Morocco, China ink 'Belt and Road' roadmap

Morocco, China ink 'Belt and Road' roadmap
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Morocco and China signed an agreement sealing a strategic partnership between the two nations as part of Beijing's "Belt and Road" initiative
Morocco became the first Maghreb country to join China's Belt & Road initiative [AFP/Getty- archive]

Morocco and China on Wednesday signed an agreement sealing a strategic partnership between the two nations as part of Beijing's "Belt and Road" initiative.

The accord, a roadmap for the joint implementation of the key Chinese project, was inked by Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita and a senior Chinese official, Ning Jizhe, during a video conference ceremony.

The partnership is aimed at facilitating cooperation in infrastructure, trade, investment, industry, agriculture and more, a Moroccan government statement said.

It aims to promote access to Chinese financing to carry out large projects in Morocco, the Moroccan MAP news agency added.

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Under the agreement Beijing has committed to encourage Chinese businesses to invest in Morocco, which in 2017 became the first Maghreb country to join the initiative.

Ning Jizhe said China's direct investment in the country had reached $380 million.

The accord also provides for tripartite cooperation with Africa, in particular in sustainable development.

Launched in 2013, Beijing's vast, trillion-dollar Belt and Road infrastructure initiative aims to improve trade links with countries across the world by building ports, railways, airports and industrial parks.