EU and Morocco eye free-trade deals

Presse hispanophone

LUXEMBOURG, Oct 13 (Reuters) – The European Union hopes to reach a deal with Morocco on the liberalisation of agricultural trade this year and on services next year, the bloc said in a statement issued on Monday.

The EU and Morocco also aim to reach an overall free trade deal on goods, services and capitals, foreign ministers from both sides said at talks in Luxembourg.

« The aim is to have a new contractual accord, with a complete free trade zone, some time after 2013, » Moroccan Foreign Minister Taieb Fassi Fihri told a news conference.

In 2007, the EU exported more to the Morocco than it imported, EU data show, with 12.3 billion euros ($16.75 billion) of exports and 7.8 billion euros of imports.

Morocco will acquire an « advanced status » that gives it a privileged role among the EU’s neighbours.

The agreement is statement of intent to move towards deeper trade and political ties that rewards Morocco for progress on modernising government and enacting democratic reforms.

The two sides also agreed to hold joint EU-Morocco summits and negotiate arrangements for Morocco to participate in the EU’s crisis management operations. (Reporting by Ingrid Melander; Editing by Sami Aboudi)

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