Importance of opening Arab economies stressed by Moroccan PM at Arab businessmen meeting
Regional-Morocco, Business, 5/21/1999
Moroccan Prime Minister Abderrahmane Youssoufi called Thursday Arab states to open their economies, intensify inter-Arab trade as a must without which Arab states will remain passive in the globalization era.
Speaking at the 3rd Arab business forum, Youssoufi said Morocco is aware of the need to speed up the integration of Arab economies and supports all initiatives likely to contribute to promoting Arab economic integration.
He added that the gradual trade liberalization enforced by Arab states should be more dynamic and any bilateral or regional action should be supported.
Touching on Morocco's trade liberalization efforts, the Moroccan premier said the government has moved to conclude free-trade agreements with Arab states, including Tunisia, Egypt and Jordan and is resolved to sign similar agreements with other Arab states. He added that Morocco still adheres to the Arab Maghreb Union construction and the spirit of the 1989 Marrakesh treaty which gave birth to the Union between Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia.
He went on that Morocco considers regional integration in the Maghreb not only as a political, economic and human requirement but also as a means to ultimately integrate Arab economies and Euro-Mediterranean economies.
In this regard, he called for allowing the free movement of Arab citizens, particularly businessmen, insisting on the need to provide to private economic operators the legal and institutional framework.
The prime minister also dealt with the emerging international trade environment, brought about by the creation of the World Trade organization in 1994 in Marrakesh, and its implications for Arab economies.
The Marrakesh 3rd Arab businessmen forum is cosponsored by the Arab business council and the Moroccan enterprises association (CGEM). The two precedent meetings were held in Amman (Jordan) and in Luxor (Egypt).
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