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Turkey agreed to review free trade agreement with Morocco

Turkey has recently agreed to review the free trade agreement with Morocco to be mutually beneficial, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Green Economy announced on Monday in Rabat, Moulay Hafid Elalamy.

In response to a central question in the House of Representatives on the “balance of free trade agreements”, Moulay Hafid Elalamy said that the Turkish side agreed, after “a lively debate”, to review the free trade agreement exchange, noting that the deficit of this agreement amounted to 1.2 billion dollars.

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

The Minister stressed that the dispute between Morocco and Turkey is “commercial” and mainly focused 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.

He said Morocco has informed Turkey of the damage, while demanding a solution that does not harm the interests of the Kingdom, failing which the agreement will be “unilaterally resolved”.

Moulay Hafid Elalamy also pointed out that the Turkish supermarket chain operating in the Kingdom does not sell Moroccan products, leading to the closure of several neighborhood businesses.

In this regard, the Minister notes that he informed the president of this supermarket chain that it would be impossible to continue the current commercial relations, suggesting selling Moroccan products in its stores, otherwise it would be forced to put the key under the door.

In addition, citing a study by his department, he said that free trade agreements with the United States, Europe and Turkey have an “obvious deficit”.

The minister pointed out that the deficit with the EU is between MAD 75 and 780 billion per year, attributing it to the import of fuel for more than MAD 20 billion and cars (more than MAD 18 billion), while Morocco exports to Europe of cars for MAD 60 billion.

He added that EU investment represented 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 euros between 2014 and 2020, describing the commercial relationship between Morocco and Europe as “profitable”.

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

He added that US investment in Morocco accounts for 6 percent of total foreign investment, while US aid to Morocco is $ 1.2 billion.

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