The Japanese state minister for foreign affairs, Keisuke Suzuki and the Moroccan minister delegate to the minister of foreign affairs, Mohcine Jazouli, sat down and inked a deal. It is called the “Agreement Between Japan And The Kingdom Of Morocco For The Promotion And Protection Of Investment” (shorthand: The Japan-Morocco Investment Agreement). It will protect and promote investment between Japan and Morocco even more so than in the past.
It deals with how one signatory to the contract will be treated by the other signatory of the contract. One part of the contract is how each nation will treat the other. Both countries will be added to each other’s “most-favored-nation” list. This is regarding the period after investments have been established. The agreement also deals with how each country can treat the other fairly and equitably. It goes into expropriation conditions and how each party will compensate the other. Freedom to transfer resources was another topic of the agreement, as was the process used to settle disputes.
Morocco has been trying to boost its trade, and this is the latest milestone in that effort. It has set up free economic zones. Morocco’s main assets are its proximity not only to other African countries, but also Europe, and its labor force. Its labor force is both inexpensive and young. There is now a trend of Japanese companies setting up in Morocco as a result of these (and other) advantages of doing business in Morocco.
In August of 2019, Japan held an event called TICAD7, which stands for “Seventh Tokyo International Conference On African Development.” Prime Minister Shinzō Abe wants to continue and increase private investment in Africa. Japan has invested over $20 billion in Africa over the past three years.
The mere signing of The Japan-Morocco Investment Agreement is technically not the last step. The last step is for the two countries to complete their internal procedures to ratify the Agreement. In the case of Japan, this means a vote by the National Diet. Once that happens, the Agreement will come into effect on the 30th day after both parties have received notice that the other has ratified it internally.