The Government of the Canary Islands and Moroccan entrepreneurs sign an agreement to expand trade to other African countries – The Government of the Canary Islands has signed this Thursday, in the city of Casablanca, an addendum to the collaboration protocol signed between the Canary Islands Economic Development Agency (Proexca) and the Morocco-Spain Economic Council (CEMAES) to promote the creation of alliances and consortiums through the Tenderboost international tender programme, a line of support from Proexca designed for all companies with an interest and profile in bidding for tenders. The aid consists of providing comprehensive support, with specific tools and knowledge, to companies wishing to bid for international tenders.
With the inclusion of this addendum to the protocol, these companies will have access to the collaboration of the entities that make up CEMAES. The protocol focuses on tourism, construction, logistics and transport, renewable energies, water treatment, circular economy and blue economy. These are the sectors identified in the study Opportunities in Africa for Canary Islands-Moroccan alliances, which was presented today in Casablanca and in the framework of the same event.
The President of the Canary Islands, Ángel Víctor Torres, highlighted the commercial and business nature of this second day of his visit to Morocco and described as successful the results of this mission together with the two Canary Islands employers’ associations, representatives of the four chambers of commerce (the first time that the four chambers have visited Morocco together with the regional president), the two port authorities of the Canary Islands and members of the industrial, agricultural and audiovisual sectors, making a total of some thirty businessmen.
Torres highlighted the exchange of experiences with Moroccan businessmen and the fact that the addendum to the collaboration protocol between Proexca and the Morocco-Spain Economic Council has been signed, “with which we are committed to work together with other African countries so that, for example, Canary Islands companies can bid for works in Ghana, Ivory Coast, Mauritania, Senegal…”.
In this line, Torres believes it is very relevant that there are five companies from the archipelago that have already won tenders in Morocco, while insisting on the importance of the Moroccan government’s commitment to reactivate the maritime line between Tarfaya and Fuerteventura, “for which we are going to activate all the mechanisms, as there are companies interested and the Canary Islands government also wants to support the recovery of this sea connection”.
The addendum was signed by the Minister of Economy, Knowledge and Employment, Elena Máñez, and the co-president of CEMAES, Adil Rais, at the headquarters of the Confédération Générale des Entreprises du Maroc (CGEM), in Casablanca, in the presence of the president of the Canary Islands, Ángel Víctor Torres, and members of the Canary Islands trade delegation that has travelled to Morocco these days.
According to the president, the conclusions of this trip are
“very positive. The businessmen have told me that we are leaving these two intense days of work satisfied with the closer ties, the better neighbourliness, the visits and receptions we had yesterday with various ministers, the head of the Moroccan government, the president of the parliament and other authorities. We leave with the satisfaction of the good work we have done, which will surely improve the living conditions of Canary Islanders and Moroccans alike”.
Options for Canary Islands water desalination companies
The head of the Canary Islands Executive also referred to the key role in the world of water desalination through projects originating in the Canary Islands, and highlighted as very advantageous the experience transferred on renewable energies, a sector that in the Canary Islands already contributes 20% of energy production and also an area in which there are opportunities for collaboration between these two territories.
In turn, Torres highlighted the importance of the current good relations between Spain and Morocco, “something that is key for territories such as the Canary Islands”, as the circumstances are perfect for strengthening trade relations and for boosting collaboration between our companies and their internationalisation”.
In the opinion of the President of the Canary Islands, “the icing on the cake” of this visit has been to learn that Morocco will aspire, together with Spain and Portugal, to organise the 2030 Football World Cup, “which the Canary Islands also aspires to host. It is important to go hand in hand and I am convinced that we are going to achieve this World Cup,” he said.
Torres’ speech at a business event
On the second day of the visit of the delegation formed by the Government and business organisations from the Canary Islands to Morocco, a business event was held, which included a speech by the regional president, in which he invited companies from both sides to “establish synergies that will boost common growth”.
Along these lines, he spoke of the virtues of the archipelago in generating more and better trade relations with Morocco. The President of the Canary Islands explained, for example, how “the Canary Islands economy is one of the fastest growing in Spain”, and recalled that in the Canary Islands the number of companies affiliated to Social Security has increased by 1.8% in one year. He also stated that GDP growth of at least 3.3% is forecast for this year, above the national average, and that tourism revenue is expected to continue to increase, reaching 20 billion euros.
Against this backdrop, Torres told the island and Moroccan companies present how the Canary Islands have a “very complete strategic plan, which will allow us to focus our growth potential on niches of progress and economic diversification that will be decisive in the economy of the immediate future”.
Detailed study with the Proexca seal
In addition to the above actions, Proexca presented a detailed study which identifies the best business opportunities for strategic alliances between Canary Islands and Moroccan companies. In it, it is committed to this type of agreements, before facing the expansion to other parts of the continent, since the projects carried out in Africa tend to be very complex; require a high degree of specialisation; with a large size in general; have very specific technical requirements and require experience in the continent.
For these reasons, the report suggests that the creation of strategic alliances between Canary Islands and Moroccan companies, seeking to complement the strengths of both economies, is a crucial approach in order to develop a competitive strategy with high possibilities of generating and developing projects on the African continent.
The study also identifies priority sectors with opportunities for greater synergies, such as renewable energies (wind, photovoltaic and hydraulic plants); sanitation and water supply (purification, desalination, supply); the circular economy (strong sustainable component: process innovation and reuse of waste and natural products) and the blue economy (aquaculture plants, energy generation, major works in maritime environments); works and infrastructure (major works in transport or urban planning, for example), and tourism (consulting, tourist complexes and major works).
As for the best countries for expansion, those located in West Africa with the strongest commercial and institutional links with both territories are named, such as Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Mauritania and Senegal. The reason for this is that these are states with which there are trade agreements and investment protection mechanisms, there is connectivity, they have multilateral organisations and are important centres for receiving investments and strategic projects.
Finally, the specialists who prepared the study recommend taking advantage of the opportunities to obtain tenders, projects and financing from large organisations (World Bank, African Development Bank, Afreimbank, European Investment Bank, etc.) or attracting financing at source with financing instruments created by the institutions, such as CESCE, FIEM or COFIDES, on the Spanish side, and MarocPME and AMDIE on the Moroccan side.
The Government of the Canary Islands and Moroccan entrepreneurs sign an agreement to expand trade to other African countries