The Foreign Secretary has welcomed today’s launch of negotiations between the EU and Morocco for a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement.
Foreign Secretary William Hague said:
I am very pleased to welcome the launch today of negotiations between the EU and Morocco for a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA).
The Arab Spring was a demand for greater freedom, dignity and economic opportunity. The United Kingdom has been at the forefront of efforts within the European Union to ensure that we do all we can to support these popular demands. Deepening trade relationships between the EU and the countries of the southern Mediterranean is one of the best ways to create economic opportunity. Trade is a powerful instrument to stimulate economic growth, enhance competitiveness and support economic recovery and accordingly is one of the top three areas of focus for our Prime Minister in our G8 presidency.
The EU is Morocco’s largest trading partner, with total trade amounting to €24 billion in 2011. Over €1 billion of this was with the UK. The DCFTA will raise this trade relationship to a new level, bringing closer economic integration between Morocco and the EU single market. A DCFTA would see closer alignment of Moroccan rules, regulations and institutions with those of the EU single market, so that goods and services can be traded freely.
The beginning of negotiations for a DCFTA with Morocco aligns closely to our vision for the G8 Deauville Partnership – ‘Open economies, inclusive growth’ and is possibly one of the most important steps forward for the EU’s economic relationship with the southern Mediterranean.
I warmly welcome today’s launch and encourage the negotiators to conclude an agreement swiftly so that the people of Morocco and Europe can start to feel the benefits