Morocco and the EU outline strategic priorities for modernizing their economic partnership

This high-level meeting is an opportunity to support political actors in the development of Relations between Morocco and the EU and discuss ways to do economic and trade partnership more strong, wearing and carrier of more value added and growth.

Speaking at the opening of this meeting, Valdis Dombrovskis, EU Commissioner for Trade, emphasized that “this first trade dialogue between the EU and Morocco was an important step”. “The EU and Morocco today have solid and well-established commercial and economic ties: Total bilateral trade in goods amounted to more than 43 billion euros in 2021, the highest level ever and we have a stable exchange of services. But we can do much more, especially to support the green and digital transformation of our economies “he pointed out.

“EU companies and investors recognize The potential of Morocco. They are eager to strengthen their relationships, supported by strong legal and business frameworks. that business dialogue today will facilitate these important discussions. From the EU’s side, we are ready to discuss how modernize the free trade zonefocusing specifically on how we can light further and more sustainable foreign direct investment “added the Vice-President of the European Commission.

For his part, the president of the CGEM, Chakib Alj, insisted on “the need to mmodernize the Morocco-EU Association Agreementderived from 2000so that it can take into account Morocco’s progress and the new economic realities, especially those generated by the Covid-19 pandemic and by tensions in Eastern Europe, such as the rise in commodity and freight prices “.

He also emphasized the key role that the Moroccan and European private sectors can play in strengthening the Morocco-EU partnership and continuing to build a strong and resilient common neighborhood.

Chakib Alj then focused on the strategic priorities of Moroccan and European business leaders, namely one better access to marketsthat green transitionthat the resilience of value chains and Euro-African developmentbefore insisting that a joint effort is urgent.

Former President of the Mouvement des Entreprises de France (Medef), Pierre Gattaz, emphasized the need to adapt the EU-Morocco Association Agreement to the commercial realities of nineteenth century and business needs in important areas such asdigital economy. In the current context of growing geopolitical risks, it is important for Europe to diversify its markets. Morocco is a natural partner ”.

Furthermore, Minister of Industry and Trade Ryad Mezzour stated: “The dialogue between Europe and Morocco is an opportunity to further strengthen the extremely important commercial relations between the two countries. Today is also an opportunity for Morocco to show its development over the last twenty years, which is impressive. Morocco has taken extraordinary steps; first thanks to His Majesty the King’s vision that God helps him; then to the stability that has been ensured, to the strategic visions, to the enormous sacrifice that has been made to build world-class infrastructure, to strong sectoral visions and strategies that are beginning to bear fruit and that have shown and demonstrated that The positioning of Morocco today is able to meet all the challenges of the current era and respond to all crises and strategic issues in Morocco, but also in Europe and Africa. »

“Today, Morocco is a reliable, secure partner; -one attractive investment land for Europe, but not only for all partners around the world who are strongly interested in Morocco. We have revealed this situation to our European partners by inviting them to speed up their investments with us, because if they do not, others will do it, ”the Minister continued.

The business dialogue between Morocco and the EU was marked by one Panel debate with the participation of Badr AliouaChairman of the International Commission of the General Association of Moroccan Enterprises (CGEM); Abir LemsefferChief Coordinator of CGEM’s relations with European institutions and Deputy Director of Azura; Hakim MarrakchiChairman and CEO of Maghreb Industry; Mia Lahlou GiancarliCEO of Pharma 5; Edwin SluismansVice-President of EuroCham Morocco; Khalodoun BouacidaCEO and Head of the North and West Africa Region of BASF Morocco; Bassim BennaniMarketing Director for North and West Africa at Nokia.

The exchanges made it possible to identify one a number of challenges encountered by economic actors in connection with investment and trade between Morocco and the EU. The private sector has clearly expressed its desire not only to protect the trade link between Morocco and the EU, but also to update it. The discussions also focused on opportunities to seizeespecially as regards innovation, digital and sustainability.

As a reminder, CGEM and the European Employers’ Association BusinessEurope have adopted, in September last yeara the Trade and Investment Modernization Pact between Morocco and the European Union.

It rests on 8 columns : I ‘investmentI’agreement on the reduction of non-tariff barriers to industrial products, including an agreement on the mutual recognition of rules and standards;that services and transportthat professional qualificationsthat customs casesthat VSMEthat climate Business and Food safety.

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