India and Morocco have signed an agreement for deepening cooperation in the MSME sector, a move which will facilitate the transfer of Indian technologies and products to the North African nation.
The MoU was signed in Rabat, Morocco by National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC) CMD Ravindra Nath and Director General, Maroc PME, Rabri Barrazouka, an official statement said.
Through this MoU, NSIC and Maroc PME will work together to enhance cooperation opportunities between the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) of the two countries.
Besides, Alka Arora, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of MSME, who is leading the official delegation along with CMD NSIC to Morocco, held bilateral meetings with Othman El Ferdaous, Secretary of State in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Trade and Digital Economy and with other related departments.
"Both sides discussed the ways and means to synergize the strengths of both countries in MSME Sector in terms of capacity building, sharing of experiences, exchange of business delegations for creating linkages, JVs and technology transfers," the statement added.
Morocco mainly relies on its exports of minerals and ores and service sector. It has very small MSME sector in manufacturing, whereas India has strong MSME sector especially in manufacturing. India is one of the major markets for Moroccan phosphate and its derivatives.
An India-Morocco joint venture in fertilizer sector in Morocco, called IMACID, was set up in November 1999. At present, the JV is producing around 430,000 MT per annum of phosphoric acid, nearly all of which is imported by India.
The Moroccan phosphate company, OCP, has invested in Paradip Phosphates Ltd in India. Other main items of export to India are metallic ores and metal scrap, semi-finished products and inorganic chemicals.
The main items of India's exports to Morocco are cotton yarn, synthetic fibre, transport equipment, pharmaceuticals, agricultural implements, chemicals, spices and manufactured metals. The balance of trade has been in favour of Morocco because of imports of phosphoric acid and rock phosphate by India.
The quantum of bilateral trade, which was USD 1.63 billion in 2010, reached to USD 2.04 billion in 2011. However, in 2014, it decreased and stood at USD 1.36 billion. Indian exports to Morocco in 2014 decreased by 21.6 per cent compared to the previous year while Moroccan exports to India registered an increase of 10.2 per cent in 2014.