MOROCCO – The Minister Delegate of Foreign Affairs, African cooperation, and Moroccans Residing Abroad, Mohcine Jazouli, has signed three partnership agreements with the Japanese Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Keisuke Suziki to encourage Japanese investment in Morocco.

The two officials signed the accord at the 5th Morocco-Japan Joint Commission held on Wednesday, January 8, in Rabat under the co-chairmanship of the two officials.

The agreements complete the legal framework governing economic relations between Morocco and Japan.

The first accord touches on the promotion and protection of investment and aims to create advantageous conditions for investments in both countries, as well as promoting economic and bilateral relations.

The two ministers also signed an agreement to avoid double taxation and to prevent tax evasion and fraud. The accord applies to persons residing in both countries.

Meanwhile, the third agreement, part of the Japanese program “the economic and social development program,”  involves equipping five production facilities in certain Moroccan prisons.

The signing ceremony took place in the presence of the Japanese Ambassador to Morocco, Takuji Hanatani, and the Moroccan Ambassador to Japan, Rachad Bouhlal, as well as representatives of the ministerial departments of the two countries.

Morocco is one of Japan’s most important partners in Africa with diplomatic relations dating back to 1956, the year Morocco gained its independence.

Business and trade between the two countries has flourished in recent years.

Since 2014, the number of Japanese companies in Morocco has almost doubled to around 70.

Japanese investment in Morocco’s industrial sector continues to increase with approximately 40 percent of investment directed toward the country’s automotive ecosystem.

According to a report in Japanese Times, Morocco’s market size and growth potential is a key factor for trade between the two countries with 87.5 percent of Japanese companies considering Morocco and neighboring countries as key growth markets,  

Secondly, Morocco’s ‘political and social’ stability makes the country one of the safest in North Africa.”

Tax incentives, free trade zones, a concentration of ‘partner companies,’ effective government programs, strong infrastructure and the country’s favorable geographic location make Morocco a preferred investment destination for Japanese investors, the Japanese Times report noted.