WAM - 6/5/2006
The UAE and Morocco agreed yesterday to remove obstacles hindering easy flow of commodities and products between their markets.
A joint taskforce will be set up to facilitate two-way trade exchange in a more effective mechanism.
These measures were signed by Shaikha Lubna Al Qasimi, UAE Minister of Economy and Al Mustafa Al Mashhour, Moroccan Minister for External Trade at the end of the two-day first meeting of the joint trade committee. The two countries also expressed their desire to conclude an agreement for administrative and technical cooperation and their determination to fight smuggling through customs.
Shaikha Lubna said after the signing ceremony that the good results of the meeting underlined the firm will of Abu Dhabi and Rabat to push bilateral relations forward.
"The two countries have shown keen desire open up new avenues for economic cooperation and developing its to full-fledge partnership," she added.
The Moroccan minister affirmed that Moroccan government would spare no efforts to further strengthening the unique ties with the UAE.
He said that he was satisfied with the outcome of the meeting. The two-way trade exchange reached $125 million last year — a growth of 94 per cent over 2004 which stood at $64 million.
The trade balance was in favour of the UAE with its exports to Morocco accounting for $96 million.
Earlier, the UAE-Moroccan joint trade committee began its meetings here on Thursday.
Shaikh Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of Economy and Mustafa Al Mash-Houri, Moroccan Minister of External Trade, co-chaired the meeting.
The UAE delegation includes representatives from both public and private sectors and UAE ambassador to Morocco Isa Hamad bu Shihab.
In her speech, Shaikha Lubna said that UAE economy achieved a tremendous growth last year with Gross Domestic Product (GDP) reaching $131.8 billion and per capita income over $30,000.
According to Shaikha Lubna, non-oil sectors contributed more than 67 per cent of the total GDP, while fixed capital formation accounted $28.3 billion of which, 47 per cent were in the form of private investments.
She called for leveraging economic and commercial cooperation between the two countries, particularly in e-commerce, Information Technology, industry, agriculture, construction and telecommunications.
Al Mash-Houri told Wam that UAE is considered the largest foreign investor in Morocco.