Morocco, Mercosur resume agreement talks

17 de novembro de 2017

São Paulo – Morocco and the Mercosur have resume talks this week for a free-trade agreement at a meeting in the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in Brasília. Brazil is currently in the rotating presidency of the South American bloc, which also comprises Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay.

“The signing of a Morocco-Mercosur free-trade agreement will enable [Morocco’s] exporters to improve their standing with an economic bloc that is showing robust growth, especially in agroindustrial activities, vegetable oils and seafood,” the ambassador of Morocco to Brasília, Nabil Adghoghi, was quoted this Friday (17) as saying by Moroccan news outlet MAP.

The idea of a trade agreement involving the country and the bloc was first floated in 2004 as the parties entered into a framework agreement which created the legal conditions for these talks, but the talks had yet to move forward.

TAP said that at the meeting in Brasília, the parties agreed to provide one another with additional information on economic exchange, rules of origin, tariffs, statistics and commercial rules. A new meeting was scheduled for the first half of 2018 in Rabat, the capital of Morocco.

In an article published this week on the Rio de Janeiro daily O Globo, Adghoghi said Morocco is going forth with “the choice it made years ago to globalize and internationalize its economy.” As cases in point, he mentioned a number of other trade agreements his country sustains with other nations and blocs, including the European Union, the United States, the European Free Trade Association, the Gulf Cooperation Council and Turkey.

“Therefore, the potential for a Morocco-Mercosur free-trade agreement does not stem solely from an increase in trade between the parties,” the diplomat said in his article. He believes the African nation can become an economic and commercial hub through which the South American bloc’s countries can gain access to other markets.

Exports from Brazil to Morocco reached USD 518 million from January to October this year, up 37.5% from a year ago. The top-selling items were sugar and maize. Conversely, USD 704 million in goods were shipped from Morocco to Brazil, up 37% year-on-year. Fertilizers were the biggest-selling item. The numbers are from the Brazilian Ministry of Industry, Foreign Trade and Services.

*Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum