Article on Moroccan Ambassador Visit Highlights Strong Utah Partnerships

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by Nathan Lambson, Intern, Governor’s Office of Economic Development, International Trade Diplomacy Office

Governor Gary Herbert met with Ambassador Bouhlal to discuss the increasingly strong ties that exist between Morocco and the State of Utah.  Due to a bilateral Free Trade Agreement that Morocco entered in 2006 with the United States, Utah exports to Morocco have risen 1,839 percent since the agreement took place.  Another focus of the Ambassador’s visit was the National Guard State Partnership that Utah shares with Morocco.  Ambassador Bouhlal discussed this unique and beneficial relationship with Major General Brian Tarbet of the Utah Army National.  The National Guard State Partnership Program’s mission is to link National Guard units with partner countries for the purposes of fostering mutual interests and establishing habitual long term relationships.  The Utah Army National Guard and Morocco have shared this unique bilateral alliance since 2003.  Utah is only one of eight U.S. states partnered with an African nation’s military.

At the end of the visit, Ambassador Bouhlal extended an invitation to Governor Herbert to lead a trade mission to Morocco in the near future to further develop political and economic ties. The Ambassador also attended a luncheon event where government officials, members of the Utah National Guard and various business leaders were present.

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