The Moroccan Association of Exporters (ASMEX) in partnership with Harvard Consulting, organized a webinar entitled “ Doing Business with Senegal (Agri-food sector) “. The opportunity to close the series of meetings ” Doing Business »For the year 2021.
Initiated by ASMEX, these meetings aimed to take a closer look at the various investment and trade opportunities presented by the continent in all its diversity, ASMEX said in a press release.
This webinar was chaired by Saloua Karkri Belkeziz, President of the ASMEX Africa Commission and moderated by Philippe Cordier.
“ Senegal is in the spotlight as part of specific webinars by business sector. A country close to the Kingdom, Senegal generates enthusiasm when it comes to discussing its investment opportunities that we hope to see translated on the ground into real major projects. ASMEX promises to support Moroccan investors and exporters in their efforts to open up to the Senegalese market and hopes to be able to organize, if the health situation allows, face-to-face seminars, in the same direction in 2022.», Declared immediately Saloua Karkri, quoted by the press release, recalling rightly that Senegal is one of the greatest economic allies of Morocco on the African continent.
Philippe Cordier for his part underlined the frank orientation of Senegal to develop its agrifood sector, thanks to the investments of Moroccans with whom Senegal forges historical, cultural and economic links.
Strong relationships that translate into a hundred agreements and conventions that cover several key sectors, say ASMEX. In fact, in February 2004, the Kingdom and Senegal signed a double taxation treaty to encourage African investments, and give new impetus to the south-south cooperation between the two countries.
Today, Moroccan actors are heavily invested in the different sectors in Senegal (poultry farming, agriculture, industry etc.), raises the Association, noting that the creation in 2015 of the Economic Impulse Group (GIE) to ensure coordination and the sustainability of business relations between the Kingdom and Senegal has made it possible to strengthen trade between the countries.
Today in the process of development, Senegal offers several investment opportunities, says ASMEX, and therefore hopes to make the agri-food sector an important lever of its economy, especially since the strong potential of this sector remains untapped according to experts who evoke a GDP of 27.6 billion dollars for a market of 16.7 million inhabitants in constant evolution. Agriculture alone constitutes 30.1% of the country’s jobs, while its added value to GDP is estimated by the World Bank at 15.8%, the same source specifies.
The agrifood sector is therefore a sector with great stakes, estimates the Association, and which creates more than 600,000 direct and indirect jobs. Although it is underexploited, the agricultural sector employs 55% of the Senegalese working population (6.9% of the GDP), while breeding concerns 3 million people. For its part, fishing employs 97,000 people. A sector with high potential, therefore, which contrasts with the agro-industrial activity of the country which has 573 agro-industrial units (17.5% of GDP).
” The country produces fruits and vegetables all year round, but their processing is slow. For our fruit juices or others, we import. Which is a shame given the great potential of the sector. This scenario also applies to the fishing sector », Confides Bassirou Mané, Senegalese agro-food expert. He took the opportunity during this webinar to call on Moroccan industrialists to invest and bring their experience to the Senegalese market.
The Senegalese agrifood sector specialist enumerated the many advantages of his country, by dividing its area of 196,710 km² into three zones. The northern zone, with its maritime facade and its strong potential in terms of fishing and usable water for irrigation thanks to its river and Lake Guiers, but whose high cost of hydro-agricultural developments (their inadequacy and obsolescence) due to lack of maintenance) discourages investors.
Then the central / southern areas, which have significant advantages in terms of population density and concentration of economic activity despite sometimes limited access to water in certain regions.
According to Bassirou Mané, Senegal is opening up to investments by giving priority to key sectors such as the primary sector and related activities (agriculture, fishing, animal husbandry and activities of storage, packaging and processing of local products of plant origin, animal or fishery, agro-food industry), or the social sectors (health, education-training, etc.) and assembly services, maintenance of agricultural and industrial equipment and tele-services.
Senegal also has as a priority investment in manufacturing activities of production or processing, extraction or transformation of mineral substances, tourism, tourist facilities and industries (other hotel activities), cultural industries (books, records, cinema, documentation centers, audiovisual production center, etc.), port, airport and rail infrastructure and finally the creation of shopping complexes, industrial parks, tourist areas, cyber-villages and craft centers, said Bassirou Mané.