India - Morocco Relations

Embassy of India
Rabat

India-Morocco Bilateral Relations

Political Relations

Relations between India and Morocco go back to the 14thcentury when the famous traveler and writer from Tangier, Ibn Batuta travelled to India. In modern history, India was active in the UN supporting the Moroccan freedom movement and recognized Morocco on June 20, 1956 when it became independent of the protectoratearrangements with France. Diplomatic Missions were established in 1957.

Over the years, India and Morocco have enjoyed cordial and friendly relationsand bilateral relations have witnessed significant growth. Vice President Dr. ZakirHussain visited Morocco in 1967 and King Mohammed VI, when he was Crown Prince,visited India to participate in the Non-Aligned Movement Summit in 1983 and, later in2001 and in 2003, as the King of Morocco. Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari visited Morocco from 30 May – 02 June 2016 and held delegation-level talks with Head of Government Abdelilah Benkirane.  Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and the two Chairmen of both the Houses of Parliament also called on the VP. Former Prime Minister Shri Atal BehariVajpayee visited Rabat in 1999. Visits at Ministerial and official level have taken placeregularly between the two countries.

In June 2012, Shri E. Ahamed, the Hon’ble Minister of State for External Affairs,Govt. of India, visited Morocco. Shri Salman Khurshid, External Affairs Minister (EAM)of India accompanied by an official delegation, paid an official visit to Morocco from 30January to 1 February, 2014, as part of a three-nation tour to the North African regionthat included Morocco, Tunisia and Sudan. The visit was historic in nature, being thefirst by an EAM to Morocco. EAM called on King Mohammed VI and had meetings withthe Head of Government (Prime Minister), President/Speaker of House ofRepresentatives (Lower House of Parliament), President/Speaker of House ofCouncillors (Upper House of Parliament), and Minister of Foreign Affairs andCooperation. The two sides undertook a comprehensive review of bilateral relations anddiscussed ways to enhance bilateral cooperation in various fields. The 3rdround ofIndia-Morocco Foreign Office Consultations (FOCs) was held in Rabat on 10 December,2014 under the co-chairmanship of Mr. Anil Wadhwa, Secretary(East), Ministry ofExternal Affairs, Govt. of India and Mr. Nasser Bourita, Secretary General, Ministry ofForeign Affairs and Cooperation, Kingdom of Morocco. Sh. Anil Wadhwa,Secretary(East) paid courtesy calls on Mr. Salaheddine Mezouar, Moroccan Minister ofForeign Affairs & Cooperation, as well as Mr. Moulay Hafid ElAlamy, Moroccan Ministerof Industry, Trade, Investment and the Digital Economy. Both sides commended theexcellent relationship between the two countries, which share values of moderation,dialogue and solidarity.Dr. Sanjeev Kumar Balyan, Hon’ble Minister of State for Agriculture visited Morocco, from 5-8 July 2015, as Special Envoy of the Prime Minister to deliver the invitations for IAFS-III which was scheduled to be held in New Delhi on 26-30 October 2015. MOS (A) met with Mr. Salaheddine Mezouar, Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs & Cooperation and called on the Head of Government Abdelilah Benkirane.Minister of Communications & IT Mr. Ravi Shankar Prasad visited Marrakech (Morocco) to attend the High Level Meeting of ICANN-55 from 5-8 March 2016. Minister of Mines & Energy Mr. Abdelkader Amara attended the 4th edition of India Africa Hydrocarbon Conference from 21-22 January 2016 in New Delhi. Minister of State for Transport Mr. Mohamed Najib Boulif also attended Maritime India Summit from April 14-16 in Mumbai.

 

Commercial Relations

The 4thIndia-Morocco Joint Commission meeting was held on 28-29 April, 2011in New Delhi. The meeting was co-chaired by Shri Anand Sharma, Hon’ble Minister forCommerce & Industry and the Moroccan Minister for External Trade, Mr. AbdellatifMaazouz. The 5thJoint Commission Meeting will be hosted by Morocco as per convenience to both side.

In October 2010, Hon’ble Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, ShriJyotiraditya Scindia visited Morocco. During the visit, the Hon’ble MOS(C&I) met withthe Moroccan Minister for External Commerce, Mr. Abdellatif Maazouz and discussedvarious aspects of bilateral trade and commerce.

The Moroccan Minister of Industry, Trade and New Technologies Mr. AbdelKader Amara visited Mumbai on 29-30 May, 2013 to participate in a road showorganized jointly by the Moroccan Investment Development Agency and the FinancialTimes newspaper.

India is one of the major markets for Moroccan phosphate and its derivatives.Other main items of export to India are metallic ores and metal scrap, semi-finishedproducts and inorganic chemicals. The main items of India’s exports to Morocco arecotton yarn, synthetic fiber, transport equipment, pharmaceuticals, agriculturalimplements, chemicals, spices and manufactured metals.

The quantum of bilateral trade, which was US$ 1.63 billion in 2010, reached to US$ 2.04 billion in 2011 i.e. India’s exports to Morocco stood at US$ 587.2 million and India’s imports from Morocco reached US$1.45 billion. The trade turnover between the two countries stood at US$1.73 billion in 2012 i.e. India’s exports to Morocco in 2012 stood at US$ 517.7 million while imports were valued at US$1,212 million. In 2013, trade between the two countries stood at US$1.41 billion i.e. India’s exports to Morocco in 2013 stood at US$ 615.0 million while imports were valued at US$796.3 million. In 2014, trade between the two countries stood at $ 1.36 billion i.e. India’s exports to Morocco in 2014 stood at $ 500.5 million while imports were valued at $ 855.8 million. In 2015, trade between the two countries stood at $ 1.26 billion i.e. India’s exports to Morocco in 2015 stood at $ 326.3 million while imports were valued at $ 936 million. Indian exports to Morocco in the year 2015 decreased by 15% compared to the previous year while Moroccan exports to India registered an increase of 7% in 2015.Trade volumes are expected to pick up in the coming years. The balance of trade has been in favour of Morocco because of imports ofphosphoric acid and rock phosphate by India.

An India-Morocco joint venture in fertilizer sector in Morocco, called IMACID, wasset up in November 1999. At present, the JV is producing around 430,000 MT perannum of phosphoric acid, nearly all of which is imported by India. The Moroccanphosphate company, OCP, has invested in Paradip Phosphates Ltd. in India.

Among other business activities, TATA Motors has a plant in Casablanca formanufacturing bus bodies. Ranbaxy has set up its own manufacturing plant forproduction of medicines in Casablanca. PepsiCo India has acquired the beveragemaker’s entire franchise bottling operations in Morocco. Indian industry and businessassociations CII, FICCI and ASSOCHAM have institutional arrangements withMoroccan industry and business associations. A number of trade delegations fromvarious industry and export promotion councils of India, such as ASSOCHAM,CAPEXIL, TEXPROCIL and EEPC have been visiting Morocco periodically. Duringthese visits, a number of trade promotion activities such as expositions, buyer-sellermeets, etc., are organized.

Education

Moroccan candidates also regularly participate in training programmes organizedin India under the ITEC programme of the Ministry of External Affairs and other specifictraining programmes such as “Leaders of Future” programme for youngParliamentarians organized by PD Division of Ministry of External Affairs, TrainingProgramme for Parliamentary officials from Arabic-speaking countries organized by theBureau of Parliamentary Studies and Training (BPST), Lok Sabha Secretariat, C.V.Raman International Fellowship Program for African Researchers’ offered jointly by
Deptt. of Science & Technology, Govt. of India, with FICCI under the umbrella of IAFSand funded by MEA, etc. Similarly, Moroccan students have been availing annualscholarships offered by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) to meritoriousfor pursuing higher education in India.

India-Africa Forum

Under the bilateral component of the IAFS-II program, India has offered to set upan Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Morocco to train more than 500students each year over a period of three years and the Moroccan Government hasaccepted it. An MOU for Setting up of an ICT Centre in Morocco was signed during the FOC in December 2014.A 3-member team comprises of CDAC and MEA visited Morocco in May 2016 and held discussions with their Moroccan counterpart INPT. They also had field visits before setting up of the ICT Centre at the Technopark, Casablanca. Under the regional component of the IAFS follow-up action plan, India hasoffered to set up a Materials Testing Laboratory for Highways in Morocco.

Cultural Relations

In Morocco, there is lot of interest in Indian art and culture, especially Hindicinema. The Marrakesh International Film Festivals (MIFF) regularly screen Hindi movies andinvite Indian actors.On 5 December 2015, Indian film star Madhuri Dixit was honoured for her contribution to Cinema at the 15th Marrakech International Film Festival. The honouring ceremony of the Indian film star was attended by a number of political figures including Moroccan Minister of Communication Mr. Mustapha Khalfi. Madhuri Dixit said that she did not have such a big reception before and she was happy to be in Morocco for the first time where she was surprised to see the great love Moroccans have for Indian film.Indian musicians participate in the Fez Festival of World SacredMusic on a regular basis.India was the guest of honour at the Festival in 2016 where more than 30 Indian classical musicians took part. The Embassy also celebrated Holi in Casablanca with the attendance of more than 1000 Moroccans. Recently, we have successfully organized the first ever Festival of India in Morocco from 28 July – 08 August 2016. During the Festival, five different dance/singing groups (India Revival Group, Kathak Group, Kalbelia Group, J&K Folk Group and Qawalli Group) performed in Moroccan cities of Rabat, Casablanca, Fes, El Jadida and Marrakech. An exhibition of Islamic Art & Calligraphy from Rampur Raza Library was also organized in Rabat and Casablanca during the Festival.

Indian Community

There are about 200-250 Indian nationals located in the city of Casablanca and afew families live in Marrakesh and Tangier.

There are no direct flights between India and Morocco. However, convenientconnections to Casablanca are available via Europe, UAE, and Qatar.

 

Useful Resources

Embassy of India, Rabat website :
http://www.indianembassyrabat.com/

 

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12 August 2016

Address: #88, Rue Ouled Tidrarine (corner of Rue Laroussaine), Souissi, Rabat, Kingdom of Morocco.

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Telephone Numbers: + 212 537 63 5801 to 03, Fax +212 537 63 4734
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