Rabat, Riyadh eye creation of free trade area
Morocco-Saudi Arabia, Economics, 1/24/2001
Morocco and Saudi Arabia agreed on the need to reach an adequate formula for the creation of a bilateral free trade area.
The two sides, who wound up Tuesday the 7th session of their joint commission, also agreed to convene a meeting of experts during the first half of 2001 to finalize the accord creating the free trade area.
The commission's meetings were co-chaired by Moroccan foreign affairs and cooperation minister, Mohamed Benaissa, and Saudi peer, Prince Saoud Al-Faycal.
The two parties stressed the need to consolidate bilateral cooperation and agreed to hold an annual fair.
Morocco and Saudi Arabia called for lowering obstacles hampering the movement of goods and laid a special emphasis on the promotion of cooperation in scientific and educational sectors.
Trade between the two countries totaled $ 1. 83 billion in 1999, with Moroccan exports to Saudi Arabia amounting to $ 29.6 million.
Morocco's imports from Saudi Arabia consist of oil products, sulfur, chemical and plastic products as well as fiber optic and electric equipment, while exports to the Saudi kingdom are made up mainly of phosphoric acid, canned fish, ready to wear garments, citrus fruits, wood and leather products.
The Joint commission was set with a view to boosting economic relations between the two countries, deemed as not fitting the excellent political ties. It holds an annual meeting alternately in Rabat and Riyadh. These meetings were however suspended for six years, between 1992 and 1998.
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