Abdel Wahid Rakal, director general of Morocco’s Ministry of Industry, Trade and the Digital Economy stood outside the Peres Center for Peace in Jaffa and stared out to sea. He pointed to the horizon and said, “There not so very far away is Morocco. Now we need to tighten the economic strings and connect between us because there are no fences or barriers and only something top gain.”
Rakal visited Israel at the head of a delegation of 18 CEOs of some of Morocco’s biggest technology companies. The delegation participated in the Axis Tel Aviv 2022 international global corporate venturing conference for investment and innovation, which was attended by dozens of venture capital investors seeking to meet the most promising Israeli tech startups.
In an exclusive interview with “Globes,” Rakal said that his plans and vision were to establish a partnership between Israel and Morocco, which he described as a win-win strategy for both countries with great benefits. “We have free trade agreement with over 100 countries and more than 2 billion consumers worldwide. We will be your bridge to them. In Africa, for example, we have a network of dozens of banks and insurance companies on the continent, and it is expanding. Africa is the market of the future and you can see how China and the Gulf states are investing there. A strategic partnership between Israel and Morocco in this market would be a certain success.”
What can Israel contribute to you?
Your advanced technology, of course. What particularly interests us is the route to innovation and startups. How you do it. The plan, among other things, is to set up an Israel-Morocco business forum of businesspeople and young high-tech entrepreneurs that will enhance each other. We want to send our most promising people to Israel so that they can learn. Half of our population is aged between 20 and 40. This is a young population that is hungry for progress. And of course we are interested in agriculture and technologies for use of water and food-tech.”
And what will Morocco bring to the partnership?
“We have tens of thousands of excellent software engineers and high-tech people looking to work in good jobs and some of them are leaving us for France. They can fill the shortfall you have of employees in this industry. Morocco’s agricultural produce and food industry in general can cut your prices. In addition, we have a large car industry and among other things manufacture most of the cars for the Romanian company Dacia.”
Rakhal concludes, “The advantages of a partnership between the two countries stem from their very similar characteristics which is connected through Moroccan Jewry, human warmth and the desire to progress swiftly and see results on the table in the short term.”
Published by Globes, Israel business news – en.globes.co.il – on April 15, 2022.
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