China textile and garment firms eyeing Morocco?
The Moroccan government is negotiating a strategic industrial partnership with China that could see Chinese investment flow into the Moroccan clothing and textile manufacturing industry.
Moulay Hafid Elalamy, Morocco’s minister of industry, trade, investment and digital economy, is coordinating the Moroccan side in the talks.
Despite lacking a projected formal agreement date, a Moroccan government statement for just-style is optimistic. "The development of the Moroccan-Chinese industrial partnership and attraction of Chinese FDI [foreign direct investment] in Morocco is a strategic project of the Industrial Acceleration Plan (IAP) 2014-2020."
A senior diplomat at the Moroccan embassy in Beijing added that with regards to Chinese FDI, the textile and garment sectors "are still untapped yet" but there is "existing potential to be exploited."
A senior Morocco textile sector executive added that textile and garment sourcing giant Li & Fung was considering setting up a production base in Morocco, although Li & Fung did not confirm this claim to just-style.
Potential benefits include avoiding rising Chinese costs, specialist clothing and textile port facilities in Tangier, duty-free imports of textile and garment inputs, and Morocco free trade agreements with the EU, the US, and African countries.
A first Moroccan-Chinese Economic Forum trade mission was organised in Beijing last November (2014), led by the General Confederation of Moroccan Businesses; the ministry of foreign affairs and cooperation; and the Group of Professional Moroccan Banks. Agreements were struck between Chinese and Moroccan banks regarding currency and equity transfers.
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