The language skills of Morocco's street kids have always been impressive. It is not unusual for them to have few words of greeting in almost any language you can imagine. However, even The View from Fez was impressed the other day to hear a eight or nine year old on hearing that the young backpacker was from Helsinki, smiled and said "tervetuloa - terve poika!"
Now Moroccan businessmen may need to sharpen their Finnish skills because, although Morocco has long been a holiday destination for Finns, Finland has just announced that it wants stronger business ties with Morocco.
Finland is keen to reinforce ties with Morocco, especially through boosting trade exchanges and economic cooperation, by taking advantage of the country's relations with the European Union.
The remarks were given Friday by visiting Under-Secretary of State, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Pekka Huhtaniemi who is leading a delegation of businessmen operating in communications, construction and civil engineering, energy, health, water and forest.
The visit to Morocco is aimed at showing Finland's interest in reinforcing and diversifying relations with Morocco, mainly in economy and trade, Huhtaniemi told the press following a meeting with Moroccan State Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Latifa Akharbach.
Pekka Huhtaniemi said Finland wants to consolidate ties with Morocco within the framework of the European Union, which, last year, granted Morocco an Advanced Status that secures special ties between the north African country and the EU. He also discussed with Moroccan Minister for External Trade, Abdellatif Maazouz, means to bolster ties between the two countries.
Earlier in the day in Casablanca, Herra Huhtaniemi called on Moroccan businessmen to take advantage of the trade opportunities offered by Finland’s market, and to conclude partnerships with Finnish peers for investment projects in both countries.
For their part, Moroccan officials and businessmen highlighted the trade and investment opportunities offered by the country, inviting the Finnish businessmen to benefit from the investment climate in the country.