Our long-standing, excellent bilateral relations are have been marked by intense, regular dialogue since the mid-1990s. King Mohammed VI chose France for his first State visit in March 2000. He was also the first Head of State to be received by President François Hollande, one week after he was sworn in.
The annual meetings between the heads of government, which have taken place since 1997, have helped bring our political dialogue up to the level we maintain with our closest European partners, demonstrating France’s solidarity with Morocco.
French-Moroccan relations have stepped up since 2015. The twelfth high-level meeting, co-chaired by the two Prime Ministers, was held in Paris on 28 May 2015 in which some 20 agreements were signed in all areas.
President Hollande was received by the King of Morocco on a visit to Tangier on 19 and 20 September 2015. The two Heads of State together signed a call for strong action and solidarity regarding climate and presided over the signature of a joint declaration on the training of imams.
The calendar of visits remained dense in 2016, with more than 20 official visits in both directions and the participation of the President of the Republic and many government ministers in COP22 in Marrakesh.
Visits to Morocco by prominent figures from France in 2016
- Mr François Hollande, President of the French Republic (15 and 16 November, Marrakesh)
- Mr Jean-Marc Todeschini, Minister of State for Veterans and Remembrance (7 September, Rabat)
- Ms Ségolène Royal, French Minister for Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy (23 June, Rabat)
- Mr Claude Bartolone, President of the National Assembly (13 June, Rabat)
- Ms Elisabeth Guigou, Chair of the National Assembly Foreign Affairs Committee (12 and 13 May 2016)
- Mr Stéphane Le Foll, Minister of Agriculture, Agrifood and Forestry, Government Spokesperson (27-29 April, Meknes and Rabat).
- Mr Jean-Vincent Place, Minister of State for State Reform and Simplification (19 April, Rabat)
- Mr Harlem Désir, Minister of State for European Affairs (18 April, Rabat)
- Mr Alain Vidalies, Minister of State for Transport, Marine Affairs and Fisheries (31 March-1 April, Rabat and Casablanca)
- Ms Ségolène Royal, Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy (4 February, Ouarzazate)
- Mr Jean-Pierre Raffarin, Chair of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee (21-22 January, Rabat)
Visits to France by prominent figures from Morocco in 2016
- Mr Salaheddine Mezouar, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation (7 April, 18 May, 3 June and 8 September)
- Ms Hakima el Haite, Minister Delegate for the Environment (10 June, 8 September)
- Mr Lahcen Sekkouri, Minister of Youth and Sports (10 June)
- Mr Mohammed Hassad, Minister of the Interior (2 March)
- HM King Mohammed VI visited Paris, accompanied by Mr Salaheddine Mezouar, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation and Ms Hakima el Haite, Minister Delegate for the Environment (17 February 2016)
- Mr Rachid Belmokhtar, Minister of National Education and Vocational Training from Morocco (28 January, Journée de réflexion et de mobilisation sur l’avenir des jeunesses euro-méditerranéennes, seminar on the future of Euro-Mediterranean young people, UNESCO)
- Mr Moulay Hafid Elalamy, Minister of Industry, Trade and New Techologies (28 January, UNESCO)
France is Morocco’s leading economic partners, despite growing competition in the areas of trade and investment. French exports to Morocco increased by nearly 20% in 2016, with a strong rise in the areas of agriculture and transport equipment. Moroccan exports to France are dominated by textiles, electrical and electronic components, and agrifood products.
France remains the leading foreign investor in Morocco. In 2015, France posted 17% (€484 million) of the total net foreign direct investment (FDI) received by Morocco, mainly in industry. With some 750 subsidiaries of French companies, Morocco is the leading destination of French investment on the African continent. It is noteworthy that 34 of the 40 companies listed on the France’s CAC 40 stock market index are working in Morocco.
Our cooperation is in line with the priorities set out by the Interministerial International Cooperation and Development Committee (CICID) and the guidelines established during high-level meetings between Heads of Government. A Partnership Agreement on Cultural Cooperation and Development was signed by the Prime Ministers on 25 July 2003 and entered into force in March 2010.
In the field of education, more than 32,00 students, 65% of whom are Moroccan, attend the 39 French educational institutions in Morocco (including 23 schools of the Agency for French Teaching Abroad – AEFE). The Institut Français of Morocco (IFM) in 12 locations (Agadir, Casablanca, Fez, Marrakesh, Meknes, Oujda, Rabat, Kenitra, Tangiers, Tetuan, El Jadida, Essaouira), created on 1 January 2012, one Alliance Française Teaching Centre (Safi), and one Campus France office attached to the Institut Français of Rabat (IFR) provide a significant, active French presence in the country. The 32,000 Moroccan students in France are our leading cohort of international students.
The State visit in April 2013 opened the way for new partnership agreements between French and Moroccan higher education institutions. The most emblematic project is that for the creation of a French National Institute of Applied Sciences (INSA) in Fez, attached to the Euro-Mediterranean University of Fez (UEMF) and granted the “Union for the Mediterranean” label. Other projects include a School of Architecture at the International University of Rabat, in cooperation with the Nancy School of Architecture (ENSAN); the Paris Est University Centre for Research and Higher Education (PRES-Paris Est), which welcomed its first students in October 2013; the Casablanca École Centrale (ECC) College of Engineering; a Mediterranean Institute for Logistics and Transport (IMLT) in Tangier, in partnership with the University of Valenciennes and the French École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées; an international technological university institute (IUT); a school of medicine within the University of Agadir; and a higher education institution modelled on the French Conservatoire national des arts et métiers (CNAM).
French is a genuine second language in Morocco. Our support for the teaching of French, which fosters trainer training and the opening of international classes, seeks to consolidate this position.
The Agence française de développement (AFD) has been operating in Morocco since 1992. The AFD operates through its subsidiary Proparco, which is devoted to funding the private sector, as well as through the Centre for Financial, Economic and Banking Studies (CEFEB), based in Marseille, and the French Global Environment Facility (FFEM), for which the AFD ensures the secretariat.
Morocco is the leading recipient of AFD support totalling €2.5 billion. The AFD focuses essentially on the sectors of water, the environment and socio-economic infrastructure, with an additional emphasis on the private sector, such as to support modernization of small and very small enterprises.
Updated: 5 January 2017