The American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham Maroc) and the American Diplomatic Mission in Morocco had the pleasure to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the American-Moroccan Free Trade Agreement on Monday, June 7, 2021 at the residence of the Consul General of the United States. States of America in Casablanca.
The celebrations took place in the presence of the charge d’affaires, the consul general, members of the board of directors of AmCham, Moroccan companies very active in exports of “made in Morocco” on the American market such as Domains El Boura, Cartier Saada, Mutandis, Amal Links and also importers of “made in USA” such as T2S, Plastima, Mix Food and Ecomed. Also present were American investors in high-tech and industrial sectors such as Polydesign, Hexcel, Cummins, Spirit Aerosystems, presidents of sector federations such as Amith, FISA, Asmex, CGEM, government agencies such as the Development Agency Agricole (ADA), Foodex, IMANOR, the foreign exchange offices, TMSA, as well as representatives of the ministries of Agriculture, Industry, Trade, the green and digital economy.
A win-win agreement with great growth prospects
The free trade agreement between the United States and Morocco was signed on June 15, 2004 and entered into force on January 1, 2006. The United States has free trade agreements with only 20 countries, including the United States. Morocco. Morocco is also the only one in Africa to hold a free trade agreement with the United States of America.
The United States-Morocco FTA is a comprehensive agreement that supports the important economic and political reforms undertaken by the Kingdom of Morocco. It applies to trade in both agricultural and industrial goods and to trade in services. The Agreement also covers aspects related to labor, environmental policy, government procurement and intellectual property rights.
In 2019, bilateral trade between the United States and Morocco reached $ 5 billion, compared to $ 925 million in 2005 (the year before entry into force). This represented a record growth of 500% since the entry into force of the Agreement.
In 2020, and despite the economic slowdown seen worldwide due to the pandemic, bilateral trade between the United States and Morocco reached $ 3.3 billion. U.S. exports to Morocco in 2020 totaled $ 2.3 billion, and Morocco’s exports to the United States totaled $ 1.04 billion. Several new Moroccan products have entered the American market such as zucchini, raspberry and eggplant.
The FTA has also attracted US and international investment and boosted investment in high-tech sectors, including automotive, aeronautics and ICT.
“There are around 150 American companies currently operating in Morocco – and we hope for more to come! »Declared Mr. David Greene, Chargé d’Affaires of the Embassy of the United States. He added that “This investment has supported the development of the strategic industry, which has enabled Morocco to place itself in the fabric of the global supply chain in advanced and complex markets. “
“Of the 150 American companies operating in Morocco, there are around ten important factories that have been set up in Tanger Free Zone and Kenitra Atlantic Zone. Moreover, Moroccan companies have also set up in the USA to conquer a very attractive market of more than 320 million inhabitants, ”specified Mr. Azzedine Kettani, President of AmCham.
The FTA continues to provide business opportunities for both countries and the growing number of US companies and franchises in Morocco is a strong testament to these opportunities.
The United States recognizes Morocco’s role as a vital ally and key player in regional economic development and is providing all necessary technical assistance and programs to help the country advance the economic prosperity of its people.
Since the implementation of the FTA, the joint US-Morocco committee on the free trade agreement has met frequently to help private sector companies overcome any trade barriers. The technical support of the United States to Morocco has also been strong and impactful thanks to the remarkable work of the Diplomatic Mission in general, and in particular USAID, CLDP, MEPI and MCC which awarded two compacts of global value. of $ 1.2 billion.
In addition, the Foreign Trade Department within the United States Consulate helps the Moroccan business community to become better acquainted with the American market and derive the best possible opportunities from it. In this context, the Service regularly organizes trade delegations, and facilitates Moroccan participation in large-scale trade exhibitions such as the SelectUSA which will be held this month.
“At AmCham, we have the firm intention of continuing to develop bilateral economic relations, which is, moreover, our duty, which we carry out in collaboration with the services of the American Diplomatic Mission in Morocco and the various government agencies. American, ”added Mr. Kettani.
The free trade agreement signed with the United States of America is perfectly in line with the logic of opening up the Kingdom and has enabled Morocco to become a successful industrial and commercial platform, allowing:
- American industrial investors to gain access, under economically viable and flexible conditions, to markets with more than 1 billion potential consumers, ranging from Europe to the Middle East or even North or Sub-Saharan Africa,
- Moroccan manufacturers to access the gigantic American market and its millions of consumers.
“AmCham and its partners are pleased with these achievements and believe that the amount of American investments in Morocco is expected to grow, especially for companies wishing to conquer the African market. Bilateral trade is also expected to double or even triple if all the links in the chain of international trade and the Moroccan-American support bodies consolidate their efforts, ”declared the Director General of AmCham, Rabia El Alama.
This is perfectly achievable if stakeholders continue their efforts to:
- Demystify the American market, its cultural, regulatory and technical specificities,
- Encourage operators to seize the tremendous potential of this market by attending fairs and exhibitions such as the Fancy Food show, WEFTEC, Cosmo Prof, CES, Select USA, and other events endorsed by the US Department of Commerce.
- And finally, by drawing inspiration from the examples of companies that have succeeded in this market such as Dari Couspate, Cartier Saada, Mutandis, Setexam, Siti, Kaya Tea and others.
“With these few supporting examples, we prove that it is possible to succeed in the American market if we adopt the right commercial, financial and approach methodology to this market. »Explained Mrs. El Alama.
“In 2019, the United States imported $ 3 trillion in goods and services from around the world. With the right direction and dedication, Moroccan businesses can take greater advantage of the Free Trade Agreement in order to take a larger share of total US imports, ”added Chargé d’Affaires Greene.