Morocco Strengthens Economic Ties With Austria

New York – Morocco has become a continental hub where international presence is growing in many economic sectors.According to L’Economiste, international trade between Morocco and Austria has experienced a great increase within the last two years.In general, Austrian companies are rare in Morocco. Nanette Weizsäcker-Chaqri, Project and Market Development Director at the Austrian Embassy in Morocco stated that, “Austrian companies tend to invest in English-speaking countries and Eastern Europe.” However, many Austrian companies have chosen Morocco to open new plants and franchises, such as Hirshmann Automotive, Swaroski, Red Bull, and Power Horse, among others.According to the same source, since 2012 Austrian imports to the Kingdom have increased by 30% with more than half of them coming from industrial machinery and advanced equipment.Morocco also imports Austrian cranes, paper, wood, transport and railway equipment.The value of these Austrian products have increased and surpassed EUR 116 million, with a small drop of 0.7% in the first half of 2014.On the other hand, Moroccan exports to Austria totaled EUR 128 million in 2014. Exports registered a growth of 15.2% in the same year, mostly from food products, such as tomatoes and strawberries, as well as in the automotive industry with companies like Dacia.The Federal Economic Chamber of Austria in Morocco focuses on boosting both countries’ economies by bringing investors into the Austrian Moroccan market. read more

Burt says UK concerns on Lanka no secret

He said this in response to a statement made by British MP Simon Danczuk who had visited Sri Lanka recently to seek justice for the murder of a British national in Tangalle in December 2011. Speaking on the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting to be held in Sri Lanka, Burt said the United Kingdom has still not made a decision on its attendance at CHOGM but it looks to Sri Lanka to demonstrate the Commonwealth principles of good governance, respect for human rights and adherence to the rule of law. (Colombo Gazette) British Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Alistair Burt says the concerns of his government on Sri Lanka’s human rights issue is no secret.Speaking at the House of Commons yesterday (Wednesday) Burt said that the United Kingdom has a number of concerns about progress in Sri Lanka. He also spoke on the impeachment of former Chief Justice Shirani Banadaranayake and said it was disappointing that the government denied access to legal experts of the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute who planned to visit Sri Lanka to investigate the impeachment.The British Minister also said that until investigations takes place into some of the incidents reported on the war it will be difficult for the Sri Lankan people to move forward. “It is important to note that we have a long-standing and strong relationship with Sri Lanka. Our close ties are formed through history, educational links and culture, as well as the Sri Lankan community in the United Kingdom, which contributes so much to our rich and diverse culture. We value those links, which we are determined to maintain,” Burt said. Related story: http://colombogazette.com/2013/03/20/uk-mp-raises-lankan-issue-in-parliament/ “We are clear that all allegations must be investigated, whether committed by the LTTE or Government forces, and that those responsible must be brought to justice. We believe that fully addressing and condemning events of the past is crucial to ensuring that justice is done and that Sri Lanka can begin to look forward, not back, but so too are wider measures recommended by Sri Lanka’s own Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission. In order to ensure that the dividend of peace can be enjoyed by all Sri Lankans, it is vital that the Sri Lankan Government make concrete progress in implementing the recommendations, which include investigation of alleged extra-judicial killings and disappearances and implementation of a mechanism to resolve land disputes impartially,” he said.At the same time he said it was also important to recognise that the Sri Lankan Government has made some progress.“I saw the situation for myself during my visit to Sri Lanka in January. Infrastructure had been rebuilt, and I saw roads being repaved in the northern area. I also heard from non-governmental organisations about extensive de-mining work done in former conflict zones. We recognise and welcome such progress. We also recognise that there are obstacles to progress in some areas, and that the way forward will never be clear of stumbling blocks. Much more work is needed to guarantee a stable future for Sri Lanka and ensure justice for all its citizens. The appropriate application of the rule of law is clearly a key factor,” he said. read more