Qatar and Morocco have finished the second round of talks on a free trade agreement designed to encourage cooperation between businesses in the two countries.
The second round of talks on a free trade agreement (FTA) between Qatar and Morocco were recently concluded, the two countries have announced. The goal is to foster links between businesses from the two countries.
The second round of negotiations were held in Doha on January 22 to 23 at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry’s headquarters and built on the first round of talks in the Moroccan capital Rabat. Qatar’s representatives were led by Saleh Abdullah al-Mana, Director of the Department of International Co-operation and Trade Agreements at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, while Abdelouahed Rahal, Director General of Trade at Morocco’s Ministry of Industry and Trade represented Morocco.
The proposed FTA aims to increase the flow of trade and services between the two countries in order to bring about greater economic integration. The trade volume between the two countries, which already have bilateral agreement on customs co-operation, more than doubled to USD 207 million between 2017 and 2021.
The FTA will contribute to increasing the volume of investments, bolstering exports from both countries, organizing competition, facilitating the free flow of goods and services, and settling trade transactions. Qatar and Morocco have expressed interest in boosting bilateral co-operation in different fields ranging from trade to cybersecurity.
Removing tariffs and other barriers
FTAs aim to reduce or remove tariffs and non-tariff barriers including tariffs, taxes, subsidies and regulations. As a result, FTAs provide faster and more effective market access to signatory countries.
Qatar’s international agreements
Qatar is already part of a longstanding FTAs, the first of which was signed in 2003 with the GCC and the a second signed in 1997, the Greater Arab Free Trade Area. The country has also been part of the GCC-European Free Trade Area and the GCC-Singapore Free Trade Area. Over the past ten years, Qatar has also signed bilateral trade agreements with major global economies, including China, France, India, and South Korea.
Qatar has been actively working to improve trade and economic links with a wide range of African countries, including South Africa and Algeria.