Morocco and Israel to cooperate in civilian aerospace projects

Written by on March 23, 2022

Israel and Morocco’s agreement will cover potential projects in innovation and airplane maintenance and transformation.

By REUTERS

Published: MARCH 23, 2022 22:15

 F-16 wings are seen being constructed at an IAI production line. (photo credit: IAI)

F-16 wings are seen being constructed at an IAI production line.

(photo credit: IAI)

Israel and Morocco signed an agreement on Wednesday to cooperate in civilian aerospace projects as the two countries push for closer economic ties after resuming their diplomatic relationship last year.

Moroccan Industry Minister Ryad Mezzour said the agreement would cover potential projects in innovation and airplane maintenance and transformation after a signing ceremony in Rabat with Israeli Aerospace Industries (IAI) chief Amir Peretz.

There were no details on specific projects that the agreement might lead to, or on the size of investments that it might cover.

In November, Israel and Morocco agreed a defense pact covering intelligence and cooperation in military industries and procurement. Israeli media reported that Morocco wants to buy Israeli-made drones and other arms.

Peretz said IAI’s current agreement with Morocco was purely civilian.

 Foreign Minister Yair Lapid with Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita at the foreign ministry in Rabat, Morocco, August 11, 2021.  (credit: SHLOMI AMSALEM/GPO) Foreign Minister Yair Lapid with Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita at the foreign ministry in Rabat, Morocco, August 11, 2021. (credit: SHLOMI AMSALEM/GPO)

Moroccan aerospace exports rose by 22% last year to the pre-pandemic level of 1.54 billion dirhams ($ 1.6 bln), as manufacturers diversified into high-tech engine areas.

Morocco’s government has encouraged investment in the country by aerospace suppliers in recent years, hoping to match its success in car manufacturing, creating hubs to shorten supply chains and share expertise.

Israel said last month it wanted to boost trade with Morocco to $500 million a year from $130 million a year. Morocco is seeking Israeli investment in the automobile, agriculture, textiles, pharmaceuticals and renewable energy industries.

Next week representatives from Israeli business and export organizations will visit Morocco to discuss investment opportunities, the Israeli mission in Rabat said.

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