Countries in the Committee of Foreign Trade Ministers of Agadir are negotiating with the European Union (EU) to fund the fourth phase of the technical unit of the Agadir Agreement programmes with at least €4m.
Minister of Industry and Foreign Trade Tarek Qabil said the EU had funded the three programmes for the activities of the Technical Unit (Agadir 1, Agadir 2, and Agadir 3) with the amount of €4m.
The minister added that these activities contributed to the activation of the Euro-Mediterranean cooperation.
On the sidelines a conference held for the Committee of Foreign Trade Ministers of Agadir countries, Qabil noted that trade exchange between Agadir Agreement member states did not exceed $500m and it is targeted to increase in the coming years.
The committee has not held a meeting in six years due to changes in the region’s political climate as a result of the Arab uprisings in the past years.
Qabil pointed out that the Agadir Agreement represents the first regional free trade agreement associated with the Barcelona Declaration, which contributes to the establishment of the Euro-Mediterranean Free Trade Area.
During the conference, the committee announced that Lebanon and Palestine would join the agreement, which already includes Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, and Jordan.
The trade ministers of the four countries signed joint cooperation agreements in the fields of anti-dumping, supporting competition, settlement of disputes, and protection of intellectual property.
“The economic challenges facing Arab countries need to re-activate the Agadir Agreement, encourage the private sector, create joint ventures and stimulate investment among member states,” Qabil said.
Technical Unit activities of the Agadir Agreement began work on 8 April 2007 as a formal institution to follow up on the implementation of the Agadir Agreement. The unit seeks to provide advice and technical support and carry out substantive studies for all matters relating to the agreement.
The Agadir Agreement was signed in Morocco in 2007 to increase the trade exchange between the agreement’s members and to establish a free trade area among the four countries with the support of EU.