Tunisian minister calls Morocco and Tunisia to promote new partnership
Morocco-Tunisia, Economics, 6/30/1999
Morocco and Tunisia should promote a new partnership to be able to face international competitiveness, said visiting Tunisian Minister of Industry Moncef Benabdallah.
At a meeting in Casablanca on Tuesday with executives of the Moroccan employers' association "La Confederation Generale des Entreprises du Maroc" (CGEM), the Tunisian official called for enhancing cooperation between the two countries' industrial and commercial units and for setting up competitive enterprises.
He said the two states' industrial fabrics are complementary and provide mutually advantageous partnership opportunities.
Echoing him, the CGEM chairman stressed the need to foster partnership between Morocco and Tunisia to consolidate their negotiations capacity and face up globalization. The two states, he said, have the material and human potentialities to secure success to the integration of the two states' economies in world economy.
Morocco and Tunisia concluded last March an agreement setting up of a free trade area.
The agreement, signed on the sidelines of the official visit Tunisia's President paid to Morocco March 15-16, provides for the suppression, with immediate effect, of all duties on some 2,000 non-agricultural products carrying below 10% customs duty.
The other custom duties will be gradually lowered from now up to year 2007.
Bilateral trade is in favor of Morocco with a total amount of $103 million in 1998 against 90 million in 1997.
Morocco and Tunisia are both bound to the European Union by separate association accords that provide, inter alia, for the creation of free exchange areas by year 2010.
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