Morocco begins talks to curb trade deficit with Turkey

Morocco’s overall trade deficit widened by 2.3% to 191.8 billion dirhams ($20 billion) in the first 11 months of 2019 compared with the same period in 2018. (File: Reuters)
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Updated 15 January 2020

Morocco begins talks to curb trade deficit with Turkey

  • Turkey had agreed in talks on Wednesday to review their free trade deal
  • The two parties hope to agree on amendments to the trade accord by Jan. 30

RABAT: Morocco said it and Turkey had agreed in talks on Wednesday to review their free trade deal as Rabat struggles to curb its roughly $2 billion annual trade deficit with Ankara, the North African country’s trade minister said.
“We agreed to rebalance our trade through encouraging more Turkish investment in Morocco’s industrial sector and promoting more Moroccan exports to Turkey,” Moulay Hafid Elalamy said after talks in Rabat with Turkish counterpart Ruhsar Pekcan.
The two parties hope to agree on amendments to the trade accord by Jan. 30 “to avert losses in the Moroccan job market”, he said. “We are convinced that we can reach a more balanced and more significant deal.”
Elalamy did not elaborate. Pekcan declined to comment.
The Moroccan minister told parliament earlier this week that the free trade accord should be scrapped if no deal to amend it is reached. Elalamy said some of Morocco’s other 55 free trade deals would also be re-examined.
Members of parliament have complained to Elalamy about what they describe as “unfair competition practices” by some Turkish food and ready-to-wear retailers whose products are sold in Morocco under the free trade deal.
Omar Moro, head of Morocco’s chambers of commerce group, has said the deal is detrimental to Morocco’s textile industry.
Morocco’s overall trade deficit widened by 2.3% to 191.8 billion dirhams ($20 billion) in the first 11 months of 2019 compared with the same period in 2018, official figures show.


Aramco international listing ‘still on the cards’: Saudi finance minister

Updated 22 January 2020

Aramco international listing ‘still on the cards’: Saudi finance minister

  • The minister said that he was “very confident” that the Saudi economy was picking up speed
  • He said that international investors had responded positively to ongoing reforms in the Kingdom

LONDON: Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan said that an international listing of Saudi Aramco was “still on the cards” but likely won’t happen soon.
He made the disclosure in an interview with Bloomberg News at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland on Wednesday.
The minister also said that he was “very confident” that the Saudi economy was picking up speed, as the Kingdom successfully completed a $5 billion bond sale this week after receiving orders for four times as much.
“Yesterday showed very clearly that demand for Saudi credit is very high and very healthy. We are very pleased not only with the level of debt but also the pricing,” he said. “Demand is very positive. We are starting seeing results of Vision 2030. The numbers are proving that reform is working. We are basically cashing on the successes.
The minister said that international investors had responded positively to ongoing reforms in the Kingdom.
“I think investors are focusing on fundamentals,” he said. “They see the growth they see the potential. We are seeing a growth in FDI, a growth in the number of applications for licenses. The confidence is back in a strong way.”