High on its status as one of the few African States that got an FTA with Washington, and aware of the country’s pivotal position between the US and the EU (with whom it also has a privileged trade relationship through an FTA), the government of Morocco is somewhat bullish about FTAs and its own role in promoting them in Africa and the Arab world.
Apart from the US and the EU, it has signed deals with the EFTA group, Mercosur, Turkey and the UAE. Regionally, it is an active party to the Agadir Agreement as well as GAFTA. The kingdom is negotiating a new deal with Singapore and Mauritania and may start talks with Vietnam. It also secured a significant trade and investment deal with the West African Monetary Union — where Morocco-based corporations plan to expand and invest in banking, telecommunications and other sectors — in late November 2008. A recently signed agricultural free trade agreement with the EU has been opposed by small farmers in Europe and human rights organizations who charge that the deal promotes the exploitation of the disputed territory of Western Sahara.
last update: May 2012
photo: Mohammenko/CC BY-SA 3.0
The move to embrace a free trade economy has brought a sharp increase in the price of basic goods across Morocco. This is causing hardship, and threatening social stability.
Morocco invited European Union leaders to Rabat on Monday to discuss the transformation of its current Association Agreement into "advanced status" with the EU. The European ministers in attendance underlined their support for the Moroccan initiative.
Pakistani entrepreneurs should take advantage of Morocco’s Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with USA and European Union, particularly in the textile and readymade garments, Morocco Ambassador Mohammed Rida El Fassi said.
Despite a free trade agreement between Morocco and Egypt, entered in force in 1999, trade exchanges remain meager between the two.
Recent difficulties in the implementation of Morocco’s free trade agreement with the UAE have raised questions regarding the kingdom’s readiness for trade liberalisation. They might also further delay the entry into force of more crucial free trade deals.
Morocco and Gabon might relaunch negotiations to establish a free trade zone with view to reinforcing trade exchanges and promoting economic integration with countries of central Africa.