The head of the Moroccan government, Aziz Akhannouch, received the Dutch Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, in Rabat to deepen cooperation between the two countries, particularly in the field of renewable energies.
The two men discussed various issues, including migration, regional security and multilateral cooperation. They also participated in a high-profile business meeting with the aim of harnessing the expertise and resources of both countries to advance the development and use of green hydrogen as an alternative energy source.
Rutte's visit to Morocco is part of his trip to Africa, during which he visited Namibia and South Africa on 19 and 20 June. Hydrogen Central reports that these visits coincide with the Dutch government's recent publication of its new Africa strategy, which underlines the Netherlands' readiness to boost ties with African countries and form new partnerships.
It also coincides with the government's recent letter to parliament regarding the use of energy diplomacy for future hydrogen imports.
As Morocco World News reports, the Dutch Prime Minister highlighted Morocco's advantages in pursuing green hydrogen initiatives. "It has undeniable advantages; a strategic geographical location close to demand and opportunities to produce sustainable energy at low cost, thanks to the abundance of sun and wind," Rutte said.
In addition, both acknowledged the "special" and "vibrant" relationship between the Netherlands and Morocco, which goes back more than 400 years, Rutte said on Twitter.
"There is so much that connects and unites us," he added, reflecting on the "exceptional bilateral ties that both countries enjoy".
In his talks with Akhannouch, Rutte expressed his appreciation to Morocco for its efforts in promoting cooperation on migration, particularly in relation to the return of migrants.
In addition, Rutte and Akhannouch addressed several key issues, including the war in Ukraine.
"Our talks today show that we agree on many things. And that we want to invest all our energies in positive relations between our countries," he added.
The two countries established a strategic partnership, reaffirming their commitment to address the pressing challenges of climate change and promote sustainable development through the use of green hydrogen.
During the visit, Rutte also engaged in a dialogue with students from the Netherlands Institute of Morocco (NIMAR) in Rabat to discuss Morocco's role in their region and its collaboration with Europe. This interaction demonstrates the importance of involving and empowering young people in the search for sustainable solutions.
The visit concluded with a High Level Meeting attended by Dutch and Moroccan business representatives and dignitaries from both countries. This meeting served as a platform to facilitate discussions, exchange knowledge and establish partnerships that can contribute to mutual growth and prosperity.
During the visit, the leaders of Morocco and the Netherlands signed an agreement to create an investment fund of 300 million euros over three years to finance infrastructure investment projects with the possibility of injecting additional amounts.
Alexander De Gaay Fortman, responsible for projects in Morocco, Guinea and Senegal in the "Invest International" fund, explained that the fund will mainly finance projects related to water and renewable energies.
The North African Post reported that discussions have also been held with the National Ports Agency to identify port infrastructure needs, given the Netherlands' experience in this field.
The agreement aims to support efforts to address the problem of water scarcity through the construction of water treatment plants and pumping stations.
The two sides also discussed tripartite cooperation with neighbouring African countries, so that Dutch companies wishing to invest in Africa can benefit from Moroccan experience and expertise, given the Kingdom's privileged status on its continent and the significant presence of its public and private sectors in several African countries.
The Dutch Prime Minister said he was "happy" to see that cooperation with Morocco in this area was moving in the right direction.