Morocco and the EU outline strategic priorities to modernize their economic partnership

This high-level meeting is an opportunity to support political actors in developing: Morocco-EU relationship and discuss ways to economic and trade partnership even more powerfulwear and carrier of more added value and growth

Speaking at the opening of this meeting, Valdis Dombrovskis, European Trade Commissioner, emphasized that “this first trade dialogue between the EU and Morocco was an important step”. “Today the EU and Morocco have solid and well-established commercial and economic ties: the 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. However, we can do much more, especially to support the green and digital transition of our economies”he pointed out.

“EU companies and investors recognize the potential of Morocco† They are eager to strengthen their relationship backed by strong legal and business frameworks. the business dialogue today will facilitate these important discussions. From the EU’s point of view, we are ready to discuss how we: modernization of the free trade areaspecifically focused on how we can ease additional and more sustainable foreign direct investment”added the Executive Vice-President of the European Commission.

For his part, the chairman of the CGEM, Chakib Alj, insisted on “the need to” mmodernization of the association agreement between Morocco and the EUdating from 2000so that it can take into account Morocco’s progress and the new economic realities, especially those caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and by the tensions in Eastern Europe, such as the rise in the prices of raw materials and freight”.

He also underlined the pivotal role that the Moroccan and European private sector can play in strengthening the partnership between Morocco and the EU and continuing to build a strong and resilient common neighbourhood.

Chakib Alj then focused on the strategic priorities of Moroccan and European business leaders, namely a better access to marketsthe green transitionthe resilience of value chains and the euro-african developmentbefore insisting on the urgency of concerted action.

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

In addition, the Minister of Industry and Trade, Ryad Mezzour, stated: “The business dialogue between Europe and Morocco is an opportunity to further strengthen the all-important trade ties between the two countries. Today is also an opportunity for Morocco to show its evolution over the past twenty years, which is impressive. Morocco has taken exceptional steps; first of all thanks to His Majesty the King’s vision that God assists Him; then to the stability that has been assured, to the strategic visions, to the huge sacrifice made to build a world-class infrastructure, to strong sectoral visions and strategies that are beginning to pay off and that have demonstrated and demonstrated that Morocco’s positioning is today 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, safe partner; a attractive investment country for Europe, but not only, for all partners around the world who have a strong interest in Morocco. We exposed this situation to our European partners by inviting them to accelerate their investments with us, because if they don’t, others will,” the minister continues.

The business dialogue between Morocco and the EU was characterized by a panel discussion with the participation of Badr AliouaPresident of the International Commission of the General Confederation of Moroccan Enterprises (CGEM); Abir LemsefferChief Coordinator of CGEM Relations with European Institutions and Deputy General Director of Azura; Hakim Marrakechchairman and CEO of Maghreb Industry; Mia Lahlou GiancarlicCEO of Pharma 5; Edwin Sluismansvice president of EuroCham Morocco; Khalodoun BouacidaGeneral Manager 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 some challenges faced by economic operators in the context of investment and trade between Morocco and the EU. The private sector has clearly expressed a desire not only to protect but also to update the trade relationship between Morocco and the EU. Discussions were also about opportunities to seizeespecially in terms innovation, digital and sustainability

As a reminder, the CGEM and the European employers’ association BusinessEurope have in last Septembera modernization pact for trade and investment between Morocco and the European Union

It rests on 8 pillars : L’investmentl’agreement on the reduction of non-tariff barriers for industrial products, including an agreement on mutual recognition of regulations and standardsthe Services and transport-the Professional qualificationsthe customs mattersthe VSMEthe climate Company and the Food Safety

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