The ABCC hosted a roundtable on Financial Markets: Drivers for the Development of the Arab Economies at its Mayfair premises on 27 April, organised in cooperation with the Kingdom of Morocco Embassy in London.
Mr Bandar Reda, ABCC Secretary General & CEO, welcomed a high-powered delegation from Morocco headed by Mr Tarik Senhaji, CEO, Casablanca Stock Exchange, who was accompanied by Mr Sekkat Younes, President, Moroccan Stockbrokers Association and Mr Nasser Seddiqi, Director of Corporate Finance & Markets, Moroccan Capital Markets Authority.
The discussion, chaired by Mr Abdeslam El-Idrissi, ABCC Deputy CEO & Secretary General, focused on the achievements of Morocco in developing its financial market and brought together experts, investors and executives from the UK financial services industry.
Mr Reda stressed the purpose of the roundtable which was to identify new opportunities emerging from the financial markets for closer collaboration between the UK and Morocco and the broader Arab region.
The guest speakers explained from their various perspectives how the experience of Morocco in adopting reforms to its financial sector over the last three decades could be seen as a model to be emulated by other African and Arab countries.
Their observations ranged over Morocco’s response to challenges posed by the 2008 global financial crash and the recent COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr Senhaji stated that the main lesson to be learned from the Moroccan experience was that financial sector reforms should be introduced when a country’s economy was strong and not as an emergency response in a period of crisis. The financial markets should be viewed as part of the wider economy and as contributing to the prosperity of the country.
The opening up of a country’s financial sector could create significant benefits and opportunities for deepening partnership and attracting flows of investment.
The adoption of transparency measures and a regulatory framework operating to international standards were key to boosting the confidence of investors.