The European Commission (EC) welcomed the free trade agreement (FTA) signed April 7 in Ankara between Morocco and Turkey. The agreement is a significant stepping stone towards the conclusion of the Euro-Mediterranean free trade area by 2010.
"Now that the network of free trade agreements between the EU and its Mediterranean partners is almost completed, the focus must be on fostering regional integration between Mediterranean countries," said EU Trade Commissioner, Pascal Lamy.
Through the agreement Morocco and Turkey will gradually create an FTA, which includes provisions on technical regulations, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, safeguards, antidumping, services and investments, state monopolies, state aid, competition, intellectual property rights, public procurement and rules of origin.
The Euro-Mediterranean partners have agreed within the Barcelona Process to create a comprehensive Euro-Mediterranean free trade area by 2010. This means that by that date all countries must have signed free trade agreements with the EU and with each other.
The level of bilateral trade between Turkey and Morocco, which was $120 million in 1995, reached $ 260 million in 2003. In 2003, Turkey's exports to Morocco amounted to $180 million, while its imports from Morocco reached $80 million. — (menareport.com)
© 2004 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )