Relations between Spain and Morocco have entered a new era. After the government of Pedro Sánchez recognized Morocco’s autonomy plan in 2022 for the resolution of the Western Sahara conflict and the high-level meeting (RAN) held in Rabat in 2023, cooperation between the two countries increased intensified.
A “win-win” partnership which, in economic matters, has broken all records, at least with regard to trade between Spain and Morocco. During the first nine months of 2023, Spanish exports reached 9.1 billion euros, or 3.1% more than over the same period in 2022. At the same time, Moroccan exports increased by 2.1% to reach 6.7 billion euros, according to Watchtower.
The strengthening of diplomatic relations, the growing interest of Spanish companies to invest in Morocco and the improvement of maritime links have contributed significantly to this increase in trade between the two countries. “The bilateral relationship has never been as intense and fruitful as at this moment,” declared the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Manuel Albares, who traveled this week to Rabat to reactivate political, economic and cultural with the Moroccan government.
Despite the negative effects of the war in Ukraine and the Gaza conflict on international trade, Morocco has managed to climb the ranking of countries receiving products. made in Spain. In fact, it has become a crucial market for Spain: exports to Rabat currently represent 3.2% of total exports, while imports amount to 2.1% of the overall calculation.
As for the flagship products of this successful commercial exchange, the purchase of fruits and vegetables from Morocco stands out, which has seen a considerable increase due to the rise in prices in Spain.
However, due to the lack of rain affecting Morocco and the increase in energy prices, they have affected the importation of electrical appliances, fish, shellfish, automobiles and knitted clothing, purchases common in the commercial relations that the two countries have maintained for years. .
Waiting for a solution at Ceuta and Melilla customs
Moroccan Foreign Minister Naser Burita said Thursday that the opening of Ceuta and Melilla customs “is not a problem of commitments or politics, it is a problem of technical implementation”, after having met in Rabat with his Spanish counterpart, José Manuel. Albares, who said that on the Spanish side “everything is ready.”
Albares and Burita met this Thursday in Rabat in what marks the first official visit of the Spanish minister of the new legislature and one of the points discussed was the reopening of the Melilla customs (closed in 2018) and the implementation customs place in Ceuta. .
In a subsequent press conference, Burita assured that there would be “a reopening of customs in which a common formula will be applied that will result in a better and that does not generate any type of frustration” and Albares responded: “From On our part, everything is ready to go, no further pilot testing is necessary.