If the visit is mainly 'personal', the two leaders should also address the privileged commercial and human relationship between #France and Morocco.

  • France is the first bilateral donor of Morocco
  • Morocco is the largest recipient of French Development Agency funding worldwide, with some 600 million euros committed over the period 2014-2016.

Human ties on both sides of the Mediterranean

Morocco is one of the countries that the French prefer when they settle permanently abroad.

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With 52,728 French expatriates in Morocco in 2016, the Kingdom is ranked 8th among the French expatriation destinations. Bi-nationals represent half of this community, according to a parliamentary report presented by Elisabeth Guigou, rapporteur of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Assembly in 2015.

Conversely, France is the country where the Moroccan diaspora is the most important. The Moroccan community in France has 1,500,000 people including 670,000 bi-national, far ahead of Spain (one million), Israel (800,000) or Belgium (600,000). Of the 113,608 naturalized French citizens in 2015 19,110 were born in Morocco. It makes Moroccans the first contingent of 'new French', after the Algerians and Tunisians.

French tourists still love Morocco

With the increase in regional insecurity in recent years, French tourists have abandoned Tunisia or Egypt for the benefit of Portugal.

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But the tourism sector seems to resist Morocco. Some 3.3 million French tourists visited the country in 2016 which is only 1% less than the previous year. They accounted for 32% of the arrivals at the border posts of the Kingdom, compared with 36% in 2010. Despite this erosion, the French remain the first group of tourists who discover Marrakech, Fez or Agadir each year.

It should be noted that this data includes Moroccans resident abroad who come to stay in their country of origin temporarily. Half of the 10.3 million tourists who came to Morocco in 2016 are in this case, but the Directorate General of National Security in Morocco does not make it possible to distinguish in which country they reside permanently.

Strong commercial partnership

Since 2012, France is the second largest trading partner (second supplier and second customer) in Morocco behind Spain. France's market share in Morocco has structurally declined since 2000, reaching 12.4% in 2015, while Spain is widening its advantage (14.4%).

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Exports from France to Morocco reached $ 4.273 billion and imports $ 4.24 billion. That is a balance of 24 million dollars against 319 million dollars in 2015.

France: first foreign investor in Morocco

France is by far the biggest foreign investor with a stock of FDI of 11.9 billion dollars in 2014, almost half of the FDI in the country. The 750 or so subsidiaries of French companies based in Morocco, hiring about 80,000 employees. 55% of these subsidiaries depend on the industrial sector while 33% are in services.

#World #World Politics