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Turkey Accepts Morocco’s FTA Ultimatum, Reviews Agreement

Turkey Accepts Morocco’s FTA Ultimatum, Reviews Agreement

Morocco’s government said Turkey must accept the proposal to review the FTA or dissolve the agreement.

Rabat – The Moroccan government announced that Turkey decided to review the Rabat-Ankara Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

Moroccan Industry Minister  Moulay Hafid Elalamy confirmed on Monday that the decision came after a “lively debate” to review the FTA deal.

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He said the current agreement has resulted in a  $1.2 billion deficit for Morocco.

According to Maghreb Arab Press (MAP), Turkish investment in Morocco does not exceed 1%.

The only industry growing under the agreement is the Turkish textile sector. However, Morocco lost 44,000 job opportunities in 2017 as a direct consequence of Turkish companies exporting to Morocco.

The official said he informed Turkey of the discrepancies in the agreement, demanding a solution that would offer mutual benefits.

He also spoke about BIM, the Turkish the discount grocery chain operating in Morocco.

He said that the expansion of the company in Morocco has caused the closure of dozens of Moroccan local stores.

The official said that the company does not sell Moroccan oil products.

The minister also announced that he had a meeting with the president of BIM regarding the issue, suggesting that BIM should sell Moroccan products.

The company has 497 stores in Morocco,  55 new stores opened in 2019. 

Morocco’s government has been complaining about the negative outcomes of FTA’s, especially with Turkey, since last year.

The Moroccan minister met with Turkish Trade Minister Ruhshar Pekcan to discuss ways to enable the two countries to work through the problems the FTA has caused for Morocco.

Morocco initially gave Turkey 15 days to review the agreement. When the deadline expired, Turkey asked for an additional week to think of proposals.

It is expected that the Turkish trade minister and her Moroccan counterpart will meet again to discuss the new conditions to review their FTA.

 

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