Morocco has been granted the “Sectoral Dialogue Partner” status within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), making it the first North African nation to join the cluster.
This decision, confirmed during the ASEAN foreign ministers’ meeting in Jakarta on Monday, September 4, underscores Morocco’s growing significance on the global stage.
The move signifies ASEAN’s recognition of Morocco, under the leadership of King Mohammed VI, as a stabilizing force in Africa and the Arab world. It also highlights the dynamic partnerships that Morocco has cultivated with Southeast Asian partners.
Speaking to MoroccoLatestNews English, economic expert Mehdi Fakir said that “Morocco’s achievement of ‘Partner in Sectoral Dialogue’ Status with ASEAN signifies its credibility as a valuable partner.”
Fakir highlighted that ASEAN is a major international economic grouping, encompassing significant Asian economies, making it highly influential on the global economic stage.
“This partnership holds great economic importance and potential for the future,” Fakir added
Regarding Morocco’s accomplishment, Fakir explained, “Morocco’s status as a growing economy with solid reforms and a clear development plan in place, meeting the required criteria, positions it as a key partner for ASEAN.”
Fakir noted that Morocco’s goal is to expand its partnerships beyond regional boundaries, and increase its international engagement to meet current demands.
Fakir pointed out, “ASEAN member nations are looking to replicate China’s strategy by connecting with Morocco to strengthen ties with European markets, as well as expand their presence in Latin America and Africa, leveraging Morocco’s role as a regional economic hub for these purposes.”
Fakir further emphasized the significance of manufacturing sectors, such as automotive and aviation industries for both ASEAN and Morocco, highlighting their promising potential to contribute to achieving both the Kingdom’s and the cluster’s goals.
During the same meeting, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates also received the “Sectoral Dialogue Partner” status, emphasizing ASEAN’s dedication to building robust partnerships with nations worldwide.
Morocco’s newfound status as an official partner is expected to pave the way for enhanced economic, political, and cultural exchanges between Morocco and the ASEAN member states.