Morocco Participates in Turkey-Africa Economic and Business Forum

Turkish President Recep Tayyib Erdogan delivered the opening speech at the forum. Photo credit: Anadolu Agency

Morocco took part on October 8-9 in the Turkey-Africa Economic and Business Forum. The event took place digitally through videoconferences.

Morocco’s Ambassador to Ankara, Mohamed Ali Lazrak, represented the country in the event.

The Moroccan diplomat attended several meetings during the forum, including the opening session chaired by Turkish President Recep Tayyib Erdogan.

The participation of Morocco in the event is the first time a Moroccan official attends a Turkish-organized event since the disagreement between the two countries in early 2020.

In January, Morocco’s Minister of Industry, Moulay Hafid Elalamy, said Morocco loses $2 billion annually through its Free Trade Agreement with Turkey, emphasizing the need to review it.

Morocco and Turkey began reviewing their trade deal in February but suspended negotiations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The two countries resumed their negotiations in August.

On August 24, Morocco and Turkey agreed on an amendment to the trade deal. The amendment imposes customs duties on certain Turkish industrial products. It aims to even up  the trade balance between the two countries.

The Moroccan government approved the legal text relating to the amendment on Thursday, October 8, which coincided with the beginning of the Turkey-Africa Economic and Business Forum.

Read also: Morocco Approves Amendment to Free Trade Agreement with Turkey

The forum brought together 17 African trade ministers, as well as representatives from the African Union and other regional trade blocs in Africa.

According to the Turkish Ministry of Trade, the event provided an opportunity to discuss several themes and hold bilateral meetings between economic actors, from both the public and private sectors.

During a panel discussion, Turkey’s Minister of Trade, Ruhsar Pekcan said her country attaches particular importance to win-win economic relations with African countries.

The 2020 Turkey-Africa Economic Business Forum is the third event of its kind. The event is organized once every six years.

The first forum took place in 2008 in Istanbul, while the second event took place in 2014 in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.