GCC establishing $1 billion food security fund in Morocco

OOSKAnews | 2 May 2013

GCC Establishing $1 Billion Food Security Fund in Morocco

DOHA, Qatar — The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is planning to establish a $1 billion USD Food Security Fund in Morocco, according to Khalil al Khanji, chairman of the Federation of GCC Chambers.

“The fund will start with $100 million USD in capital, to be contributed by both GCC countries and Morocco,” Al Khanji said.

The money will be earmarked irrigation and other projects to increase agricultural productivity in Morocco.

One hundred twenty Gulf companies took part in a GCC-Morocco investment forum in Rabat this week aimed at exploring agricultural investment opportunities as well as other projects.

GCC countries have recently pledged $5 billion USD in grants and loans for development projects in Morocco over the next five years.

In December, the six GCC member states – Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates -- agreed to establish companies that would work to achieve food security in the region, in light of unstable global food markets and limited agricultural lands and water resources.

The member countries also agreed to draft a unified strategy for cooperation with other Arab countries that have agricultural land, including Sudan, Morocco and Yemen, as well as with African countries.

They also plan to use state-of-the-art solar technologies to produce sufficient desalinated water to grow certain crops in the region.

The GCC will launch a global dry land alliance in 2014 to deal with water scarcity and food security in 51 countries.

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24/7 News | March 30th, 2013

Morocco’s $1b Agri Fund offers rare opportunity to GCC

Posted by Mahmood Rafique

Shaheen Saqr, BCCI Board member and Chairman of Bahrain-Moroccan Committee at BCCI, with Moroccan Ambassador in Bahrain Ahmed Rachid Khattabi, BCCI board members Jawad Al Hawaj, Khadim Saeed, and Ahmed Hujjair during the meeting at the BCCI

Shaheen Saqr, BCCI Board member and Chairman of Bahrain-Moroccan Committee at BCCI, with Moroccan Ambassador in Bahrain Ahmed Rachid Khattabi, BCCI board members Jawad Al Hawaj, Khadim Saeed, and Ahmed Hujjair during the meeting at the BCCI.

The $1billion Agriculture Fund offers a huge opportunity to the GCC bloc that can be exploited to initiate major JV projects in agriculture sector especially in the wake of ongoing efforts of the Gulf on food security, a visiting Morocco delegate told the 24X7 News.

Mohamed Ait Bouseham, Chairman of Gulf Invest, on the sidelines of the GCC Chamber of Commerce road show at Beitul Tajjar, said that the Fund being set up by Bank Agricole would open up new avenues for the development of the agriculture sector.

The GCC Chambers is currently conducting road shows for upcoming 3rd Gulf Invest Forum from May 6-8, 2013 and Bahrain was one of the destinations where the Moroccan delegation during a meeting highlighted the importance of the existing ties between GCC and Morocco.

The Moroccan Ambassador in Bahrain Ahmed Rachid Khattabi said that the historic ties with GCC countries would be further strengthened by exploring new avenues of mutual co-operation in all vital areas.

Bassil Awami from GCC Chambers said that the road show would help in creating awareness among the members of the GCC Chambers and said that GCC-Morocco trade stood at $3billion in 2009. The upcoming forum, Bassil said, will help to bring the private sectors of GCC and Morocco together and also open a new window of opportunity for two way co-operation.

Earlier, the BCCI board chairman Dr. Essam Abdulla Fakhro also held talks with Ahmed Rashid Khatabi at Beit Al-Tejjar, who extended invitation to BCCI to participate in the joint GCC-Moroccan event is scheduled to be held in Tangier in May 2013.

Dr. Fakhro stressed the importance of taking part in the upcoming investment symposium and exhibition to promote joint economic relations and build a strategic partnership.

The Moroccan diplomat hailed deep-rooted political and economic relations bonding his country and Bahrain.

He expressed the hope that the upcoming forum and exhibition would contribute in exploring further investment opportunities to optimize growth dividends.

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Source: Ooska News 
http://www.ooskanews.com/daily-water-briefing/gcc-establishing-1-billion-food-security-fund-morocco_27380

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