- June 12, 2014
- Posted by: mohammed
- Category: Non classé
On April 22-24, AmCham Morocco organized a Door Knock mission to Washington, D.C. under the theme: Morocco the Gateway to 3 Continents: The U.S. Business experience and new investment opportunities.
2014 Door Knock mission main objectives were as follows:
- Showcase Morocco’s Investment and Export Potential
- Present success stories of U.S. investment in Morocco and promote Morocco as the Export Gateway to the U.S., Africa and Europe (the three Continents) with Polydesign Systems being a live case, joining the delegation.
- Promote ‘Made in Morocco’ Exports to the U.S.A., Domaine El Boura, a major citrus exporter to the U.S. part of the delegation.
- Promote Morocco’s new cities and platforms such as Zenata Eco City, also joining the delegation.
- Networking for AmCham Members
- Provide an opportunity for members to promote their businesses in the U.S.
- Provide an opportunity to better understand the business development and political infrastructure in the U.S.
- Provide network contacts to pursue partnerships with U.S. companies through the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
- Advocate on behalf of U.S. Companies
- Main Business Challenges to address to boost U.S. – Morocco business relations.
- Present needs for U.S. government support and technical assistance.
A delegation of 15 participants took part in events and meetings set during this Door Knock including Walter Siouffi, AmCham President and CEO, Citibank Maghreb, Azzedine Kettani , Vice President of AmCham and CEO, Kettani Law Firm, Harjeet Grewal, CEO, Philip Morris Morocco, Rabia Elalama, Managing Director, AmCham Morocco, Abdeslam Taadi, Responsible for Communication and Development, Attijariwafa Bank, Abdellah Radouani, CEO, Domaine El Boura, Julianne Furman, CEO, Polydesign Systems, Moulay Hafed Belghiti, CEO, Waga Engineering, Mohamed Amine El Hajhouj, General Manager, Zenata Eco City, Mohamed Arabi Naciri, Business Development, Zenata Eco City, in addition to members who joined from the U.S. including Ryan Anderson, Vice President, Manas Development, Nathan Graham, Government Affairs, Procter and Gamble, John Steele, Government Affairs, Eli Lilly, Jeffrey Kemprecos, Government Affairs, Merk, Steve Jacobs, Government Affairs , Philip Morris, and AmCham partners such as Rob Tashima, Regional Editor, Oxford Business Group, Jean Abi- Nader, Executive Director , the Moroccan- American Trade and Investment Center (MATIC), Nabigha Hajji, Economic Officer, the Moroccan Embassy in Washington and Scott Eisner, Vice President, Africa Division, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Main activities included:
- A working session on ways to build stronger partnership between AmCham Morocco and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (USCC) in Washington, D.C., identify ways to partner with U.S. companies to promote ‘Made in Morocco’ and identify areas of cooperation to support the new AmCham Export Incubator.
Several suggestions were made at this meeting including:
- Develop more B to B and matchmaking meetings between members of the two chambers
- Host a business delegation to Morocco led by the USCC
- Host an AmCham Africa conference in Morocco.
- Join the Middle East Commercial Center (MECC) recently launched by the USCC. MECC is a private sector-led alliance of over 60 business organizations from 17 countries that is working together to promote greater intra-regional trade and investment.
Suggested Areas of cooperation to support the new AmCham Export Incubator included:
- Brand Morocco study
- Made in Morocco event in the U.S.
- B to B meeting facilitation for exporters.
- Help with main trade shows in the U.S.
Propositions made at these meetings include:
- Joint awareness programs
- Best practice exchange
- AmCham presence at Opportunity Africa Summit in Delaware to be held early 2015
- State of Delaware business delegation to Morocco
- Assistance for Exporters of fresh products that need cold treatment during shipment
- Contact with Delaware State University and University of Delaware
US Chamber lunch
Panel discussion members
From L to R: Moderator: Robert Tashima, Regional Editor, Oxford Business Group, Julianne Furman, CEO, Polydesign Systems, Walter Siouffi, AmCham Morocco President and CEO of Citibank Maghreb, H.E. Rachad Bouhlal, Ambassador of Morocco to the USA, Scott Eisner, Vice President, Africa Division, USCC, My Hafed Belghiti, CEO, Waga Engineering, Mohammed Arabi Naciri, Business Development, Zenata Eco City.
The panel discussion moderated by Robert Tashima began with an introduction by Ambassador Bouhlal who explained the Morocco- U.S. Strategic Dialogue. Ambassador Bouhlal reminded participants that the Strategic Dialogue, inaugurated in September 2012, is a strong signal of support to U.S.-Morocco relations. He added that in addition to FTA signed in 2006, the Strategic Dialogue is a forum for discussing a full range of U.S.-Morocco cooperation on bilateral and regional issues, reflecting the strong strategic partnership between the two countries. Topics for discussion include bilateral and regional economic engagement, regional security and defense, science and technology, education, and other global issues. Ambassador Bouhlal added that since the Strategic Dialogue was initiated in 2012, Morocco and the U.S. hosted two business development conferences, signed a Trade Facilitation Agreement and an ICT Agreement and recently hosted the strategic committee meeting in Rabat in presence of John Kerry, U.S. Secretary of State. Walter Siouffi detailed how Morocco has evolved to serve as an important platform for doing business. He praised Morocco’s economic, social, political reforms and liberalization of the economy. With its various preferential free trade agreements, competitive labor costs, excellent transportation and logistics systems, free zones, Tangier Med port, strong financial services capabilities, and overall positive business environment, Morocco has become an ideal platform for a regional market of a billion consumers allowing businesses to trade in three Continents, the U.S.A, Africa, and Europe, stressed Walter Siouffi. Julianne Furman, CEO of Polydesign Systems, a Detroit based U.S. Company, enthusiastically described how her company established in 2001 in Tangier Free Zone to manufacture interior trim parts for the car industry for various brands including BMW and Jaguar, became today a success story exporting globally to European markets such as the UK and Germany, and as per March 2014 to African markets such as South Africa and Lesotho. Julianne Furman is convinced that the geostrategic location of Morocco as the gate of the U.S.A, Europe and Africa has clearly positioned Morocco as a major and cost-competitive base to European and north-American companies to become part of the global automotive supply chain. On human capital availability and skills needed for the automotive industry, Julianne Furman added that Poydesign is member on the Board of the automotive training centers where they are fully involved in Morocco’s programs to develop skills and talents needed for their industry. Moulay Hafed Belghiti, CEO of Waga Engineering, a main supplier for the aerospace industry gave a brief overview of the aeronautic sector in Morocco. He stated that Morocco is considered among the most competitive emerging manufacturing base in the world, with more than 100 referenced companies established in less than 10 years and about 10 000 employees and an average annual growth of 15% for the past two years. Companies such as Safran Group, Airbus, Boeing, Zodiac Aerospace, Thales as well as North-American companies like Alcoa, UTAS, Esterline Group and more recently Bombardier Aerospace have chosen Morocco as their development base.
The success of this industry is supported by a well-thought strategy elaborated by the government and the industrials called ‘The Industrial Emergence Pact”, which focuses mainly on education, infrastructure and financial subsidies. Morocco has dedicated 140 hectares to the sector by creating the free zone Midparc, a high standard ‘Integrated Industrial Platform’ located near Mohamed V Airport in Nouasser-Casablanca with a capacity of 330 plants, dedicated to aerospace industry, defense, security, on board electronics, and high tech industries.On human capital availability and skills needed for the aerospace industry, Mr. Belghiti informed that Morocco has launched the Moroccan Aerospace Institute (IMA), a leading-edge training-education center, whose objective is to sustain and grow the aerospace industry through education and training of the workforce. IMA has the capacity to train 1000 trainees per year, concluded Mr. Belghiti.
AmCham would like to extend its sincere thanks to all those who made this mission a success including sponsors, partners, speakers and delegation members.
The Moroccan Embassy in Washington
Kettani Law Firm
Domaine El Boura
Procter & Gamble