Morocco-EU: the modernization of the economic partnership at the heart of the Business Dialogue

The first edition of the Business Dialogue, organized by CGEM, BusinessEurope and EuroCham, took place 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 today organized the first edition of the Morocco-EU Business Dialogue in Marrakech, 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 shared desire of Moroccan and European economic actors to support political actors in developing Morocco’s relationship with the EU and to discuss ways to make the economic and trade partnership even stronger, more resilient and fruitful . value and growth.

Speaking at the opening of this meeting, Mr Dombrovskis underlined 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: total bilateral trade in goods exceeded €43 billion in 2021, the highest level ever, and we have a stable exchange of services. However, we can do much more, in particular to support the green and digital transition 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 backed 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, focusing specifically on how to facilitate complementary 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 back to 2000, in order to take into account the progress made by Morocco under the impetus of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, may God bless him, the new economic realities, especially those caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and by tensions in Eastern Europe, such as the rise in the prices of raw materials and freight”.

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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 shared, strong and resilient neighbourhood. Chakib Alj then focused on the strategic priorities of Moroccan and European business leaders, namely better access to markets, green transition, the resilience of value chains and Euro-African development, before emphasizing the urgency of concerted action.

Pierre Gattaz, for his part, stressed “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, the CGEM and BusinessEurope had adopted a modernization pact for trade and investment 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 for regulations and standards, services and transport, professional qualifications, customs matters, SMEs, the business climate and food safety.

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