The two countries agreed to boost collaboration in the agriculture sector at the 7th session of the Moroccan-Russian Joint Cooperation Committee.
Rabat – Rabat and Moscow have concluded an agreement that will allow Russian companies to export beef to the Moroccan market.
The Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance (Rosselkhoznadzor announced that the two countries signed a veterinary certificate to supply Morocco with beef products, Russian news outlet Sputnik News reported.
“Due to the results of the work carried out since 2016 between Rosselkhoznadzor and the competent body in Morocco, the procedure for access of Russian meat to the kingdom of Morocco is approved. The Moroccan side signed the veterinary certificate for supplies from Russia,” the statement said.
The veterinary office emphasized that Russian companies have already “passed the inspection of Morocco’s veterinary service.”
The exportation of Russian meat will start “right away.”
Both Moscow and Rabat vowed to strengthen agricultural cooperation at their 7th session of the Moroccan-Russian Joint Cooperation Committee last year.
The meeting of the joint cooperation convened Russian representatives with Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita and Agriculture Minister Aziz Akhannouch.
Last year, Akhannouch said that agricultural products represent 77% of Moroccan exports to Russia. The products value is estimated at MAD 1.5 billion.
Russia is also Morocco’s primary citrus export destination. The minister said that citrus fruits top agricultural exports, followed by other fruits and vegetables. In 2017-2018, the North African country’s exports of mandarin and tangerine totaled 205,091 metric tons to Russia and 166,299 metric tons to the EU.
Since 2014, the growth of trade between the two countries is in the order of 10 %, Akhannouch added.
Russian Agriculture Minister Dmitry Patrushev said last year that trade between Russia and Morocco increased in the first half of 2018 to $900 million, or 20 % more than the same period of 2017.
To boost agricultural cooperation, Morocco also lowered the grain tax to zero for Russia.
The Russian ambassador to Morocco, Valerian Shuvaev, believes that the Moroccan decision will give Russia “more opportunity to increase the volume of deliveries and in general to expand our trade.”
Morocco accepts beef import from US
Russia is not the only country, which agreed to export its beef products to Morocco. Last year, the US Trade Representative (USTR) and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that Morocco “agreed to allow imports of US beef and beef products into Morocco.”
“New access to the Moroccan market for beef and beef products is an important step in ensuring that American farmers and ranchers can continue to expand their exports of U.S. agricultural products,” said Robert Lighthizer, the USTR’s representative.
Moroccan imports of agricultural products from the US exceeded $512 million as of November last year, according to the USDA.
The US forecasts that Morocco would represent an £80 million market for US beef and beef products.
Morocco also agreed to authorise US poultry imports last year.