Miami Dade College to Host Major U.S.-Morocco Trade & Investment Forum

Miami, March 27, 2019- Miami Dade College (MDC) will host the U.S.-Morocco Trade & Investment Forum on Thursday, April 4, at 9 a.m.  The annual gathering of business leaders, government officials, and stakeholders will discuss the development of trade between the U.S., Morocco and the rest of the African continent. This year’s event will be held in MDC’s Wolfson Campus in downtown Miami to highlight Florida and Morocco as points of transatlantic connectivity linking Africa and the Americas.

In 2016, MDC President Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón was appointed Honorary Consul of the Kingdom of Morocco.  In his role, President Padrón helps provide important services both to the government of Morocco, U.S. citizens and organizations on related matters. Together with diplomatic missions, he also promotes economic and cultural relations between nations.

The forum will feature speakers discussing varied topics during panel discussions that explore the transatlantic connectivity of the two countries.  The luminaries and officials who are speakers include: President Padrón; Her Highness Princess Lalla Joumala, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco to the United States; Hon. Mohamed Sajid, Minister of Tourism, Air Transport, Handicrafts and Social Economy; and Othman El Ferdaous; Secretary of State to the Minister of Industry, Investment, Trade and the Digital Economy, in charge of Investment; to name a few.

Located at the vertex of Europe and Africa, Morocco has positioned itself to be the trade hub and commercial center for North Africa, and the gateway into Sub-Saharan Africa. Direct shipping routes connecting the east coast of the United States to Morocco’s ports have enabled the kingdom to serve as transshipment point and commercial hub to three continents. Furthermore, the US-Morocco Free Trade Agreement (FTA)— the only FTA that the U.S. has with an African nation—has eliminated 95 percent of export tariffs and increased bilateral trade by 300 percent.

Florida towers among the top states in the U.S. for business, because of its pro-business state tax policies, low costs of doing business and streamlined regulatory environment. Companies from all over the world have regional and hemispheric headquarters in Florida, and many others host warehousing, distribution and manufacturing operations to take advantage of the State’s easy access to global markets. More than $147 billion goods flowed through Florida’s airports and seaports in 2017, making Florida a world leader in international trade.

Following are the panel discussions that will be presented during the U.S.-Morocco Trade & Investment Forum:

Africa, the Last Business Frontier: Trends, challenges and opportunities for US-Moroccan Partnerships

The African continent boasts one of the fastest growing middle-class populations in the world, a young and entrepreneurial population, and promising economic growth trajectories. This panel will examine why U.S. companies should think seriously about their long-term Africa strategy, how new tools such as the Better Utilization of Investment Leading to Development (BUILD) Act will level the playing field, and where the U.S.-Morocco relationship plays a critical role.

Transatlantic Connections: Strengthening Logistics and Trade routes between Africa and the Americas

This panel will explore the significance for the Americas, Europe, and Africa when two geographically strategic locations are connected by land and sea.

Tourism as a Cultural and Business Bridge-Builder

Both Florida and Morocco bolster rich cultural heritage and endless attractions that draw tourists from around the world. This panel will discuss how cultural tourism should be used to drive understanding and mutual prosperity between the U.S. and Morocco. Panelists will discuss how tourism will serve as an engine for economic growth and job creation across Africa—revealing opportunities for supporting sectors such as infrastructure, ICT, and finance.

Previous forums have been held in Dallas, Atlanta, Seattle, and Washington, D.C.