A member of the Justice and Development Party (PJD) said that all FTAs Morocco has signed with foreign countries have harmed the country’s economy.
Rabat – Morocco’s Industry Minister Moulay Hafid Elalamy commented again on the Free Trade Agreements (FTA) signed by Morocco and other countries, including EU states, Turkey, and the US.
During a parliamentary session at the House of Representatives on Monday, Elalamy said that Morocco’s deficit in the FTA with Europe amounts to MAD 75 billion annually, including a deficit of MAD 20 billion in the hydrocarbon sector alone.
He reassured the parliament however, that the pace of the aforementioned deficit has decreased due to Morocco’s import of MAD 18 billion and export of MAD 60 billion in the automotive industry.
He said that more than 71% of foreign investments in Morocco come from Europe.
“This is very important,” the minister said.
He described Morocco’s relationship with Europe as profitable due to the flow of tourists from Europe as well as foreign transactions that come from the continent.
Commenting on trade deals with foreign countries, the minister said that the deficit caused by the FTA with US has reached $20 billion, including $15 billion in the hydrocarbon sector, and $3.5 billion in the aircraft sector, especially Boeing.
Meanwhile, the deficit due to FTA with Turkey reached MAD 18 billion, since Morocco does not import hydrocarbons from Ankara.
Elalamy renewed concerns about the presence of Turkish textiles, saying: “We have a problem with” the sector where Turkey is active with in Morocco.
“We lost 44,000 jobs in this sector in 2017, so the deficit has been increasing the problems too,” the minister told MPs.
He recalled that he met with Turkish Minister of Trade Ruskar Pekcan, and the two officials decided to review the FTA to find a solution.
Initially, Morocco gave Turkey 15 days to find a solution. Turkey asked for an additional week which has already expired.
“If we don’t find a solution we will dissolve the agreement.”
He said that Turkey is aware that a review for the agreement is necessary for it to be of mutual benefit.
Member of the Justice and Development (PJD) Idriss Azami said that FTAs with foreign countries cost Morocco a lot.
During the same meeting, the MP said that Morocco should put in force a mechanism that would make up for the losses in the textile industry. He said that Morocco imports more than 65% of textiles from abroad.
The MP said that Morocco should look to defending its own interests first.