The new relationship between Spain and Morocco was staged yesterday in a business meeting attended by prominent economic and political leaders from both countries. It was held at the headquarters of the CEOE with its president, Antonio Garamendi, as host. The objective: to promote investments by companies that want to cross the Strait of Gibraltar in both directions. The terms most repeated by the Spanish representatives and the Alawite kingdom were "friendship" and "good neighborliness".
Holding a business summit under the title Investing in Morocco for common prosperity became a reality thanks to the political turn of the central government, a representative of the CEOE acknowledged yesterday. Both countries are now considered "strategic partners" and, to expand relations, Morocco proposed to Madrid tax advantages for companies that decide to bet on the neighboring country. Namely, free repatriation of profits, absence of capital restrictions for non-residents, 50 non-double taxation agreements, incentives for hiring and innovation, five years of tax exemption for bets in industrial acceleration zones and, then, payment of 20% of taxes for the next 20 years, 0% VAT on these poles and unlimited exemption from customs duties.
For Spanish companies, Morocco can be a country of opportunities in different sectors, the neighboring delegation emphasized, beyond automotive components, textiles or energy. For example, for Acciona, which is fighting to build a large desalination plant in Tangier with giants such as France's Suez. Or for Baleària, whose president, Adolfo Utor, advanced the acquisition of two new ships for the route that connects both countries. The president of the employers' association himself defined the Alawite kingdom as the "entrance" for business projects in other parts of Africa. For Morocco, the Spaniards pointed out, taking this step can open the doors of Europe and Latin America.
María Helena Antolín, of Grup Antolín, and Jorge Cosmen, president of Alsa, spoke. They highlighted its growth in the country. The president of Baleària, the only one to provide a critical comment, said that Rabat must "flee from protectionist pretensions" and guarantee free competition if it wants more investments.
Morocco is Spain's first trading partner in Africa. In 2022, the economic exchange bordered on 20,000 million. There are 17,000 Spanish companies that export, but barely 1,000 with industrial processes in African territory. More than 200 weekly flights and only 14 kilometers away, emphasized Ambassador Karima Benyaich. The economic relationship is normalized.