As countries around the world grapple with the far-reaching implications of the current global crisis, Morocco aims for a new win-win partnership between the European Union (EU) and Africa in terms of political and trade cooperation.
Ryad Mezzour, Moroccan Minister of Industry, announced Morocco’s commitment to furthering EU-Africa relations during his participation in the opening ceremony of an international conference themed “The EU-Africa trade relations: towards new partnerships.”The online event kicked off yesterday to coincide with France’s six-month presidency of the Council of the EU. France will preside over the European council from January to June 2022.
“It is necessary to define together a common commercial and industrial pact based on the strength of Europe as a renewed and innovative industrial power and Africa which offers carbon-free competitiveness in terms of production, innovation, and services,” Mezzour said in his statement during the opening of the international conference.
The international conference seeks to shine a light on the EU’s partnerships with African countries in terms of trade and investment.
Recalling the association agreements concluded between the EU and the countries of the southern Mediterranean, Mezzour said that trade relations between Europe and Africa need to be revisited in a win-win spirit.
The EU-Africa partnership represents a guarantee of “sustainability, but above all it indicates that it is time to revisit them, to define a new balance,” he said
The Moroccan official argued that these agreements have favored the growth of trade relations and investments between Africa and Europe.
The North-South-South cooperation must be part of a “joint complementary” approach, in particular the maintenance and the development of European industries installed in Africa, according to Mezzour.
He also spoke about the challenges in the global economy, saying it is experiencing a strong but “uneven recovery.”
Mezzour further cited the emergence of large regional economic blocs, which he said are having a noticeable impact on global trade rules.
He emphasized that all these challenges show that the EU-Africa partnership must be a priority for both sides to consolidate a sustainable regional economic recovery in the post-COVID period.