Besides some sectors, such as the automotive and phosphate industries, Morocco’s FTA with Turkey has unbalanced deficits, CGEM believes.
Rabat – The General Confederation of Moroccan Enterprises (CGEM) has released a statement on the country’s Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Turkey. The CGEM comment is in line with Morocco’s official position regarding the deal.
Chairman of the CGEM business environment commission Karim Tazi said the office’s position on the FTA “is very clear.”
He emphasized that all branches of the confederation believe the FTA with Turkey has an “extremely negative impact on the Moroccan economy”
Tazi argued that Morocco has a balanced deficit in the automotive sector and phosphate industry, but indicated that the country suffers from a notable deficit in all of the remaining sectors.
The businessman stressed the need for the Moroccan government to review its strategy on FTAs, to overcome “win-Lose” deals, “as is the case with Turkey.”
While it is necessary to be open to other markets, this must be done in “intelligent and considered” means, he said.
Tazi announced that CGEM is involved in the revision of the agreement between Morocco and Turkey.
“It is an obligation. We cannot talk about the sectors concerned without being involved in the discussions,” he said.
Concerns over the unbalanced FTA with Turkey broke out last year and were then confirmed by Morocco’s Minister of Industry Moulay Hafid Elalamy in a number interviews and statements to parliament.
The most recent statement came earlier this month when Elalamy criticized Turkish discount grocery chain, BIM. The minister said that the stores are suffocating local small shops in the region and accused them of not selling Moroccan products.
In response, BIM said that only 15% of the stores’ merchandise comes from Turkey.
Elalamy warned that the deficit from the FTA with Turkey has reached MAD 18 billion since Morocco does not import hydrocarbons from Ankara. He added that the Turkish textile industry in Morocco caused the country a loss of around 44,000 jobs in 2017.
In response to concerns, Turkey decided to accept Morocco’s terms to review the deal.
It remains to be seen whether the two countries will reach a win-win agreement.