Diplomatic and economic relations between Morocco and Spain are experiencing an exceptional moment.
Following the important step taken in March 2022 by the Spanish government in recognising the Moroccan proposal for Western Sahara as the “most serious, credible and realistic” in terms of resolving the Sahrawi dispute, ties between the Spanish and North African nations have grown much closer. This led to King Mohammed VI’s invitation to the Spanish President, Pedro Sánchez, to a meeting in Rabat at which the roadmap for future relations between the two countries was drawn up.
Subsequently, in this scenario, a High Level Meeting was organised in the Rabat capital in February 2023, led by the heads of government Aziz Akhannouch and Pedro Sánchez, in which very important political and commercial agreements were signed that were highly beneficial for both countries.
The mining sector has not escaped this and Marrakech hosted the Morocco-Spain Mining Forum, a meeting linked to the European Union’s Raw Materials Alliance in Morocco. This event served to further increase trade ties between the two Kingdoms, whose diplomatic harmony is excellent.
The mining forum brought together the main players in the mining sector. They shared their experiences and opportunities to increase trade exchanges. The event was jointly organised by the Federation of the Moroccan Mining Industry (FDIM), the Association of Research, Extraction, Mining-Metallurgical, Auxiliary and Service Transformation Companies (Aminer), the Business Agency for Transformation and Economic Development (Andalucía Trade), the Iberian Sustainable Mining Cluster (ISMC), the International Centre for Raw Materials and Advanced Materials of Castilla y León (ICAMCyL Foundation) and MINE. THE.GAP, the project funded by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 call, as reported by various media such as the Europa Press agency or Interempresas.
The meeting was marked by the signing of memorandums of understanding between the FDIM and its partners, as also reported by Hespress. These agreements further develop economic cooperation between neighbours on both sides of the Mediterranean. Morocco is a strategic partner for Spain and the European Union, with which it has signed several agreements in various fields. At the Marrakech forum, Santiago Cuesta-López, executive director of the ISMC Cluster and the ICAMCy Foundation, stressed the importance of guaranteeing a sustainable supply of raw materials for Europe and its industry, based on strategic alliances with producer countries neighbouring the EU such as the North African country.
Marta Cerati, executive director of Aminer, also highlighted the good relations between Morocco and Spain in the mining sector, with common interests and objectives, the same challenges and many shared projects. She added that the mining sector is growing rapidly and is committed to research and innovation to increase its efficiency while respecting the environment.
The Marrakech meeting served to detect business and investment opportunities and various activities were scheduled on strategic opportunities for international cooperation and positioning in global value chains through round tables, project exhibitions, networking events and B2B sessions.
Visits were also scheduled to the Draa Sfar underground mine, currently in operation, the Guemassa Research Centre and Industrial Complex, the Frag El Ma graphite mine and the Research and Valorisation of Critical Minerals departments of the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University, as reported by the Energy Newspaper.
Economic relations between Spain and Morocco are very important for both countries, and the Moroccan kingdom is also an important market for the European Union in the mining sector. Strategic alliances with the EU’s neighbouring producer countries, such as Morocco, are of great importance to ensure a sustainable supply of raw materials for the Old Continent and its industry, in line with the objectives of the European Pact on Critical Raw Materials.