MAP le Mardi 11 Février 2020

Turkey Has Agreed to Review Free Trade Agreement with Morocco (Minister)

Rabat - Turkey has recently agreed to review the free trade agreement with Morocco to make it mutually beneficial, announced Monday in Rabat, minister of Industry, Trade and Green and Digital Economy, Moulay Hafid Elalamy.

In response to a central question at the House of Representatives on "free trade agreement reviews", Elalamy said that the Turkish side agreed, after "lively debate", to review the FTA, noting that the deficit of this agreement amounted to $1.2 billion.

The minister noted that trade relations have recorded a deficit of 18 billion dirhams, noting that the volume of Turkish investments in Morocco does not exceed 1%.

Elalamy stressed that the dispute between Morocco and Turkey is "commercial" and focused mainly on textiles, recalling in this regard that the number of jobs lost by Morocco in this sector amounted to 19,000 in 2014, 24,000 in 2015, 35,000 in 2016 and 44,000 in 2017.

The minister said that Morocco has informed Turkey of these prejudices, while calling for a solution that does not harm the interests of the Kingdom, failing which the agreement will be "resolved unilaterally".

In the same vein, Elalamy pointed out that the Turkish supermarket chain operating in the Kingdom does not sell Moroccan products, leading to the closure of several neighborhood shops.

In this regard, the minister said that he informed the president of this supermarket chain that it would be impossible to continue the current commercial relations, suggesting that Moroccan products should be sold in its stores, failing which it would be forced to close down.

Moreover, citing a study by his department, Elalamy said that free trade agreements with the United States, Europe and Turkey have a "clear deficit".

The minister stressed that the deficit with the EU is between 75 and 78 billion dirhams per year, attributing it to the import of fuel for more than 20 billion dirhams and cars (more than MAD 18 bln), while Morocco exports to Europe cars for MAD 60 billion.

He added that EU investment accounted for more than 71% of the volume of foreign investment in Morocco and that the support provided by European countries to Morocco amounted to €1.4 billion between 2014 and 2020, describing the trade relationship between Morocco and Europe as "profitable".

Regarding the free trade agreement with the United States, the minister revealed that the deficit amounted to 20 billion dirhams, including MAD 15 bln for hydrocarbons and MAD 3.5 bln for Boeing aircraft.

He added that U.S. investment in Morocco accounts for 6% of total foreign investment, while U.S. aid to Morocco amounts to $1.2 billion.

Source :