Euro-Med pole, sole strategic option to face textile competition, Minister
Regional-European Union, Economics, 9/30/2004
Morocco's Foreign Trade Minister, Mustapha Mechahouri, said, in Tunis Tuesday, a Euro-Mediterranean pole is the sole strategic option for Mediterranean countries and Europe in face of international trade mutations in the textile-clothing sector.
Speaking in a ministerial conference on the future of textile-clothing sector in the Euro-Mediterranean space, the minister said setting up such a pole is one of the solutions to competition, and is the only means to bring back trust to actors in the Euro-Mediterranean textile sector.
Mechahouri said investment and delocalization efforts, particularly in countries of the south, should be increased to profit of regional integration and guarantee a homogenous development to countries in the region.
"Morocco is convinced of the benefits of the Euro-Mediterranean partnership and is firmly engaged in Barcelona process that united European and Mediterranean countries in 1995," he said.
Mechahouri noted that it is essential to integrate countries of the South in the European Union's dynamic of creativity, innovation, know-how transfer and promotion of new information technologies, in order to draw the maximum benefits of this pole and guarantee the development of all members.
The textile-clothing sector occupies an important place in the Euro-med space, noted Mechahouri. He said the sector creates 7 million jobs and has a turnover of 252 billion Euros.
It is the main industrial sector that creates job opportunities in Egypt, Morocco (40pc), and Tunisia (50pc), and it presents over half of exports in Egypt, Syria and Lebanon, he said.
The minister added that Europe is the main importer of textile-clothing products in the region with 42 billion Euros of imports.
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