Morocco World News
Morocco World News
Wilton Park –
11 July 2012
The Arab Maghreb Union (AMU) represents a “strategic necessity” and a “political ambition” for all the Maghreban countries, Minister Delegate to the Foreign Minister Youssef Amrani said on Wednesday in Wilton Park (south of London).
Speaking at the openning of a conference on the Maghreb’s economy, Amrani aid that the Maghreb Union reflects an “economic necessity” that will allow in a few years the creation of a common market and a strong competitive pole of more than 100 million people.
He added that the AMU expresses the aspiration of the Maghrebans for unity and for deepening exchange and cooperation and provides an effective response to inceasing cross-cutting security issues, notably those emanating from the Sahel.
Throughout history, he said, economic integration has proven a powerful tool in supporting the creation of shared wealth and promoting political development.
In this respect, Amrani deplored that maintaining the non-Maghreb is “clearly going against the tide of history”.
He underscore the common challenges and interests between the Maghreban countries which “implies above all, a strong and sincere political will.”
Morocco has repeatedly shown its willingness to move forward in the implementation of the AMU which represents a “ strategic priority for the Kingdom,” he said.
“Ours is a vision of Maghreb countries working together as one to strengthen its instituitions, to deal responsibly with changes registered at the regional and international levels and to engage al its actors in building a prosperous integrated Maghreb, filled with promise of a better future for our coming generations,” Amrani went on to say.
As for regional integration, the Moroccan official said that it can act as a locomotive for positive development, job creation and enhancing the economic attractiveness.
He noted that Maghreban long-term security and stability require the pursuit of a comprehensive process of social, political and economic reforms that can help overcome the root causes of instability in a permanent manner.
In this connection, Amrani shed light on the democratic reforms launched by Morocco which were reinforced by a landmark constitutional reform, adopted following a popular referendum on July 2011.
On the cost of the non-Maghreb, Amrani said that the countries of the region loose about 10 billion dollars per year, which is equivalent to 5% of their combined gross domestic product.
He stressed the need for Maghreban countries to act urgently to create an open Maghreb economic space that is able to respond to the challenges of globalization, warning the Maghreb may “disappear from the radar of investors because of its fragmented and uncompetitive market.”
Held by the Foreign Office, the three-day conference will examine the means to address ways of developing the Maghreb’s economic potential and encouraging intra-regional co-operation.
Themed: “The economy of the Maghreb: a motor for regional prosperity and integration”, the event offers an opportunity for discussing innovative political ideas geared towards the future.
Special attention will be paid to the means to attract investments notably in fields relating to energy and finance