, as well as the volume of trade and cooperation between the two countries, which will contribute to job creation and the promotion of economic, social, and cultural exchanges.Morocco’s vision geared towards strengthening relations with the Republic of China is part of a new strategy to overcome the threshold of cooperation with its traditional partners. This new approach also aims to strengthen cooperation and diversified global partnerships for the creation of huge industrial and commercial projects in areas such as automotive, aviation, infrastructure and manufacturing, as well as health and food security, culture and other vital sectors. This vision of Morocco comes in the wake of political changes facing the world today, especially regarding the strengthening of security, stability and management of regional crises.Moroccan and Chinese officials signed 15 agreements concerning public-private partnerships. The first one plans for the establishment of an industrial and residential park between Morocco and the Chinese group Haite, which operates in several sectors such as civil and military aviation, aerospace components, energy, mining,  Insurance and Real Estate . This industrial park will be located in the Tangier region, north of Morocco.Haitea Group also signed a memorandum of understanding with Morocco-China International and BMCE Bank of Africa. This marks the creation of another Sino-Moroccan industrial park, an investment fund of one billion dollars, targeting the sectors of aeronautics, financial, industrial parks and infrastructure, the launch of a fund management company and the strengthening of partnership in the life insurance field in China, the aircraft leasing and technical partnership to initiate a new bank dedicated to the sector of new technologies in China.The second agreement signed is a cooperation agreement in the field of investment and finance between the Government of Morocco and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC).An agreement was also sealed between the bus manufacturer Yangtse, the Energy Investment Company (SIE), Marita Group, and Banque Centrale Populaire. It aims for the purchase and construction of an electric bus manufacturing unit in Morocco. This manufacturing unit, which will require an investment of 1.2 billion Dirhams, will manufacture electric buses of the new generation.The strategic partnership between Morocco and China will also encourage Chinese and Moroccan investors, facilitate the transfer of capital and expertise, and strengthen tourism, particularly after the royal decision to facilitate the travel of Chinese citizens to Morocco, through the abolition of visas, which were in force in the past.This partnership is a great opportunity for Morocco, for the next phase of bilateral relations will be characterized by the activation of cooperation related to the creation of new businesses, and by accelerating the pace of global political, economic, security and cultural cooperation.This initiative strengthens the role of Morocco in the world, which has become more present with a leadership increasingly independent in its regional and international geostrategic orientations, whether on the political or commercial levels.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission.The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial policy read more

Global humanitarian response affected by lack of funding – senior UN relief

US Marines unloading over 12 tonnes of food items from a World Food Programme (WFP) truck onto helicopters to be sent to Jeremie, Haiti, which was severely hit by Hurricane Matthew. Photo: UN/MINUSTAH/Frederic Fath UNAMID Peacekeepers provide protection to displaced women and children from Anka and Umm Rai, North Darfur. Photo: Priyanka Chowdhury/UNAMID Speaking first on Haiti, John Ging, Director of the Operational Division at the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) told journalists at the UN Headquarters in New York that lack of funding has had a major impact on the humanitarian response to Hurricane Matthew that struck the island in early October. He reported that the humanitarian appeal for the country, amounting to about $120 million targeting some 750,000 people needing urgent support, has thus far received only 40 per cent funding. According to OCHA, 1.4 million Haitians have been directly affected by the hurricane including some 175,000 internally displaced who have been living in about 307 temporary shelters, including 86 schools.“Forty per cent [of the funding] means that 60 per cent of the [humanitarian work] is not being done. This means a lot of unnecessary suffering for people who have had their livelihoods and their homes completely wiped out,” highlighted Mr. Ging. He, however, added that thanks to the prior preparedness, including pre-deployment of humanitarian surge staff, prompt assistance was provided to hundreds of thousands of affected people. UN agencies, including its emergency food relief agency – World Food Programme (WFP) – has provided food assistance to about 520,000 people, and the UN agricultural agency – Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) – has helped clear agricultural land and provided seeds to ensure that the current planting season is not missed. Mr. Ging also said that programmes related shelter need further scaling up to respond to the humanitarian needs. On a related topic, the OCHA official told journalists that a cholera vaccination campaign in Haiti was launched on 8 November, targeting some 800,000 people for vaccination.Turning to the situation in Sudan, Mr. Ging said that 5.8 million people in the country need of some form of humanitarian assistance. Moreover, 3.2 million people are internally displaced (IDPs). “We have been dealing with this situation for many, many years,” he said, noting that he had visited strife-torn Darfur, where he had met many people that had been recently displaced. As well as hosting more than 2.6 million IDPs, “we have a situation of a protracted crisis for these people who are looking for solutions to their livelihood needs and also for rebuilding their lives. He said that his mission to the region had been very much focused on the issue of connecting humanitarian actions with development. “We [still] have a lot of humanitarian issues […] we have a lot of challenges in reaching all the people we need access to,” Mr. Ging explained, but, after so many years, people are also expecting the international community to help them with recovery, “and we in the humanitarian community absolutely echo that expectation.” To that end, he recalled that the World Humanitarian Summit had emphasized the links between humanitarian and development activities, including taking action earlier on development initiatives to help people rebuild their lives. “So the humanitarian appeal will continue to be something that we as humanitarians raise to international attention,” he said, noting that there is a funding gap of $555 million. “That means this is more evidence of how far we are falling short on the humanitarian side to meet the very basic support that people need in such circumstances,” Mr. Ging said, adding at the same time, that he had seen in Sudan “a lot of opportunities for helping people recover.” As such, OCHA is emphasizing with its development partners to get involved; “it is urgent and it is possible to remove the need for repetitive humanitarian appeals year after year. We should be doing much more in places like Darfur and particularly on the development side.” As for South Sudan, he said that of the three countries he had visited, the young African nation was the most alarming “in terms of the trajectory that [it] is on.” Indeed: “In every element of the functioning of the country, we are seeing a deterioration; obviously the humanitarian situation, as a consequence of the escalation in fighting,” as well as in the economy and the governance capacity. “It’s an extremely worrying situation.” Recalling that Adama Dieng, the UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, had been in South Sudan at the same time, World Humanitarian Summit, Mr. Ging reiterated that envoy’s warning that the escalation and the “ferocity” of the fighting could mean that the country may be heading towards genocide. “The gravity of the situation that the people of South Sudan face cannot be overstated; and this is of course on top of an already very grave humanitarian situation, both in terms of protection of civilians and also the physical needs of the population.”He went on to note that there are 6.1 million people in need of humanitarian assistance and 2.9 million that have been displaced since the conflict erupted in December 2013. “We as a humanitarian community are very concerned about a very fast deteriorating food insecurity situation; it has never been as bad as it is now and it is on a trajectory to get much worse, with 3.7 million people estimated to be severely food insecure – one million more than this time last year,” he said, stressing that children were bearing the brunt of the crisis.While he had been inspired by the dignity and hope the people of South Sudan were showing, he said all should realize that it is a situation and people are suffering immensely. “They are expecting the international community to step up,” he said, explaining that everywhere he went in South Sudan, he had heard “very reasonable and rational demands of more effective engagement by the international community and we have to, all of us, somehow mobilize.”Mr. Ging acknowledged that the donor community had been generous in funding humanitarian work in South Sudan. He also praised the outstanding work humanitarians are doing “in the most dangerous place to work right now.” He said that the humanitarian appeal was the most fully funded – at 75 per cent. read more