Held in Marrakech on the first trade dialogue between Morocco and the EU

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.

In a speech on this occasion, the Vice-President of the European Commission, Valdis Dombrovskis, emphasized that this first trade dialogue between Morocco and the EU was an “important step” and noted that the EU and Morocco “today maintain strong and well-established trade”. 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 trade in services. But we can do much more, especially to support the green and digital transformation of our economies, ”he said.

In this regard, he said that “EU companies and investors recognize the potential of Morocco,” noting that they are eager to strengthen their relations, supported by solid legal and commercial frameworks.

“From an EU perspective, we are ready to discuss how to modernize the free trade area, specifically focusing on how we can facilitate further and more sustainable foreign direct investment,” he said.

For his part, the Minister of Industry and Trade, Ryad Mezzour, indicated that the business dialogue between Morocco and the EU is an opportunity to further strengthen the important commercial relations between the two parties and reveal Morocco’s impressive developments over the last 20 years.

And to recall that Morocco has taken “extraordinary steps” and introduced “strong” sectoral strategies that are beginning to bear fruit, confirming Morocco’s position, which today is capable of meeting all the challenges of the era. to local but also European and African strategic issues.

As a result, Morocco represents a secure and reliable partner and an attractive investment country for Europe and for all partners around the world who are strongly interested in the Kingdom’s assets, the Minister emphasized. The President of the CGEM, Chakib Alj, 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 Morocco’s progress and the new economic realities, especially those created. of the Covid-19 pandemic and of the tensions in Eastern Europe.

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.

Sir. AlJ then focused on the strategic priorities of Moroccan and European business leaders, namely better access to markets, the green transition, the resilience of value chains and Euro-African development, before insisting on urgent action.

During this meeting, the discussions identified a number of challenges facing economic actors in relation to 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. Discussions also focused on the opportunities to be seized, in particular in terms of innovation, digital technology and sustainability.

Last September, CGEM and BusinessEurope adopted a trade and investment modernization pact between Morocco and the European Union, based on 8 pillars.

These are investments, the agreement on the reduction of non-tariff barriers for industrial products, including an agreement on mutual recognition of rules and standards, services and transport, professional qualifications, customs, SMEs, the business environment and food safety.

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