AmCham Back to Business E-News

AmCham Director Meets with the New US Senior Commercial Officer to discuss Joint Partnership

On September 17th, AmCham Director met with Shakir Farsakh, the New U.S. Senior Commercial Officer along with his Commercial Specialist Kenza El Amrani to discuss joint events and areas of continued partnership. The following is a summary of what has been agreed on:

  • Organization of a “US Business Round Table” with his Excellency Ambassador Fischer in November (DTBA).
  • Creation of a “Select USA subcommittee.”
  • Organization of a “Virtual Startup Competition” during the Select USA Summit.
  • Promotion of the “International Buyer Program (IBP) Virtual Trade Shows” to AmCham members.
  • Sharing of franchise opportunities in collaboration with the International Franchise Association (IFA).
  • Organization of a follow-up event on Morocco’s Procurement System.

The U.S. Commercial Service (CS) and the AmCham enjoy a longstanding partnership since the creation of AmCham in Morocco in 1966.

The CS is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA). It has 108 U.S. Export Assistance Centers throughout the United States and offices in 72 countries.  The trade specialists in these offices are trained to assist U.S. companies with all their export promotion needs:  identification of export opportunities, official advocacy for specific industry issues and government tenders, assistance with trade shows and missions, help with product certification and tariff questions, partner searches, arranging meetings with officials, and much more.

More information on the U.S. Commercial Service (CS) can be found here: www.Export.gov

Shakir Farsakh began his assignment in Casablanca, Morocco in August 2020, for a three-year tour as Senior Commercial Officer for the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service, the trade and investment promotion arm of the U.S. government. Here, he is responsible for supporting trade and investment between the United States and Morocco.  From August 2017 to August 2020, he served as the Principal Commercial Officer in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE). During that time, Shakir and his staff of five provided international business development and advocacy support for new and established American companies in Dubai and the Northern Emirates. Also, he helped UAE companies invest in the USA via the SelectUSA program, bringing the largest ever delegation of UAE company investors to the SelectUSA Summit in June 2019. Previously, he served for three years as the Deputy Principal Officer at the U.S. Consulate in Toronto, Canada.

Shakir joined the Foreign Service in May 2014 after an eight-year tenure as the Director of the Long Island Export Assistance Center, for the U.S. Commercial Service, where he helped New York area companies succeed internationally.  In the private sector, he managed strategic partnerships for one of the pioneer cloud computing companies in the Boston area, creating the template for strategic partner interaction.

Shakir has an MA from the Paul Nitze School of Advanced International Studies and has studied advanced Arabic in Egypt and Jordan.  He also speaks French and very limited Russian.

Introducing the New U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC)

The U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) is America’s development bank.

DFC was formed on December 20, 2019 by merging the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) with the Development Credit Authority (DCA) of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) as well as with several smaller offices and funds.

Beyond simply consolidating US foreign development assistance operations, the DFC was also granted greatly expanded lending authority; its overall lending capacity of $60 billion is more than double that of its predecessor institutions. The DFC’s lending capacity is used to provide loans, loan guarantees, and insurance for development projects in lower-income countries undertaken by US businesses.

DFC partners with the private sector to finance solutions to the most critical challenges facing the developing world notably in the following sectors:

Energy:  DFC’s investments help countries meet the growing demand for energy in remote and developing areas, expand access to renewable energy, and promote energy independence.

Healthcare: By investing in healthcare, DFC projects provide ready access to medical professionals, facilities, and lifesaving treatments, as well as promote critical water, sanitation, and hygiene projects.

Critical Infrastructure: DFC’s investments in critical infrastructure projects, including roads, bridges, and ports, create jobs and economic growth through increased trade and regional connectivity.

Technology: By investing in the technology sector, including next generation telecommunication technologies and services, DFC helps connect emerging markets to the world by creating new opportunities for the developing world to leapfrog traditional boundaries.

DFC provides the following services:

Equity Financing: Direct equity and support for investment funds.

Debt Financing:  Direct loans and guaranties of up to $500 million for tenors as long as 25 years, with specific programs targeting small and medium U.S. businesses.

Political Risk Insurance:  Coverage of up to $500 million against losses due to currency inconvertibility, government interference, and political violence including terrorism. DFC

also covers reinsurance to increase underwriting capacity.

Technical Development: Feasibility studies and technical assistance to accelerate project identification and preparation to better attract and support private investment in development outcomes.

DFC also provides financing for small businesses and women entrepreneurs in order to create jobs in emerging markets.

More on DFC here: www.dfc.gov

Discover Global Markets: A Business Forum on Intelligent Manufacturing to be held on October 7-9 in Indianapolis

The U. S. Department of Commerce’s Discover Global Markets: Growth Opportunities in Intelligent Manufacturing is a dynamic 3-day business development matchmaking forum focused on bringing together international executives across multiple advanced manufacturing/smart technology industries, including automotive, aerospace, and energy storage. Through participation in this virtual matchmaking forum, you will have the opportunity to explore new business partnerships with U.S.-based CEOs/presidents, sales and supply chain representatives and business development managers who are seeking to expand their international distribution and/or develop joint venture opportunities.

U.S. products and services of interest may include manufacturing machinery, composites, electric and autonomous vehicles, next generation batteries, energy storage solutions, automation products, supply and security solutions, wearables, sensors and digital services, among others.

The list of participating U.S. companies can be viewed on this page.

If you would like to participate, please contact the U.S. Commercial Service Team in Casablanca.

Kenza El-Amrani, Commercial Specialist

Kenza.El-Amrani@trade.gov

Industries: Aviation, Franchising, Investment (Select USA).

Halima Berrami, Commercial Specialist

Halima.Berrami@trade.gov

Industries: Solar and Wind Energy, Safety & Security; Environmental Technology; Healthcare; Travel & Tourism; Textile & Apparel; Financial Services; Business & Professional Services.

Redouane Ghadouna, Commercial Specialist

Redouane.ghadouna@trade.gov

Industries: Automotive; Agribusiness, Oil & Gas, ICT, Construction/infrastructure, Education.

MCA Morocco Releases a $60 million General Procurement Notice for the Period September 1st, 2020 to August 31st, 2021

The Government of the Kingdom of Morocco concluded, on November 30, 2015, a second cooperation program (Compact II) with the United States Government, represented by the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), with the aim to enhance the quality of human capital and improve land productivity.

The budget allocated by MCC to the Compact II, which came into force on June 30, 2017, amounts to 450 million dollars, to which is added a contribution of the Moroccan government of a value equivalent to at least 15% of the American contribution. The global budget will finance, over a period of five years, two projects, namely “Education and Training for Employability” and “Land Productivity”, the implementation of which has been entrusted to the Millennium Challenge Account-Morocco Agency (MCA-Morocco).

The first project includes three activities, namely “Secondary Education”, “Technical and Vocational Education and Training” and “Employment”, while the second project is structured around three activities, in this case “Land Governance”, “Industrial Land” and “Rural Land”.

To view these procurement, you can visit: https://www.mcamorocco.ma/fr/appels-d-offres

To learn more about MCC Program Procurement Guidelines (PPG), please visit: http://www.mcc.gov/pages/business/compactprocurements

If you have any question regarding any procurement, you can send an e-mail to: procurement@mcamorocco.ma