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235 per cent rise in trade between Morocco and the Gulf states over ten years

The Moroccan Foreign Exchange Office, the institution in charge of overseeing trade and economic exchanges with foreign countries, said on Thursday that trade between Morocco and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) multiplied by two and a half times over the past ten years, reaching $3.3 billion last year, according to Anadolu news agency.

The GCC includes the countries of Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait.

Anadolu cited a report issued by the office on Thursday about the business initiatives and financial relations between Morocco and the GCC, which finds that trade exchanges between the two sides amounted to 29.2 billion dirhams (£3.3 billion) in 2013, an increase of 235 per cent compared to 8.7 billion dirhams ($997 million) in 2003.

The report explained that trade volume with Saudi Arabia represents more than 80 per cent of the total trade volume between Morocco and the Gulf states.

The report also said that Morocco's imports of energy (oil and gas) from these countries constitute 65.6 per cent of its total imports.

In contrast, the report pointed to the decline of Moroccan exports to the GCC by 25 per cent through 2013, reaching a low of 1.2 billion dirhams ($137 million), compared to 1.6 billion dirhams ($183 million) in 2012.

The money transfers of Moroccan citizens living in Gulf countries came second on the list of transfers of the Moroccan Diaspora, representing 15 per cent of the international level.

The report added that the GCC's investments in Morocco in 2013 accounted for 15.7 per cent of the total foreign investment in the country, recording about 6.2 billion dirhams ($710 million) in 2013.

The report pointed out that the GCC countries are fourth on the list of countries exporting to Morocco, following Spain, France and the US, while ranking 23 on the list of countries importing from Morocco in 2013.

It is noteworthy that Morocco will host the fourth meeting of the Gulf-Moroccan investment initiative on 28-29 November in Casablanca, under the slogan "strategic Moroccan-Gulf partnership: Casablanca's gate to Africa", which a number of economic organisations, trade and investment institutions will participate in, in addition to foreign, Gulf, and Moroccan experts, academics and researchers.

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