EFTA and Morocco Discuss Free Trade Relations

Published 14-03-2007
Delegations from the Member States of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) - Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland - and Morocco held their fourth Joint Committee meeting, to discuss various aspects of the agreement.

Mr. Khalid Sayeh, Director of International Trade Relations in the Ministry of Foreign Trade, headed the Moroccan Delegation, Mr. Norbert Frick, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Liechtenstein to EFTA and the international organisations in Geneva, acted as EFTA Chairman.

The Joint Committee discussed and prepared the ground for further liberalisation of trade in goods between the Parties.  The Parties also agreed to start negotiations on services in the near future.  Furthermore, the Parties exchanged information on their respective relations with the EU, recent economic developments and their free trade initiatives.  The Parties also discussed their cooperation in the fields of intellectual property and public procurement.

According to the statistical sources available to the EFTA Secretariat, EFTA-Morocco merchandise trade has significantly increased over the last four years, with annual growth rates in the range of 18%-36% in nominal terms. In 2006, the value of EFTA-Morocco merchandise trade, imports and exports, amounted to around 466 million USD in 2006, representing an 18% increase in nominal terms compared to 2005.  In 2006, the EFTA States exported goods to Morocco worth 279 million USD, up 21% from 2005 in nominal terms, and imported goods from Morocco worth 187 million USD, up 14% from 2005.

The EFTA States' leading exports in 2006:
Electrical machinery constituted Switzerland's largest single export item to Morocco (representing 19% of its overall merchandise exports to Morocco) - followed by pharmaceutical products (18%), and machinery and mechanical appliances (17%).  Norway's most important export item in 2006 was ships and boats representing 33% of its exports to Morocco - followed by mineral fuels (25%), and electrical machinery (15%).  Iceland's main exports to Morocco in 2006 consisted of machinery and mechanical appliances (65%), followed by plastics and articles thereof (22%), and pharmaceutical products (8%).

EFTA States' leading imports in 2006: 
Precious stones and metals represented Switzerland's largest import item from Morocco (accounting for 49% of its imports) - followed by electrical machinery (19%) and vegetables (11%).  Norway's leading import item from Morocco was fats and oils (31%), followed by salt, sulphur, earths and stone (21%), and woven apparel and clothing accessories (13%).  Iceland's main import from Morocco consisted of woven apparel and clothing accessories (44%), followed by fats and oils (30%) and knitted apparel and clothing accessories (13%).