Atlanta to Host Second US-Morocco Trade and Investment Forum Oct. 13

US and Morocco Business, Government Leaders to Convene at Coca-Cola Headquarters; Discussions to Focus on Energy, Aeronautics and Automotive, Agribusiness and Water Management, Banking/Finance Sectors

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - October 07, 2015) - Business leaders and government representatives from the US and Morocco will convene at Coca-Cola headquarters in Atlanta on Tuesday, October 13 for the second annual US-Morocco Trade and Investment Forum. Building on the success of the US-Morocco Free Trade Agreement that went into effect in 2006, as well as the US-Morocco Strategic Dialogue launched in 2012, the forum aims to strengthen business ties between the two nations and offers the chance to explore unique commercial opportunities for US companies in Morocco and its networks throughout Africa.

"The US and Morocco have a special relationship that dates back to 1777, when we became the first country to recognize the newly independent United States," said Morocco's Ambassador to the US Rachad Bouhlal. "Good friends make good business partners, and we are thrilled to bring our second annual trade and investment forum to Atlanta."

"Georgia state officials and business leaders have been instrumental in helping us organize this event, and we anticipate a highly productive conference," he added.

"Morocco is the only African country with which the US has a Free Trade Agreement," said Jean AbiNader, Executive Director of the Moroccan American Trade and Investment Center. "This makes it the ideal gateway to African, European, and Middle Eastern markets, offering US investors and companies significant opportunities in a stable and thriving business environment."

Organized by the Moroccan Embassy in Washington, this year's conference will feature a plenary session on doing business in Morocco, followed by breakout discussions and business-to-business meetings focusing on renewable and hydrocarbon energies, aeronautics and automotive manufacturing, agribusiness and water management, and banking and financial services.

On the US side, expected participants include The Honorable Dwight Bush, US Ambassador to the Kingdom of Morocco; Mr. Chris Carr, Georgia Commissioner of Economic Development; Mr. Gary W. Black, Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture; Mr. Curt Fergusson, President of Coca-Cola's Middle East & North Africa Business Unit; Mr. Ahmet Bozer, EVP and President of Coca-Cola International; and others. From Morocco, speakers include His Excellency Mamoune Bouhdoud, Minister for Small and Medium Enterprises; His Excellency Rachad Bouhlal, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco to the US; Mrs. Meriem Bensaleh Chaqroun, Chairwoman of the General Confederation of Moroccan Enterprise; and other key leaders from the private and public sector.

In the past ten years, Morocco has gained traction with investors around the world thanks to its geographic location, growing economy, political stability, and world-class infrastructure. In 2013, Morocco became the second biggest destination for foreign direct investment in Africa, and is itself the second largest African investor on the continent. In 2014, CNN named Casablanca a "finance hub of the future," and The Wall Street Journal reported that Morocco is among the top ten frontier markets -- and the only one in the Maghreb -- most favored by foreign corporations, according to its Frontiers/FSG Frontier Markets Sentiment Index. Morocco also consistently gains favorable ratings from Fitch Ratings, the World Bank, and other rankings of good places to do business.

The Moroccan American Center for Policy (MACP) is a non-profit organization whose principal mission is to inform opinion makers, government officials, and interested publics in the United States about political and social developments in Morocco and the role being played by the Kingdom of Morocco in broader strategic developments in North Africa, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East.

This material is distributed by the Moroccan American Center for Policy on behalf of the Government of Morocco. Additional information is available at the Department of Justice in Washington, DC.

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Jordana Merran