USAID launches $30 million FTA assistance program in Morocco
The US Agency for International Development (USAID) is launching a five-year, $30 million program to help Morocco benefit from its upcoming Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the United States.
USAID's $30 million program is in addition to $40 million in non-military assistance to Morocco that the United State will provide in 2004. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs William Burns announced the $40 million package during his visit to Morocco on October 28, 2003.
According to USAID Assistant Administrator for Asia and the Near East Wendy Chamberlin, the program has three targets: to help implement the FTA, improve Morocco's general investment climate, and develop small and medium size businesses in Morocco, reported Washington File.
The US and Morocco expect to finalize the FTA negotiations by the end of 2003. Chamberlin said USAID is devising a program to provide job skills training and create a public-private partnership to place trained people in jobs. She said major US corporations such as Microsoft, Cisco and Coca Cola will help provide training in computer technology.
Morocco's recent democratic reforms have encouraged the United States to increase its assistance, Chamberlin said. "You've had two elections that have been full and fair. You've had, in the last election, reserved seats for women…We are very encouraged with the direction that this government is going into, and it makes it a good investment for our aid," she said. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)