1. Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Choi Jong Kun visited Morocco, the first destination in his tour to three African countries, on August 15 and 16. He paid a courtesy call on H.E. Mr. Nasser Bourita, Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccan Expatriates of Morocco, met with Korean nationals and businesspersons in Morocco to listen to their difficulties, and visited the Automobile Advanced Training Institute in Casablanca (IFMIAC), a symbol of Korea-Morocco development cooperation.
2. During his courtesy call on Minister Bourita, Vice Minister Choi discussed with him bilateral relations, substantive cooperation in such fields as economy and trade, development and health, and the situations in Africa and the Middle East.
° Vice Minister Choi mentioned that since Korea opened its first resident mission on the African continent in Morocco, the two countries have maintained close cooperation. He suggested expanding bilateral relations between Korea and Morocco as they mark the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations next year. Minister Bourita emphasized that the two sides should develop their bilateral relationship into a more comprehensive and multi-dimensional one.
° The two sides noted that the COVID-19 crisis provided opportunities to strengthen relations between Korea and Morocco to an unprecedented level through close bilateral cooperation last year: Morocco helped approximately 200 Korean nationals return home on special flights, and Korea provided Morocco with diagnostic kits and walk-through booths in a swift manner.
° The two sides shared the view that there is a need to expand substantive cooperation in the fields of economy and trade, development, health, climate change, forestry and renewable energy, and agreed to revitalize governmental consultative bodies such as the Korea-Morocco Joint Committee for consultations in these areas.
° In addition, Vice Minister Choi mentioned that Korean biotech companies have been doing business in Morocco since the outbreak of COVID-19, and requested Morocco’s attention and support to ensure Korean companies’ participation in infrastructure projects in Morocco.
° The two sides agreed to seek ways to maximize the potential for economic cooperation, considering the openness of the two countries that have signed free trade agreements (FTAs) with large economies such as the United States and Europe.
° In particular, the two sides agreed to cooperate in finding Moroccan veterans who participated in the Korean War as French soldiers, and their descendants.
3. Vice Minister Choi also visited the Automobile Advanced Training Institute in Casablanca (IFMIAC) built in 2013 and noted that IFMIAC substantially contributed to the industrial development and job creation of Morocco and its neighboring countries through triangular cooperation.
4. The Vice Minister also met with Korean nationals and businesspersons in Morocco and assured them that he will make efforts to resolve their difficulties.
5. Vice Minister Choi’s visit to Morocco, the first visit to the country by a Korean Vice Foreign Minister since 2012, is seen to have laid a foundation for Korea’s cooperation and exchanges with Morocco, a North African hub connecting the African continent that has emerged as the biggest single market with the creation of the AfCFTA.
° Vice Minister Choi will continue his tour to Africa by visiting Senegal on August 17 and Nigeria on August 18 and 19.