The African Development Bank (AfDB) issued a report on Morocco’s efforts to strengthen economic ties with African countries, noting that the Kingdom is steadily becoming a main economic hub in the continent.
The report dubbed “Analysis of Morocco’s Trade Policy,” sheds light on the progress of Morocco’s trade with Africa and recommends lowering custom duties with African countries.
“Morocco’s trade with Africa has increased by 20% in recent years, i.e. a 1.5 billion dollar increase and recently accelerated with a 13% growth in trade with sub-Saharan Africa in 2014,” says the report.
The AfDB underscores that Morocco’s return to the African Union and its bid to join the West African economic community (ECOWAS) are part of efforts to strengthen the Kingdom’s position as an economic hub.
The report adds that the growth rate experienced by African economies lures Morocco’s operators to boost exports towards the continent through sealing trade agreements.
Morocco’s trade continues to be geared towards the following countries in sub-Saharan Africa: Guinea, Senegal, Equatorial Guinea, Cô̂te d’Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Angola, Nigeria and Mauritania in addition to Algeria, Egypt and Tunisia.
I terms of Moroccan imports, the report highlights the difficulties faced by Sub-Saharan products in entering the Moroccan market, noting that these products comprise notably coal (15. 8%), coffee (13.6%), animal feedstuffs (11.2%), spices (6.2%) and inorganic chemical products (4.7%).
“A reduction in customs duties remains a trade policy tool that could effectively boost bilateral trade flows with a positive impact for Morocco and the rest of the world, in particular, sub-Saharan Africa,” recommends the AfDB.