Jakarta. Morocco is seeking to become a sectoral dialogue partner for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or Asean, and aims to make a real impact which will benefit people in the region, an official said on Tuesday (13/02).
"Morocco is making it a priority to collaborate with countries in Southeast Asia – we want to make a real positive impact in these countries," Morocco’s secretary of state to the minister of foreign affairs and international cooperation, Mounia Boucetta, said.
During her visit to Jakarta, Boucetta presented Morocco’s candidacy to become Asean’s sectoral dialogue partner to the association’s secretary general, Lim Jock Hoi.
Sectoral partnership is one of the ways for non-members of the regional bloc to engage with it. Asean currently has four sectoral dialogue partners – Norway, Pakistan, Switzerland and Turkey.
Sectoral partners’ scope of interaction is limited to specific sectors where their contributions can support Asean’s community-building priorities, a research published by Singapore's Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (Iseas) said.
"Sectoral partnerships require long-standing substantive cooperation with Asean members [to work]," the report said.
Boucetta also held a meeting with her Indonesian counterpart, A.M. Fachir, in Jakarta, where they discussed Indonesia-Morocco bilateral relations and agreed to facilitate more interactions between the two countries’ private sectors.
"We still need to discuss this [partnership] with the other Asean member states and identify potential sectors that we can work together on, based on existing cooperations," Fachir told reporters after their meeting.
He said the fact that Morocco has official representations in five Asean countries should strengthen the case for their acceptance as sectoral partner, which will require the consent of all 10 Asean member states.
"Cooperation with an integrated economic community is very important, they have great potential," Boucetta said.
She said Morocco can also offer support to Asean in development and sharing of expertise on a win-win principle.