When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Already a subscriber? Log in .

You've reached your limit of one free article.

Get unlimited access to Worldcrunch

You can cancel anytime .


Exclusive International news coverage

Ad-free experience NEW

Weekly digital Magazine NEW

9 daily & weekly Newsletters

Access to Worldcrunch archives

Free trial

30-days free access, then $2.90
per month.

Annual Access BEST VALUE

$19.90 per year, save $14.90 compared to monthly billing.save $14.90.

Subscribe to Worldcrunch

What The China-Morocco Alliance Says About Our Geopolitical Future

As the world's technologies change, so do the countries with not only advantages in production, but also geography and diplomacy. China knows this, and sees that investing in Moroccan resources is a particularly smart bet in the long run.

Photo of workers at a factory in Sale, Morocco. In the foreground, boxes with the Moroccan flag on them.

Workers at a factory in Sale, Morocco

Pierre Haski


PARIS — Amid the global reshuffling triggered by both the ecological and geopolitical upheaval, there is one country that seems to be coming out ahead: Morocco.

Several major investments have already been announced, including one last week worth $2 billion by a Chinese group which aims to produce electric battery components. A significant detail, according to the Financial Times, is that the conglomerate Al-Mada, which is owned by the Moroccan royal family, is investing in the joint venture with the Chinese group CNGR.

Other South Korean and Chinese investments, still related to ecological transition minerals or the battery industry, have announced they will be setting up shop in Morocco in recent months. They are setting a record for the Mediterranean basin.

Why Morocco?

This choice is doubly significant for the Chinese. Firstly, Chinese investors no longer feel welcome in the West and are opting for third-party countries. Morocco is one such country — it has already joined China's Belt and Road Initiative and has no qualms about dealing with Beijing.

Moroccan products will not be excluded from subsidies.

Morocco is also bound by trade agreements with Europe and the U.S. This allows "Made in Morocco" products to bypass the obstacles that seem to be arising for "Made in China" in the automotive industry. Especially in the U.S., Moroccan products will not be excluded from subsidies thanks to the free trade agreement, which is crucial.

To gauge how far things have come, allow me to share a personal memory: precisely 20 years ago, when I was a correspondent in Beijing, a Moroccan newspaper contacted me. They asked for advice to give to Moroccan entrepreneurs who were about to receive the first Chinese trade delegation in the country. It was a blank page, and Moroccans didn't know what to expect.

Twenty years later, investments are multiplying, and Morocco is the third destination for the Chinese capital in Africa.

Photo of the Casablanca skyline with Al Mada's HQ building

Al Mada headquarters in Casablanca

الأمين الحضراتي

A global reshuffling

What we are witnessing is a true reshuffling of the deck on a global scale due to technological and geopolitical changes. For example, China, which was entirely absent from the automotive industry, has risen to the top spot in the world for electric cars, which represent the future segment.

Similarly, this technological shift is making countries like Indonesia, Chile and the Democratic Republic of the Congo even more prominent because of their reserves of key minerals. These countries are trying to move up the value chain, beyond just exporting raw materials. Indonesia has even gone so far as to ban the export of nickel, aiming to build its own complete industry.

New competitors are emerging with stronger cost advantages and flexible geopolitical positioning.

Western countries are in a difficult position: they are trying to repatriate or create jobs domestically that they have been outsourcing for 20 years. But they see new competitors emerging with stronger cost advantages and flexible geopolitical positioning. Morocco is one of them, a friend of both Washington and Beijing and close to the European market. The Chinese have not overlooked this fact.

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

FOCUS: Israel-Palestine War

After The War, After Abbas: Who's Most Likely To Be The Future Palestinian Leader

Israel and the West have often asked bitterly: Where is the Palestinian Mandela? The divided regimes between Gaza and the West Bank continues to make it difficult to imagine the future Palestinian leader. Still, these three names are worth considering.

Photograph of Palestinian artists working on a mural that shows the  jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghout. A little girl watches them work.

April 12, 2023: Palestinian artists work by a mural shows jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti, in Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza.

Nidal Al-Wahidi/ZUMA
Elias Kassem

Israel has set two goals for its Gaza war: destroying Hamas and releasing hostages.

But it has no answer to, nor is even asking the question: What comes next?

The government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected the return of the current Palestinian Authority to govern post-war Gaza. That stance seems opposed to the U.S. Administration’s call to revitalize the Palestinian Authority (PA) to assume power in the coastal enclave.

For the latest news & views from every corner of the world, Worldcrunch Today is the only truly international newsletter. Sign up here.

But neither Israel nor the U.S. put a detailed plan for a governing body in post-war Gaza, let alone offering a vision for a bonafide Palestinian state that would also encompass the West Bank.

The Palestinian Authority, which administers much of the occupied West Bank, was created in1994 as part of the Oslo Accords peace agreement. It’s now led by President Mahmoud Abbas, who succeeded Yasser Arafat in 2005. Over the past few years, the question of who would succeed Abbas, now 88 years old, has largely dominated internal Palestinian politics.

But that question has gained new urgency — and was fundamentally altered — with the war in Gaza.

Keep reading...Show less

The latest