After successful cooperation on tourism, China and Morocco are studying ways to reinforce cooperation on fisheries and aquaculture sectors.
By Safaa Kasraoui
Secretary of State for Sea Fisheries Mbarka Bouaida and Deputy Mayor Wang Luming, of Qingdao in Shandong province, eastern China, held talks in Rabat on Thursday, July 26, about fisheries and aquaculture sectors.
Wang led a large delegation of representatives from government sectors and private companies, who showed interest in Morocco’s potential.
Bouaida presented the delegation with an overview on Morocco’s fisheries and the aquaculture sector.
Bouaida expressed satisfaction with Morocco’s assets, emphasizing that the meeting “was very interesting” as China is a leading country in aquaculture at the international level.
Both Morocco’s and China’s fisheries sectors are very important to their economies. According to the recent report from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, Morocco’s fish production ranked 13th globally, with 1.3 million ton of fish, while China topped the list with 1.2 million tons of fish.
Bouaida also compared Morocco’s assets with those of Shandong province, emphasizing that the Chinese region “represents a certain similarity with Morocco in terms of coastline length.”
“We are very interested in this important partner, because China has very important know-how in aquaculture that the country has developed on several levels.”
The secretary of state also recalled the axes of Morocco’s Halieutis strategy and the potential of Moroccan coasts in the field of marine aquaculture.
Launched in 2009, the Halieutis strategy was designed to overcome challenges in the fisheries sector, according to Morocco’s Ministry of Economy and Finance.
The strategy seeks to ensure protection and sustainably of species exposed to overfishing.
Bouaida also expressed Morocco’s interest in reinforcing its partnership with China in other areas, including solar energy, science, and technology.
“We need to develop a real partnership in terms of scientific research, particularly between the Moroccan National Institute for Fisheries Research and other fisheries research institutes in China, in order to train the maximum number of experts in marine sciences,” the official said.
Wang agreed with the Moroccan official, telling the press that their discussions were also an opportunity to “discuss various areas of scientific collaboration with the oceanographic institutions of the city, as well as Chinese investment opportunities in Morocco’s aquaculture and seafood processing industry.”
China has become one Morocco’s most significant economic partners as the two countries have reinforced their ties in several sectors, including media and tourism.