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Understanding New Zealand’s Phosphate Trade

Statement from Mr. Maoulainine Maoulainine, Chairman of the Board of Phosboucraa.

I am a Sahrawi. I am also the Chairman of the Board of Phosboucraa, the phosphate mining company operating in the Southern provinces of Morocco. I have been fortunate to spend the significant majority of my career at Phosboucraa, starting as a junior engineer and rising to CEO and now Chairman.

Our company, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of OCP Group, supplies most of New Zealand’s phosphate rock as well as various other international customers. New Zealand is not and has never been “the last country to import” our phosphate rock as has been claimed. In fact, in 2018, New Zealand imported approximately 22% while the remaining 78% went elsewhere.

I have a deep understanding of the complexity of our Southern Provinces’ geopolitical issues. To describe the region as “occupied” is false. In fact, the final political status of Morocco’s Southern provinces is currently subject to a negotiation process led by the Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN) under the auspices of the UN Security Council.

The UN has developed a framework that encourages trade and investment in the area to promote sustainable economic and social development and provide opportunities for the local population. Trade with the region not only complies with international law, it is encouraged by the international community because of the positive impact it will have.

We are proud to play a significant role as an employer in a region with little in the way of job opportunities. Those jobs sustain families and build communities. Our employees are provided with the best-in-class socio-economic benefits, training programs and long term career development.

At Phosboucraa we take our responsibilities very seriously and will continue to work to build a better, more prosperous future for the region and its local people. We work hard to ensure that all of our operations and activities exceed all relevant national and international standards, including those established by the United Nations. Through our education, innovation and other sustainability initiatives, we endeavor to have a positive impact on our surrounding communities and further afield.

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