Morocco obtained 115 votes out of 160 to be again part of the council of the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The Moroccan Ministry of Transport and Logistics hailed this news as a sign of the country’s “important role” in maritime safety and security.
Morocco’s re-election has once again confirmed its efforts in international trade and shipping, but the kingdom remains outside the categories that classify it as having the “greatest interest” in international shipping and maritime trade. Morocco’s re-election places it among the Bahamas, Belgium, Chile, Cyprus, Denmark, Egypt, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kenya, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, the Philippines, Qatar, the Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Thailand, Turkey and Vanuatu.
They are described as “Category C” countries which “have special interests in maritime transport or navigation and whose election to the Council will ensure the representation of all the major geographical areas of the world”. If Morocco’s place in the Council is a sign of the kingdom’s contribution to global maritime trade, the country’s emergence as a trade hub between Europe, the United States and Africa could indicate that Morocco deserves to be considered a category B or A country in the near future.
Category “A” countries are the 10 states “with the greatest interest in providing international shipping services.” This category currently includes trade and shipping giants like China, UK and US, but also less obvious choices like Greece, Italy, Japan, Norway, Panama, South Korea and Russia.
If Morocco does not move up to category “A” in the near future, category “B” could also be considered. This category indicates “10 States with the greatest interest in international maritime trade”, which includes traditional trading countries such as the Netherlands and Germany, but also Sweden, UAE, Australia and Brazil.
As Morocco’s status in manufacturing and international trade grows, especially with the anticipated emergence of Dakhla as a major new transit center for international trade, the country may soon see his status rose within the IMO.
If Morocco’s election to the third category is cause for celebration, the country could soon take its place among the top 20 countries in the world for maritime trade. The IMO will see another election in 2023, and Morocco could see its status further elevated within the global maritime institution if the country’s current ambitions are realized.