Minister: Morocco Loses $2 Billion Annually Due to FTA with Turkey

Minister of Industry Moulay Hafid Elalamy

Rabat – Morocco’s Minister of Industry Moulay Hafid Elalamy renewed concerns regarding the kingdom’s Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Turkey.

During a weekly session with the House of Representatives on Monday, Elalamy spoke about the negative aspects of the FTA, arguing that Morocco loses $2 billion annually due to its trade deal with Turkey.

“It is impossible to beat them,” he said.

Morocco has about 56 FTA agreements with international countries including the US and Turkey.

Elalamy acknowledged that such agreements have positive impacts in some sectors.

Read Also: Turkish Trade Minister to Visit Morocco Amid Negotiations to Save FTA

“We should not say that all the agreements are negative,” Elalamy maintained. “Some of the agreements have yielded positive results that should be taken into consideration.”

Sharing statistics with MPS, Elalamy noted that Morocco’s exports increased by 16% to the US and by 12% to the UAE.  

Morocco’s exports to Turkey, meanwhile, increased by 23%.  The minister reiterated that not all free trade agreements adversely impact Moroccan markets.

However, Moroccan exports to Turkey dropped by 3.5% to stand at only $690 million. Turkish exports to Morocco reached $2.3 billion annually, Anadolu Agency reported.

Turkish textile exports to Morocco caused stagnation in Morocco’s textile industry, Elalamy stated, noting a lack of new job creation. 

“Today we have a deficit in the trade balance, so we will review some agreements, but not all of them. We either reach a solution or we end the agreement,” he said.

The statement comes after Turkish Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan announced her African tour. The minister is set to visit Morocco on January 15 along with a high-level delegation of Turkish officials.

Discussions of the Turkey-Morocco FTA are set to be included in the minister’s agenda.

Last year, statements from Elalamy suggested that Morocco is contemplating an exit from the FTA with Turkey.

Reviewing the agreement is necessary for Morocco, according to the official.

Turkey, however, is certain that both countries will reach a deal, according to Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlut Cauvusoglu.

It remains to be seen whether Morocco and Turkey will reach an agreement or end the FTA deal.