I regret to inform you that the FCI 55th Annual Meeting, which was to be held in Marrakech on 17-21 September, will now be postponed due to the earthquake that hit the region over the weekend. The new dates of the Annual Meeting will be Sunday, 29th October to Thursday, 2nd November in Marrakech. We feel this is absolutely the right decision given the scale of the tragedy and the loss of life.
The reasons for postponement are numerous:
- Safety and security are our primary and paramount concerns for our members and stakeholders. Although we are hearing that the situation on the ground in Marrakech has improved, there are still risks like aftershocks, falling debris and other matters regarding an earthquake of this magnitude.
- Out of respect for those who have perished, the lives that have been severely disrupted, and in support of the government and emergency relief efforts underway, for example, the hospitals, the airport and local transportation to and from the epicentre, it is best we are not present.
- Numerous members, especially those who are regulated banks, have already reached out to us stating that their institutions have put in place a strict ban on travel to the country of Morocco or within a certain circumference around the earthquake zone, which includes Marrakech. To date, we have received numerous cancellations, and they continue to climb.
- It is the recommendation of our local members in Morocco to postpone the event. In their view, it is not the right time to come to Morocco as the country tackles this emergency.
We have reached out to the conference hotel Movenpick and the Destination Management Company (DMC). They have agreed to postpone the Annual Meeting to the new dates (Sunday, 29th October to Thursday, 2nd November). We would once again generously organise the joint FCI-EBRD Factoring and Supply Chain Finance Conference on Friday, 3 November, at the conference hotel (This event and networking drinks during the evening of Thursday, 2 November, are complimentary and open to all). This will give the country some time to come to terms with this devastating tragedy.
As for flights, we expect the airlines to be somewhat understanding and flexible due to the earthquake. We recommend calling your travel agent or the airline immediately to have your flight cancelled/refunded and/or re-booked based on the new dates above. As it relates to hotel room reservations booked through us and your registrations, they will be shifted to the new dates.
As our FCI Chairman stated, we are fortunate that we were not there in Marrakech when the earthquake took place. But we are very sorry for the loss of life and damage to the Moroccan nation. In the meantime, please let us know if you have any questions.
We thank you for your understanding.
FCI Secretary General