Moroccan Government Council Approves African Free Trade Area Bill

Rabat – The Moroccan government council adopted a bill ratifying the agreement to establish the African Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) on Thursday, announced Government Spokesperson Mustapha El Khalfi.The bill has yet to be brought before Parliament for ratification.The agreement aims to facilitate integration between African markets, El Khalfi said.  The agreement would consider that the areas of regional economic communities remain the pillars of CFTA’s establishment, he added.The council reiterated the same interpretation that Morocco made when it signed the agreement establishing the African CFTA.Morocco’s signature of the agreement does not imply that it recognizes the self-styled Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, also a member of the African Union, restated Khalfi.Only 16 percent of all African trade is with other African nations, a low rate in contrast to the EU, where 70 percent of all trade is between EU members.Read also: Moroccan Exporters: Free Trade with US Did Not Profit MoroccoThe CFTA should cover five regional blocks: the Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA), the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Arab Maghreb Union (AMU), and the Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD).The TFTA is a proposed entity made up of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), Southern African Development Community (SADC), and East African Community (EAC).Last May, Morocco signed the agreement to establish the CFTA at the Extraordinary Summit of the African Union in Kigali, Rwanda.Morocco returned to the AU in 2017 after a 33-year absence. read more

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President calls for urgent cabinet meeting tomorrow

The Morning newspaper website said that President Sirisena had called for an emergency Cabinet meeting tomorrow afternoon.The weekly cabinet meeting was held yesterday (Tuesday) yet the President had called for an emergency meeting tomorrow. President Maithripala Sirisena has called for an urgent cabinet meeting tomorrow, media reports said. Several cabinet Ministers including Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Ministers Malik Samarawickrema, Duminda Dissanayake, Gayantha Karunathileka, Rauf Hakeem, Nimal Siripala De Silva and Sagala Rathnayake are currently overseas on official tours, The Morning reported. read more

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