The recent adoption of the agricultural agreement between Morocco and the European Union is a confirmation of the European side's commitment to a "strategic, solid and balanced agreement" with the Kingdom, said Monday in Rabat, the Minister of agriculture, maritime fisheries, rural development and water and forestry, Aziz Akhannouch.
This agreement also represents a positive consecration of the expectations of Moroccans towards the first economic, political and social partner, explained the Minister to the House of representatives, recalling the long process of negotiations technical and political consultations, whether with the partners or with the people of the southern provinces, through their democratically elected legitimate representatives.
The vote of the European Parliament has also put an end to "manoeuvres that have relatively disrupted progress in the agreement", while allowing to shed light on the strategic aspect of this agreement for the population and its positive impacts on both sides, pointed out Aziz Akhannouch.
With regard to exports, the agreement provides for the liberalisation of all agricultural products, including olive oil, with the exception of seven products, including tomatoes and Clementine, as well as certain vegetables whose export quota has been substantially revised upwards.
As regards imports, the products are divided into three categories, one of which concerns products which will be directly liberalised, including the inputs and the agricultural industry necessary to accompany production.
The second category includes products that will be liberalized over a five-year period. These are products for which Morocco has a net competitive advantage and which do not pose a threat to the productive fabric, such as frozen vegetables and certain canned foods.
Lastly, the third category concerns products which will be liberalised over a period of ten years, such as cotton, rice and chocolate, with the exception of 19 products which will not be liberalised with the fixing of tariff quotas to support the Competitiveness.
With regard to fishing, the Minister recalled that the negotiations had led to the signing on 14 January of the fisheries agreement and its Protocol of application which will enter into force after ratification by the Moroccan and European parliaments.
This four-year Protocol, including the Moroccan territorial waters along the Atlantic façade, from Cape Spartel to the North to Cap Blanc in the South of the Kingdom, concerns the fish resources unexploited by the national fleet, said the Minister.