New Silk Road, Beijing strengthens in North Africa

BEIJING – China strengthens its position in North Africa. With the signing with Morocco of the implementation plan for the access of Rabat in the Belt and Road Initiative – the New Silk Road – for the first time a country in the region is entering a project which, in addition to aiming at strengthening trade and of Eurasian connectivity, also has a strong geopolitical connotation in the Beijing strategy.

The signing took place on Wednesday. The vice-president of the Chinese National Development and Reform Commission Ning Jizhe and the Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita have affixed their initials to a document that articulates specific cooperation projects with China, also explaining the timing.

Morocco is not the only country in the region actually on the agenda of China’s New Silk Road. Five countries in the region – in addition to Rabat also Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and Algeria – have signed memorandums of understanding on the Belt and Road Initiative. None of them, however, had reached such an advanced stage as the signing of the implementation plan. The plan includes joint projects in the construction, logistics, trade, investment, agriculture and fisheries sectors.

According to the South China Morning Post, cooperation between Beijing and Rabat should focus more than on energy resources on the geographical advantages that the North African nation presents for the flow of Chinese trade, unlike both other North African countries and the historical orientation of the policy. commercial in the region.

In fact, Morocco could be an ideal transit point both for Chinese trade flows to and from Sub-Saharan Africa, and for those to and from Europe. An important bridgehead on both the Atlantic and the Mediterranean.

China and Morocco, according to official Chinese statistics, reached a trade of 4.76 billion dollars in 2020, with an increase of 2.1 percent on an annual basis. Rabat, among the second-tier countries, is one of the most interesting trading partners for Beijing.

In addition, Morocco, in 2019, signed a contract with the Chinese company Huawei for telecommunications, while the Chinese company was in the midst of the storm caused by the US sanctions.

Source: RSS Esteri by

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