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European Commission


Brussels, 26 November 2012

Mission for Growth: Antonio Tajani, fostering economic ties and mutual benefit for EU and Moroccan SMEs

Today Vice President Antonio Tajani travels to Morocco accompanied by a 43 strong business delegation composed of representatives of 38 European companies and industry associations from 10 Member States. Half of the companies present in the delegation are SMEs and among the associations, three of them focus specifically on supporting internationalisation of SMEs. Collectively they represent approximately 400 000 employees and 680 billion in turnover. This visit is part of the new series of "Missions for Growth" to help European enterprises, in particular small and medium sized enterprises, to better profit from fast growing emerging international markets. The visit will reinforce partnerships to help industry and SMEs to fully exploit the commercial relations potential between Morocco and the EU.

During his visit Vice President Tajani will meet with the Prime Minister, Abdelilah Benkirane. He will also hold discussions with a number of members of the Moroccan government. With Abdelkader Aâmara, the Minister for Industry, Commerce and new Technologies, VP Tajani will discuss how to improve cooperation in cutting bureaucracy to aid the internationalisation of SMEs in both the EU and Morocco. He will have talks with Fouad Douiri, the Minister for Energy, Mines, Water and the Environment, on joint sourcing of raw materials and increasing product energy efficiency. VP Tajani will discuss automotive issues industry with Aziz Rebbah, the Minister for Transport and with Lahcen Haddad, the Minister for Tourism he will explore how to help Morocco's tourism industry.

Vice President Tajani will also sign Letters of Intent with Abdelkader Aâmara, the Minister for Industry, Commerce and new Technologies, to identify avenues for:

  • the reduction of SME administrative burden via closer co-operation

  • cooperation on conformity assessment and acceptance of industrial products

  • cooperation in the area of satellite navigation

  • policy dialogue on raw materials

  • cooperation in the field of tourism

  • cooperation and exchange of information in the field of standardisation

More generally, the discussions will also emphasise the need for more integrated markets, through the improvement of technical infrastructure and common rules aligned with those of the EU. Vice President Tajani will also encourage promoting clusters and networks for SME internationalisation.

Morocco: Economic background

Surface Area: 446.6 thousand sq km

Population: 32.2 million inhabitants - 2011

GDP in 2011: € 73.1 billion

GDP per capita in 2011: € 2 271.4

EU goods exports to Morocco in 2011: € 15.2 billion

EU goods imports from Morocco in 2011: € 8.7 billion

Morocco posted the highest growth rate in the region in 2011, however growth has decelerated in 2012 partly owing to a poor harvest.

Morocco's foreign trade

Exports: EU is Morocco's main trading partner, absorbing 59.1% of Morocco's total exports. In recent years Morocco exports to the EU have slightly increased. Morocco is one of the biggest exporters in the world of phosphate and phosphate products and it also exports mining products and manufacturing products.

Imports: Most of imports to Morocco come from the EU. In 2010 the imports from the EU to Morocco accounted for 59.1% of the total imports to the Moroccan market. China and the United States are the second and third largest sources of imports to Morocco. The main EU products exported to Morocco are: (i) machinery and transport equipment; (ii) fuels and mining products (iii) chemicals.

Major markets: European Union, China and United States.

EU trade with Morocco

Exports: EU exports to Morocco have slightly increased over time and represent 1% of total EU exports. In terms of major export partners for the EU, Morocco ranks number 23.

Imports: imports from Morocco to the EU represent only 0.5% of the total imports to the European market and Morocco ranks only 38 in terms of EU import partners.

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