Morocco imported a significant amount of cereals from Ukraine, reaching $321.5 million in 2018.
Rabat – Ukraine’s Deputy of Economic Development and Trade Taras Kachka recently confirmed his country’s plans to begin Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations with several countries, including Morocco.
Ukrainian news outlet Euro Integration reported on Tuesday that Ukraine wants to hold talks with several countries regarding FTAs.
Kachka said his country is seeking to start negotiations with most North African countries.
“Sometime in December, this will take the form of official statements or memoranda, starting from Egypt to Morocco. Our priorities also include Jordan, Vietnam, and Indonesia,” the official said.
He also emphasized his country’s readiness to conclude a free trade agreement with China.
“Currently, the access of our products to the Chinese market is subject to higher duties than Chinese products to us,” he said.
It remains to be seen whether Morocco will negotiate a free trade agreement with Ukraine. Morocco’s current trade relationship with Morocco is characterized by a deficit, with its imports of Ukrainian goods exceeding its exports to the country.
Morocco’s imports from Ukraine amounted to $351.07 million in 2019. Dominant imports include cereals, reaching $321.5 million in 2018.
Moroccan producers have experienced setbacks from FTAs with other countries, particularly Turkey.
In January, Minister of Trade Moulay Hafid Elalmy expressed concerns regarding Morocco’s FTA agreement with Turkey. He said that the North African country loses $2 billion annually due to its trade deal with Turkey.
In addition to Turkey, Morocco has more than 54 FTAs with several partners, including the US.
“We should not say that all the agreements are negative… Some of the agreements have yielded positive results that should be taken into consideration,” Elalamy said.
The concerns with the impact of Turkish goods on Moroccan producers triggered discussions between officials from Morocco and Turkey to review their FTA.
The Moroccan Council of Ministers approved the amendment of the FTA between both countries this year in October.
The approval followed the government council favoring an amendment to the two countries’ free trade agreement.
The amendment is within Bill No 54.20, which Morocco and Turkey signed in Rabat on August 24.
The new amendments seek to impose customs duties for a five-year period on certain Turkish products listed in the FTA.