The launching of the second phase of illegal immigrants’ regularization campaign in Morocco 12 Dec 2016

The National Commission in charge of Illegal Immigrants Regularization have stated in a press release that in accordance with the guidance of HM King Mohammed VI, the second phase of the campaign for the regularization of the situation of illegal immigrants in Morocco will be launched, as already planned, for the end of 2016.
This second phase, which will be launched this immediately, will take place under the same conditions as the first phase, which involved about twenty-five thousand people and had been very successful in 2014.
This integrated policy, which has humanitarian values basis, is designed to make sure migrants’ rights and dignity are safeguarded. As part of the implementation of this policy, Morocco has regularized the situation of migrants using fair and reasonable standards. It has provided the conditions needed for migrants to reside, work and lead a dignified life within the Moroccan community.
To recall, Morocco adopted a new migration policy providing protections for migrants and asylum seekers in November 2013, becoming the first country in the Arab world to develop such a policy. Implementation of the first phase of the campaign took place in 2014 and successfully regularized the status of 25,000 migrants, providing them with residency papers.
Morocco is also one of the first countries of the South to adopt a genuine solidarity-based policy regarding sub-Saharan migrants.
It is worth recalling that HM the King has said in a speech on the occasion of the anniversary of the Revolution of the King and the People: “I am deeply satisfied to note that migrants are hardworking people, who are known for their good behavior, their commitment to the rule of law and their respect for Moroccan values and sanctities.' 'Let me add, in this regard, that we are only fulfilling our duty towards these people, whose circumstances have led them to risk their lives and leave their families and homeland.”



Q: Your Majesty, Thank you for receiving us. You are in Madagascar as part of a tour in Africa. What do these visits to African countries inspire you?
A: Firstly, I would like to pay tribute to my African brothers and our continent. Each visit to Africa is an opportunity to reconnect with the African populations that I admire and respect, they teach me true wealth... the wealth of the heart.
Morocco and Africa are one. To separate them would be an uprooting, an error.
During my visits to Africa or through the projects that I initiate in the continent, it is not a question of giving lessons. Rather, I suggest that we share our experiences.
Of course, the challenges in Africa are great. But the women, men and children I meet during My visits give me the strength to continue. They make me proud to be African, to be, as deemed by the President of the Republic a "son of the country".

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Morocco Unanimously Designated to Represent Africa at International Organization Migration IOM Council

29 October 2015 Geneva - The African Group on Thursday unanimously designated Morocco to represent the continent at the Council of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), as of November 2015.
This designation comes as a strong sign of confidence in the kingdom's ability to defend the interests of the continent within the organization and recognizes its active role in the current debate on migration issues at the international level, notably within the IOM.
The African choice of Morocco as a board member of the organization comes to reinforce the continued and renewed commitment of the Kingdom in favor of handling the issues of migration in a more coordinated and integrated manner internationally and regionally, with the participation and cooperation of the countries of origin, transit and destination.


Globoport: Morocco is an unknown area for many people. What is there to be known about it? What kind of opportunities can this exotic country offer?

Dr. József Steier: We have to know that Morocco is the gate of Africa. A Southern opening would be difficult without involving Morocco. It is a very open country with huge, unexploited economic and business opportunities. The population of the country is 35 million but only utilizes a small part of its lands. This is a great possibility to carry our projects together. The agricultural production of the country is also significant but we only capitalise this partially. Concerning fruits, they have pomegranates which mostly go to France and Spain. They also have argan oil which is basically gold in a liquid form. It could be used in many ways, for instance to make cosmetic, hygienic or culinary products. Additionally, Morocco is special because you can go on summer or winter vacations at the same time. While we are swimming in the sea in Agadir, we can go skiing in the Atlas Mountains. And there is Marrakesh, the cultural and touristic centre of the country, fancied by celebrities as well. Morocco is visited by 12 million tourists a year, out of which 8-9 million go to Marrakesh. So it is not a surprise that hotels, restaurants and clubs are always full.

Globoport: Morocco is in the region which was swept by the Arab Spring a few years ago. How did it manage to stay steady, avoid a wave of demonstrations and stay on the path of development? What kind of role did the king play in this?

Dr. József Steier: The nation loves and respects King Mohammed VI who is a very liberal ruler. When he took the throne is 1999 after the death of his father, Hassan II, one of his first thoughts was to collect jurists who can help in the modification and correction of the constitution. He listens to his dependents and what is rare in Africa and Muslim countries is that he ensured basic rights for women. The government has a female minister and many mayors of different cities are female. It was pleasant to see that the president of the General Confederation of Moroccan Enterprises is a woman since it is a very responsible position. I think this shows that emancipation is in process. Naturally, the king stays on the ground of reality and this is why he was able to avoid what the neighbouring countries weren’t able to. I see an organised state which functions well and this is very important for HTCC. Morocco’s economy is developing and is quite strong. Morocco has good quality highways so different cities can be reached easily. I drove 1000 kilometres without any problems not long ago, when the Salon du Cheval horse-show was held.

Globoport: In which area do you see the biggest opportunities? Where could Hungarian firms and investors predominate?

Dr. József Steier: There are incredible opportunities in the agricultural and industrial relations. Morocco is a remarkable car manufacturer while Hungary’s car component manufacture is great and these two should be connected. We shouldn’t forget that Morocco has one of the greatest phosphate productions in the world and phosphate is an important component of fertilisers. This can be good for us because the Hungarian agriculture plays an important role in the national economy and its average production could be higher by importing the key component of fertilisers from Morocco. Another thing is the improvement of touristic relations. Morocco has seducing sights and its touristic sector is quite significant. We should make Morocco an objective for Hungarians and vice versa. This is why one of my main goals is to negotiate with Royal Air Maroc, Wizzair and Ryanair about direct and cheap flights. Currently there are no direct flights but we have a great chance with Royal Air Maroc because they already have flights crossing Hungary and it is a reliable airline. Energetics also offers great opportunities with Morocco’s unconventional and renewable energy sources. The world’s most modern solar power plant heated by oil is currently under construction. It will be able to produce electricity six hours after sunset. I think that Hungarian IT technologies could play a role in this. If we look at Morocco and the Atlas Mountains through Google Earth, we see many hydroelectric power plants in the valleys. The problem is that they are not building more of these but damming instead, and then a large body of water is let into the sea. If we don’t do anything else just create a hydraulic system connected with solar and wind power and a fish-breeding system, then such a chain would be created that could supply Africa or half of the world. Physical and organisational opportunities are given for this. In the human sphere there are many Moroccan young adults fit for work who speak four languages. This is such an advantage in world economy that Morocco rightly asks to hold the 22nd Climate Change Conference. I truly hope that Marrakesh will be the host of this illustrious event.

Globoport: What is there to be known about the Hungarian Trade and Cultural Centre? How does it work and how could it help its Hungarian partners in the Moroccan market?

Dr. Jószef Steier: The way HTCC works in Morocco is defined in Hungary. HTCC has a director responsible for business development who is Szabolcs Kutasi in the case of Morocco. He is the one who gets in touch with Hungarian firms who want to sell their products in the Moroccan market. Then, the HTCC puts together their needs and gets in touch with me or my colleagues and we research all possibilities to help them. We look around the market, observe the situation and look for beneficial opportunities. Many people make the mistake of trying to establish business relations alone, unsuccessfully. HTCC can help in effectiveness because we first ask economic chambers, industrialists and the confederation of entrepreneurs and agricultural producers. They have thousands of members and we can mediate business opportunities through them. Of course, we also select and only choose ideas with real potential. We have already started this work and have ten areas as starting points. I will try to establish as many relations as possible during my stay.

Globoport: If I’m right, there is a Hungarian Business House operating in Rabat with the support of the state. How much does it interfere with your work? Can you work together?

Dr. József Steier: We find cooperation and helping the other important for the sake of efficiency. It is not a surprise that the state and private sphere is up against each other. But this isn’t really a competition because both organisations represent Hungarian interests. We have our own programme and I don’t think that it will interfere with another one. It is just like ships crashing into each other on the big seas; it is rare. And as I have mentioned, the Moroccan market is very big with plenty of opportunities. I think it is good that there are two trade organisations but we need much more to be everywhere. I have to say that out of the 300 trade relations we have today, none were established by these two organisations. So we both have goals to live up to!

Globoport: What kind of positions do we have in Morocco currently?

Dr. József Steier: Hungarian foreign trade flourished in the 1980s and we had great positions in Morocco. These constantly decreased in the 90s, and then came a break when Hungarian diplomacy left Africa. The space we left was filled in by the French, Spanish, Italian and Americans. Lately, the Germans started spreading in Morocco dynamically. Compared to them, we are in a disadvantage and we cannot lean onto a successful past. So we are now looking for new areas, which is hard, but it is in process.

Globoport: HTCC is also active culturally. What kind of events are you planning in the future?

Dr. József Steier: According to our plans, there would be two cultural events annually in Hungary and Morocco. Moroccan HTCC has completed this goal not long ago when we greeted a group of painters and graphic artists and they had the chance to create beautiful works of art in our workshop. We want to continue this in 2016 accompanied by an exhibition of the masterpieces. The other event we contributed to was the Salon du Cheval horse-show where the Hungarians amazed the audience. We want to make sure that Hungary will participate at this event every year. It would be a huge acknowledgement if Hungary was invited to next year’s show as the guest of honour. This would be a special status, meaning even more opportunities in the future.

Translated by Alexandra Béni


Automaker PSA Peugeot Citroën will build a new assembly plant in Morocco

The French car automaker PSA Peugeot Citroën will build a new assembly plant in Morocco to build cars and engines for markets in Africa and the Middle East. The French automaker will invest €557 million ($632 million) in Morocco to build the new facility, which will begin production in 2019.
In this aspect, PSA Peugeot Citroën CEO and Moroccan Government officials signed an agreement for a new plant that will be located in Ameur Seflia, in the Kenitra region of Morocco.

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Inauguration of Mohammed VI Institute in Morocco for training religious leaders

A Training Institute of religious preachers ( Imams, Morchidines and Morchidates) has been inaugurated in Rabat by His Majesty the King Mohammed VI, on 27th March 2015.
The new institute, which is a pilot project that will further enhance Morocco's religious influence and anchor the Kingdom's attachment to the precepts and fundamentals of Islam, will offer training to Imams from Morocco, the Arab world, Africa and Europe.

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Insigna of the Order the Throne

cmh_photoHRH Princess Lalla Meryem presented, in Paris the insigna decorations awarded by His Majesty King Mohammed VI to representatives of Muslim, Jewish and Christian religions in France.
Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Meryem presented, on February 1st 2015, in a ceremony at the Institute of the Arab Word in Paris the "Insigna of the Order the Throne" (wissams) awarded by His Majesty the King Mohammed VI, to representatives of the Muslim, Jewish and Christian religions in France.
Thus, HRH Princess Lalla Meryem decorated Khalil Merroun, Rector of Evry mosque, Michel Serfaty, Rabbi of Ris-Orangis and Michel Dubost, Evry Bishop, with Wissam Al Arch of third class (officer) at a ceremony in the presence, notably, of the French Prime Minister, Mr Manuel Valls.

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Casablanca Finance City (CFC)

Casablanca Finance City (CFC): Best financial Center in the MENA region

On the occasion of the "Middle East Capital Markets Summit and Awards", held On October 29th 2014 in Dubai, the Casablanca Finance City (CFC), received the award for best financial Center in the MENA region in 2014.
The specialized agency of economic information in key areas of African business, Ecofin, declared that this award recognizes and honours the most competitive financial centers. It is a recognition that confirms "the strategic positioning of Casablanca city finance as suitable platform for investors targeting the African market".

Casablanca Finance City is an ambitious Moroccan enterprise aiming at positioning the Moroccan finance regionally and internationally. Its primarily objective is to be a financial center for development of Africa, and in particular the countries of the North Africa region, West and Central Africa.
The aim of Casablanca Finance City is also to be an economic and financial hub and a platform linking the north and south and to attract and encourage international institutions and investors to invest and conduct their activities in North Africa, West and Central Africa choosing Casablanca as gateway to the African Continent.

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