Berlin — Morocco has opted for an agricultural strategy whereby it seeks to achieve two forms of sustainability: that of the environment and that of the living conditions of rural populations, HM King Mohammed VI said.
In a message to the opening ceremony of the 81st International Green Week Berlin, which was read Thursday night in the German capital by HRH Princess Lalla Meryem, HM the King recalled that Morocco launched in 2008 the Green Morocco Plan, which is a major project in which the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable agricultural development are duly taken into account.
Recalling the three major dimensions that have been identified and given concrete substance within the framework of this plan, namely solidarity-based agriculture, water resource management and plantations, the Sovereign noted that Morocco is starting to reap the fruit of this Plan and, as a result, the country's agricultural GDP increased by 44% between 2008 and 2014.
Today, the area planted with olive trees alone covers more than one million hectares, and nearly 3 million date palms will be planted by 2020, HM the King said, pointing out that these projects enjoy the support and confidence of international funding partners and sponsors, including the Global Environment Facility (GEF).
The Sovereign said that Morocco has always welcomed investment because it contributes to the country's economic development, creates wealth and provides jobs.
All in all, the Moroccan economy is rooted in solid fundamentals and has been enjoying sustained growth, the Monarch said, adding that Morocco's economy and trade are open to the world, as the kingdom has signed a number of free trade agreements, which offer access to a potential market of over one billion consumers.
HM the King underlined that the Moroccan business environment is constantly revamped, and Morocco moved up 36 places in the World Bank's "Doing Business" index between 2012 and 2015.
The Sovereign added that Morocco's special relations with its neighboring sub-Saharans nations, especially in West Africa, means our country can serve as a gateway for economic operators wishing to make the most of the engine of African economic growth.
Underlining that Morocco is a country made up of many cultural components; a nation which is proud of its traditions, but which is clearly open to modernity, HM the King stressed that agriculture is at the heart of the nation's heritage - both tangible and intangible. It is the result of centuries of attachment to land, of ingenious resource management and of commitment to quality and sustainability requirements.
Highlighting the high agricultural assets of Morocco, the Sovereign underscored the performances achieved by Moroccan exports of fruits and vegetables around the world.
HM the King noted that the International Green Week Berlin is an outstanding, engaging event which is ideal for learning about traditions and know-how and which captivates visitors, and is a unique setting in which the work of men and women involved in farming and in the food industry gets the recognition and appreciation it deserves.
This event is popular with Moroccan farmers and cooperatives because it provides a precious opportunity for valuable, direct contact with German consumers, the Sovereign said, adding that this event offers a unique opportunity to explore a specific facet of the vibrant German economy, which stands out as a model for the achievement of prosperity - a model that has managed to innovate and to adapt to global developments and trends.
This year's International Green Week Berlin illustrates the dynamism of the partnership between the Governments of the Kingdom of Morocco and the Federal Republic of Germany in the areas of agriculture and the green economy, HM the King concluded.