Morocco-Korea: An Afro-Asian Partnership Under Construction

September 23, 2022

Relations between Rabat and Seoul have been in a state of considerable flux in every aspect since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries in July 1962. The Korean embassy in Rabat is Seoul's first permanent diplomatic representation on the African continent. In addition, its economic model, based on the nexus of "planning in the industrial and financial fields/ priority to education and work" is considered with attention by Morocco, both by the official authorities and by the public opinion, with which it shares more characteristics than one might think: a long-standing identity, a role of impetus of the State in economic matters, a strong position on economic sectors. Seoul, which pursues a foreign policy that synthesizes economic internationalism and geopolitical isolationism, geopolitically sees Morocco as a privileged entry point for its investments in Africa. The Korean geopolitical doctrine is that Seoul deploys in regions with development potential and a certain political stability, in order to stimulate its investments and economic expansion. Morocco, which since 2011 has been undergoing significant transitions, further strengthened by its African economic policy, appears to Seoul as a gateway for Korean companies to Africa. Similarly, Morocco and Africa [in general] have much to learn from the Korean experience, and potentially much to gain from advanced cooperation between the two sides. This is especially true as the structural transformation of African economies, including Morocco’s, promises to be crucial to the realization of aspirations for African market integration and prosperity based on inclusive growth and sustainable development. Indeed, the Korean experience should be instructive in terms of strengthening the competitiveness of sectors, especially export, and its links with East Asian countries should multiply the opportunities for access to export markets and rise in global value chains. By organizing this event the year of the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Morocco and Korea, the PCNS and KIEP wish to contribute to a better understanding of the relations between Rabat and Seoul, while strengthening dialogue and exchanges between Moroccan and Korean institutions, with a view to encouraging them to turn more towards our two countries which constitute excellent points of entry into Africa and East Asia.

Speakers
Abdelaaziz Ait Ali
Manager - Economics
Abdelaaziz Ait Ali is a principal Economist and head of the Research Department at the Policy Center for the New South. He joined the Center in 2014 after five years of experience at the Central Bank of Morocco. He worked as an economist in the International Studies and Relations Department and was analyzing the real estate price index and financial asset prices for monetary policy and financial stability purposes. Since then, Abdelaaziz has focused on cyclical and structural issues of the Moroccan economy, including macroeconomic management and industrial policy design. He has published articles on the reform of the exchange rate regime in the Moroccan economy and its implications for macroeconomic regulation, as well as on the evolution of the macroeconomic framework over th ...
Mehdi Benomar
Manager – International Relations
Mehdi Benomar has cumulated 18 years of experience as analyst and occupied several positions in public organizations: in National Defense as head of division (2000-2008), in the cabinet of the ministry of Mines and Energy (2010-12) and in OCP Group (2012-2017). He also served as senior consultant in private firm Global Intelligence Partners (G.I.P.) (2008-2010) in Rabat. He specialized in strategic monitoring issues and contributed on different topics related to proliferation, energy and development in sub-Saharan Africa. Nuclear Engineer, he graduated from the Commissariat à l'énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives and has a master in sciences. ...
Mounia Boucetta
Senior Fellow
Senior Fellow at the Policy Center for the New South, Mounia Boucetta has over 20 years of experience in public administration, holding numerous managerial and leadership roles, and working particularly on the development of industrial and commercial policies. She was most recently Secretary of State to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Morocco from 2017 to 2019.   A graduate from the prestigious Mohammadia School of Engineers (Morocco), Mounia Boucetta joined the Ministry of Industry and Trade in 1991 where she held numerous positions before her appointment as its Secretary General in 2010. In this context, she contributed to numerous projects including, but not limited to, reorganizational projects, implementation of sectoral strategies, inve ...
Nouzha Chekrouni
Senior Fellow
Dr. Nouzha Chekrouni is a Senior Fellow at the Policy Center for the New South. She has extensive experience in academia, diplomacy and political leadership.  She has served as His Majesty’s Ambassador to Canada (2009-2016), and Dean of the Council of Arab League Ambassadors to Canada (2015-2016). Dr. Chekrouni was Minister for the Moroccan Community Living Abroad (2002-2007), a Member of Parliament (2002-2007), and the Minister for Women and Social Issues (1998-2002). She holds a Bachelor Degree from the Philological Faculty at the University of Fez, a Post-Graduate Diploma and a PhD in Linguistics from the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle in Paris. Dr. Chekrouni has also completed a Certificate in Ethics and International Relations at Harvard University. She is a 2016 Senior F ...
Karim El Aynaoui
Executive President
Executive President of the Policy Center for the New South; Executive Vice-President of the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University and Dean of its Social Sciences, Economics and Humanities Cluster.   Karim El Aynaoui is an Economist. From 2005 to 2012, he worked at the Central Bank of Morocco where he held the position of Director of Economics, Statistics and International Relations. At the Central Bank of Morocco, he was in charge of the Research Department and equally a member of the Governor’s Cabinet. Previously, he worked for eight years at the World Bank as an Economist for its regional units of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) as well as Africa.   Karim El Aynaoui has published books and journal articles on macroeconomic issues in developing countries. His rece ...
Larabi Jaïdi
Senior Fellow
Professor Larabi Jaïdi is Senior Fellow at the Policy Center for the New South, Member of its Editorial & Research Oversight Steering Committee, and Affiliate Professor at the Faculty of Governance, Economic and Social Sciences (FGSES) of the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P). His research expertise centers around international economy, economic policies, international economic relations (with a particular focus on Europe and the Arab World), economy of regions, social development, international relations, and Mediterranean studies. Pr.  Jaïdi was also a member of the Special Commission on the Development Model of Morocco, a consultative body created in November 2019, with the mandate to formulate the guidelines for the new developmental model of the country.   ...
Mohammed Loulichki
Senior Fellow
Mr. Loulichki is a Senior Fellow at the Policy Center for the New South and Affiliate Professor at the Faculty of Governance, Economic and Social Sciences of the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P), who focuses on Diplomacy, conflicts resolution and Human rights. He has an extensive experience of 40 years in diplomacy and legal affairs. He assumed inter alia the functions of Head of the Department of Legal Affairs and Treaties in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was also Ambassador of Morocco in Hungary, Bosnia – Herzegovina and Croatia (1995-1999), Ambassador Coordinator of the Government of Morocco with MINURSO (1999 – 2001), Ambassador of Morocco to the United Nations in Geneva (2006-2008) and New York (2001-2003 and 2008-2014), as well as President of the Security ...
Fathallah Oualalou
Senior Fellow
Fathallah Oualalou is an economist, Senior Fellow at the Policy Center for the New South.  He obtained his PhD in economics from the University of Paris in 1968. Prior to joining the Policy Center for the New South, he served as a professor at Mohammed V University in Rabat and other higher education institutions in Morocco, and as an associate professor at several foreign universities. He is the author of numerous books and articles in the fields of economic theory, financial economics, international economic relations, the economies of Maghreb countries, the Arab world, and the Euro-Mediterranean area. In addition, he was the president of the Association of Moroccan Economists at the Union of Arab Economists. His political activism began with the creation, in the 1960s, of ...
El Mostafa Rezrazi
Senior Fellow
Dr El Mostafa Rezrazi is a professor of Crisis Management, and Security Studies and a Senior Fellow at the Policy Center for the New South who focuses on Terrorism, Security and East Asia studies. His area of Expertise covers Afro-Asian Affairs, Strategic & Security Studies, Terrorism, Extremism and Deradicalization, mainly from the view of Criminal; Legal and Forensic Psychology.  He got his Ph.D. in Regional & International Affairs from the University of Tokyo in 1998, and later a Doctorate from the University of Mohammed V on the Psychological dynamisms of Suicide Bombers (2014). He is the executive director of the Moroccan Observatory on Extremism and Violence, Director of the African Center for Asian Studies, Rabat. Currently, he is Visiting Professor at the Univ ...
Abdallah Saaf
Senior Fellow
Professor Abdallah Saaf is Senior Fellow at the Policy Center for the New South, Affiliate Professor at the Faculty of Governance, Economic and Social Sciences (FGSES) of the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P), Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Mohammed V University in Rabat, and Director of the Center for Studies in Social Sciences Research (CERSS), as well as founder of the Moroccan Association of Political Science. His research focuses on political science, international relations, policies and development strategies as well as public policies. Professor Saaf was a member of the commission in charge of revising the Constitution in July 2011, and member of the Scientific Committee at the Global Forum for Humans rights. Professor Saaf was formerly Minister of ...

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