The statement comes in response to remarks from the Moroccan Minister of Economy, who claimed that the Turkish discount stores force local shops to shut down.
The company’s chief financial officer Haluk Dortuoglu said on Wednesday that BIM’s stores in Morocco get most of the products from Morocco.
“We only send around 15% of our products sold in Morocco from Turkey,” he told Reuters.
Elalamy said on Monday that he met with the president of the Turkish chain, expressing concerns over the lack of locally produced goods in the stores.
“I told him it is impossible to continue in our relations,” Elalamy told MPs at the House of Representatives.
The Moroccan official said that the Turkish chain has resulted in the closure of dozens of local shops.
BIM has a strong presence in the North African country with at least 500 stores, including 55 newly opened shops in 2019.
The discount retailers offer lower prices for goods also sold in other supermarkets such as Aswak Assalam and Marjane.
The BIM CEO said that the company provides job opportunities to about 3,000 people in Morocco. He said most of the employees are from Morocco.
The CEO vowed to increase the purchase of products from local producers in Morocco.
An unofficial poll created by Morocco World News on February 11 shows that 69% out of 2,000 voters ( 1,300) want BIM to stay in Morocco, while 31% of the voters want it to leave.
Elalamy’s statement on BIM comes amid continuous remarks about the negative outcomes from the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Turkey.
Elalamy said the current agreement has resulted in a $1.2 billion deficit for Morocco and Turkish investment in Morocco does not exceed 1%.
The official also complained about Turkish textiles and the negative impacts on Morocco’s economy, saying that Morocco lost 44,000 job opportunities in the industry in 2017.
Maghreb Arab Press (MAP), Morocco’s news agency, announced yesterday that Turkey decided to review the agreement with Morocco to save FTA.