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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2679

Your apparels are so good!”-Morocco

Colombo, 26 July, (

Morocco, the emerging North African aeronautics supplier and the second biggest apparel maker in North African region, is highly taken up by the 'Made in Sri Lanka' apparel brand. “Your apparels are so good! I always remember to pick up a Sri Lankan made high quality coat or cloth in Bloomingdale whenever I shop (there)” said an excited Larbi Reffouch, the Moroccan Ambassador to Sri Lanka on 10 July.

Reffouch was addressing Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry & Commerce on 10 July at the EDB premises in Colombo during his courtesy call on Minister Bathiudeen. Also present along with Minister Bathiudeen were Anura Siriwardena (Secretary, Ministry of Industry & Commerce) and Bandula Egodage (Chairman, EDB) and officials of Department of Commerce.

• North African apparel power agog on Lanka apparels!

• Looking for more trade, as well as rubber & fishery JVs here

• “Money no problem!” – Reffouch

• “We warmly welcome your initiatives!” - Rishad

According to the Department of Commerce, Sri Lanka exported tea, coir products and rubber based products to Morocco while spices and precious stones have been imported in small quantities to Sri Lanka from Morocco. For the past few years, Sri Lanka has been reporting a favourable trade balance in its bilateral trade with Morocco, and in 2012, the total trade volume stood at $ 2.06 Mn-of which $ 1.71 Mn consisted of exports.

Reffouch also revealed that Morocco is eager for closer trade and industrial cooperation with Sri Lanka.

“We are the second biggest apparel supplier in the North African region, helped by no less than our bilateral FTA with USA. And we are also located very close to EU markets, only eight miles away from Spain and just one hour by ferry to Southern Spain” said (HE) Reffouch, and added: “We know Sri Lanka and we have strong historic relations and Moroccan explorer Ibn Batuta’s visit to Sri Lanka is known by most Lankans in general.

We need to expand our bilateral trade as well as our industrial cooperation. Investors from both countries can also enter into joint ventures in many sectors; we are strong in in rubber and fishery -technologies that Sri Lanka can benefit from us considerably-and money is no problem!”

The World Economic Forum said that Morocco is the best performing economy in North Africa in 2013. Morocco is also the biggest holder of phosphate reserves in the world.

Addressing (HE) Reffouch Minister Bathiudeen said: “We welcome your new initiatives in Sri Lanka! Our bilateral trade standing at $ 2 Mn shows huge unrealised trade potentials in future that we can jointly explore.” Minister Bathiudeen added: “Under the economic vision of HE the President Mahinda Rajapaksa, we have taken several initiatives in export market diversification and as a result, we see new market potential in your country. In fact, we are virgin markets for each other. I also invite capable Moroccan investors to Sri Lanka’s apparel sector for synergies; we are well known around the world for our high quality and you are the second biggest apparel power in North Africa. On the other hand, we are closer to East Asian hubs. I also invite a strong Moroccan delegation for the forthcoming CHOGM trade fair in Colombo.”

Also present during the session were Anura Siriwardena (Secretary, Ministry of Industry & Commerce) and Bandula Egodage (Chairman, EDB).

- Asian Tribune -

Rishad Bathiudeen (Minister of Industry & Commerce) and  Larbi Reffou
Rishad Bathiudeen (Minister of Industry & Commerce) and (HE) Larbi Reffouch, the Moroccan Ambassador to Sri Lanka (right) discuss bilateral cooperation at EDB premises, Colombo on 10 July.
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