Both nations are condemned to understand each other and to collaborate in business matters; their geographical proximity and strategic position make an understanding indispensable in order to take advantage of all their potential

There can only be collaboration and complementarity between Spain and Morocco

Zakkia Sekkat, directora general de Poudrox Industries - ATALAYAR/GUILLERMO LÓPEZ
Zakiya Sekkat, CEO of Poudrox Industries - ATALAYAR/GUILLERMO LÓPEZ

Zakiya Sekkat, President and CEO of the Poudrox Industries Group, gave Atalayar her views on business collaboration between Spain and Morocco, at the end of the 3rd Logistics Meeting of the Tangiers-Tetouan-Al Hoceima region, organized by Logismed in collaboration with Investangier, the Regional Investment Center of the Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima region.​ 

What is your assessment of this conference on logistics cooperation between Spain and Morocco, between Barcelona and Tangiers-Tetouan-Al Hoceima? 

This type of conference is very important for us, as an industrial operator. Firstly, because they allow us to get to know the potential that exists in each region, both in the Catalan region and in the region of Tangiers and its surroundings, in the port of Tangiers Med, and the possibilities for cooperation and collaboration in the logistics products that interest us.  

At the same time, it is a day that allows us to point out the difficulties we have, the shortcomings precisely in relation to what we would like to have in Catalan-Moroccan cooperation.

Is collaboration better than competition between Spain and Morocco, and companies from both countries? 

Undoubtedly. First of all, we never thought that there could be competition between Morocco and Spain. Even in the most difficult times from a political point of view, we have always had a relationship between the two countries. During the periods when there was a semblance of competition between the two for agricultural products, we, as an industrial operator, never felt that there was real competition. We have always felt that there was only a possible complementarity, a possible collaboration. In fact, we were one of the largest importers of Spanish chemical products to Morocco in 1994.  

You can't just think in terms of competition or rivalry, you have to think in terms of collaboration. And the fact that our countries are so close to each other forces us to think in terms of complementarity and collaboration.

Zakkia Sekkat, directora general de Poudrox Industries
Zakiya Sekkat, CEO of Poudrox Industries - ATALAYAR/GUILLERMO LÓPEZ

What is the main product and main activity of Poudrox Industries? 

Our main activity is the manufacture of industrial paint for the powder coating of metals. We are the only company in Morocco that manufactures this type of product, and the only company for the countries of North Africa and for Africa, in addition to South Africa. So our business requires raw materials that we import from Spain and other European countries, from the United States, from Saudi Arabia, South Korea... Our business allows us to get in touch with different countries. 

How would you invite Spanish investors to come to the Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima region? 

In other words, an operator comes to a region if he sees interest in it, if he is interested in investing in a region. So the best thing to do is to be transparent, to explain what we have, to make known all our potential and, above all, our future development programmes. That is what gives visibility to operators, both for their immediate investment and for their future development.

In addition to good business, Tangier offers a good quality of life for those who want to come and invest: schools, restaurants, sporting activities... 

Of course. I am not a native of Tangier, but I came to live here because of the quality of life there. And that was a long time ago. Even more so, now that Tangier has developed well: the road infrastructure has developed, the communication facilities with Spain have developed... so the quality of life in Tangier is invaluable, it's very important and I'm glad I chose to live in this city.

Zakkia Sekkat, en el 3er Encuentro Regional de Logística, dedicado a la región de Tánger-Tetuán-Alhucemas - ATALAYAR/GUILLERMO LÓPEZ
Zakiya Sekkat, at the 3rd Regional Logistics Meeting, dedicated to the Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima region - ATALAYAR/GUILLERMO LÓPEZ

What role has His Majesty King Mohammed VI's impetus played in the modernisation of the north of the country? 

The modernisation driven by His Majesty is a direction with an important objective, because this is the gateway to Europe, so it is not normal that there is a big difference between the ease of living in Europe and the ease of living in Tangier. It was very important for us to develop this region, and this vision of His Majesty has contributed and forced people to excel. 

Moreover, Spain and Morocco are now strategic partners, with the same objectives from a political and business point of view. 

Of course they are. Spain has every interest in being our strategic partner, and has been for some years: it has been Morocco's leading economic partner for the last five or six years. And I believe it will continue to be so, because today Morocco has established calm, secure, transparent relations with Spain, based on openness and partnership, based on working together.