Ejaz Niazi, Business Development Manager at Sovereign Trust (Gibraltar), was invited by the Gibraltar Morocco Business Association (GMBA) to attend a charitable gala dinner hosted by the British Moroccan Society (BMS) in Casablanca on 2 October to celebrate the centenary of the British Chamber of Commerce for Morocco (BritCham for Morocco).
The gala dinner, which included British Ambassador to Morocco Simon Martin as guest of honour, was held at the Hyatt Hotel in the vibrant city of Casablanca, marking a significant departure from tradition for the BMS, which had previously hosted 39 dinners in London and five in Marrakech.
The event provided a unique opportunity to unite the British-Moroccan community of business leaders and key stakeholders who have contributed to doubling trade between the two kingdoms since the UK-Morocco Association Agreement came into effect in 2020. It also followed the 300th Anniversary of the first UK-Morocco trade treaty, which was signed in Fez in 1721.
The UK-Morocco Association Agreement was introduced to replace the EU-Morocco Agreements, which ceased to apply to the UK after Brexit. Intended to cover UK businesses trading with Morocco, the association agreement includes provisions on trade in goods, including provisions on preferential tariffs, tariff rate quotas and rules of origin, as well as intellectual property.
Ambassador Martin discussed Marrakech’s recovery after the earthquake in September and expressed satisfaction with the expanding relationship between the UK and Morocco, while emphasising the untapped potential for further growth.
Since its establishment in 1923, BritCham has played a pivotal role in the evolution of economic ties between the two kingdoms, advancing bilateral trade relations, supporting both British and Moroccan businesses and investors, and creating fresh business prospects for companies from both nations.
The BMS, established by former British Ambassador to Morocco Ronald Bailey in 1975 at the invitation of King Hassan II, seeks to foster connections and mutual understanding between the two nations, by creating avenues for social, cultural, educational, business and charitable endeavours.
To illustrate the strength and longevity of relations between Gibraltar and Morocco, the government of Gibraltar was represented at the gala dinner by executive members of the GMBA, together with members of the Gibraltar Federation of Small Businesses and the Commonwealth Enterprise & Investment Council (CWEIC) office in Gibraltar.
“This event showed that the UK is extremely motivated to see its social, cultural, business and charitable connections with Morocco increase,” said Niazi. “The GMBA’s presence alongside the other attendees from Gibraltar reaffirmed the Gibraltar government’s determination to strengthen its commercial ties with the Kingdom of Morocco.”
The Sovereign Group is ideally positioned to facilitate business between Morocco, Gibraltar and the UK. Having opened its first office in Gibraltar in 1987, which is now Group headquarters, Sovereign has since grown into one of the largest independent corporate, trust and pensions service providers in the world with a global headcount exceeding 600.
Sovereign has built a network of offices spanning major international finance centres worldwide, including the UK, Hong Kong, Singapore, Mauritius and South Africa, with a particular focus on the Middle East region, where we have offices in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and Saudi Arabia.
Sovereign provides company formation and management in all major jurisdictions, together with comprehensive advice and support to assist companies of all sizes to establish business operations successfully in foreign markets. It currently manages over 20,000 structures for a wide variety of clients – businesses, entrepreneurs, private investors or high net worth individuals (HNWIs) and their families – and has assets under administration of more than £20 billion.
Sovereign also provides the administrative support to maximise opportunities and achieve long-term sustainability, from full back-office solutions to assistance with tax and regulatory compliance. This includes accountancy, human resources, pensions, insurance, trademark and intellectual property protection, obtaining local licences and permits, executive relocation and specialist tax advice.