Morocco-EU: the modernization of economic partnership at the heart of business dialogue

The first edition of the Business Dialogue, organized by CGEM, BusinessEurope and EuroCham, was held today in Marrakech in the presence of the Executive Vice-President of the European Commission, Valdis Dombrovskis. Morocco and the EU have expressed their common desire to strengthen bilateral economic cooperation.

The General Confederation of Moroccan Enterprises (CGEM), the European Commission, BusinessEurope and Eurocham Morocco organized today in Marrakech the 1st edition of the Morocco-EU Business Dialogue in the presence of Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice-President of the European Commission, Ryad Mezzour, Minister of Industry and Trade Chakib Alj, President of CGEM and Pierre Gattaz, President of BusinessEurope.

This high-level meeting represents the common desire of Moroccan and European economic actors to support political actors in the development of relations between Morocco and the EU and to discuss ways in which the economic and commercial partnership can be made even stronger, more resilient and more fruitful. value and growth.

Speaking at the opening of this meeting, Mr Dombrovskis emphasized that “this first business dialogue between the EU and Morocco was an important step. The EU and Morocco today have strong and well-established trade and economic ties: the total bilateral trade in goods amounts to ”to over € 43 billion 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.”

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He added that “EU companies and investors recognize Morocco’s potential. They are eager to strengthen their relationship, supported by strong legal and business frameworks. Today’s Business Dialogue will facilitate these important discussions. From an EU perspective, we are ready to discuss how to modernize the free trade area, and focus specifically on how we can facilitate further and more sustainable foreign direct investment. “

The President of the CGEM, for his part, insisted on “the need to modernize the association agreement between Morocco and the EU, which dates from 2000, so that it can take into account the progress that Morocco has made during the advance of His Majesty King Mohammed VI. May God help him, 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. “

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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 common, strong and resilient neighborhood. Chakib Alj then focused on the strategic priorities of Moroccan and European business leaders, namely better access to markets, green conversion, the resilience of value chains and Euro-African development, before insisting on urgent action.

Pierre Gattaz, for his part, emphasized “the need to adapt the EU-Morocco Association Agreement to the commercial realities of the 21st century and to the needs of companies in key areas such as the digital economy. In the current context of growing geopolitical risks, it is important for Europe to diversify its markets, and Morocco is a natural partner ”.

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Last September, CGEM and BusinessEurope adopted a trade and investment modernization pact between the Kingdom of Morocco and the European Union, based on 8 pillars: investment, the agreement on the reduction of barrier tariffs for industrial products, including an agreement on mutual recognition of rules and standards, services and transport, professional qualifications, customs, VSMEs, the business environment and food security.

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