Envoy roots for Kenya-Morocco trade agreement
Kenya and Morocco should sign a bilateral trade pact to facilitate free movement of goods and people between the two countries, a diplomat has urged.
The two signed a memorandum of understanding in June 2013, when a delegation from about 106 companies visited Nairobi scouting for investment opportunities in health, agriculture, ICT, energy and construction sectors.
Moroccan national carrier, Royal Air Maroc, started inaugural flights to Nairobi in March this year.
Speaking to the Star, Kenya Honorary Consul to Morocco Ali Bajaber asked tourism players to introduce Arab-friendly products to attract Arab tourists.
“We now have three flights between Nairobi and Casablanca and we hope to increase to six flights a week. But it will be to Kenya’s advantage if we can attract and retain Arab travellers as well as do trade,” Bajaber said.
“We don’t have a trade agreement. We can trade freely without custom duty barriers as well as use Casablanca to target the EU markets due to Morocco’s proximity to the EU. Therefore, the Joint Commission committee from both Kenya and Morocco should facilitate the signing of bilateral agreements to spur trade.”
Bajaber also called for the establishment of the Kenya Private Sector Alliance and the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry chapters in Morocco to help market Kenya as an investment destination.
The diplomat asked hotel and tour operators to be innovative and acquaint themselves with Arabians’ consumer habits.
“Arabs love luxurious shopping centres and hotels. They don’t like driving long distances and love halal products. Therefore, there is need to introduce halal tourism, drop exorbitant pricing for tourism products like on accommodation in hotels and even tour caravans, and make Kenyan products trendy and fashionable, “he said.
Bajaber wants the Kenya Tourism Board to market the country, particularly in the Maghreb and Middle East region.