-Oumaima Iourdane –
Casablanca, June 15, 2023 – Morocco is gearing up to welcome the esteemed Annual Meetings of the World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund (IMF) in the enchanting city of Marrakech from October 9th to 15th. This highly anticipated event will bring together influential figures, finance ministers, and central bank governors representing the 189 member countries of these esteemed institutions. Attendees will also include delegates from the private sector, non-government organizations, and academia.
The selection of Morocco as the host country for the Annual Meetings holds tremendous significance. Typically, these meetings take place over two consecutive years at the headquarters of the World Bank Group and IMF in Washington, D.C., United States, and then rotate to another member country every third year. However, in 2020 and 2021, the Annual Meetings were held virtually instead of in-person, in response to the global covid-19 health crisis.
Morocco is taking proactive steps to streamline the experience for attendees of the World Bank Group and IMF Annual Meetings. With a digital visa application process, participants can now apply online, eliminating the need for physical visits to consular services. In addition, the country has provided helpful resources including links for flights, hotels, and taxis, along with a list of etiquette guidelines and common phrases in Moroccan to facilitate interactions with locals. These measures demonstrate Morocco’s commitment to ensuring a smooth and enjoyable experience for all participants of the prestigious event.
Morocco’s designation as the host showcases the nation’s proven capabilities in organizing major international conferences, while the choice of Marrakech amplifies its global reputation as an open and cosmopolitan city. As Morocco’s premier tourist destination, Marrakech boasts a population of 1.3 million, making it the country’s fourth most populous city.
Renowned for its rich cultural heritage, Marrakech boasts an abundance of monuments and museums, earning it UNESCO World Heritage status since 1985. The Meetings will take place at Bab Ighli, formerly the primary entrance to the city’s ancient medina, named after the guards who safeguarded its access.
Bab Ighli, sprawling across a vast area of over 300 hectares just beyond the city walls, towards the picturesque Ourika valley, has previously hosted the COP22 Climate Conference in November 2016, accommodating approximately 30,000 participants. It has also been the venue for the inaugural African Summit on Climate Action.
The 2023 Annual Meetings present a golden opportunity for Morocco to enhance its appeal and showcase its image as a stable, tolerant, and dynamic nation, boasting a wealth of intangible heritage, historical significance, cultural diversity, and gastronomic delights. It is also an occasion to highlight the remarkable progress achieved over the past two decades in terms of democracy, social development, and economic growth.
As the world turns its gaze toward Marrakech, the kingdom is poised to solidify its allure, promoting itself as an attractive destination while leaving a lasting impression on attendees who will experience firsthand the unique blend of tradition, modernity, and warmth that define Morocco.