Originally published in Blakes Bulletin on International
Trade & Investment, February 2011
Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Morocco's
Prime Minister Abbas El Fassi recently announced the launch of free
trade negotiations between their two countries. A Canada-Morocco
free trade agreement (FTA) has the potential to expand Canada's
commercial presence in Morocco, the Mediterranean and North African
regions. With the World Trade Organization (WTO)'s Doha Round
of trade negotiations still in flux, the impetus to pursue an FTA
with Morocco can be viewed as part of the Canadian government's
current strategy of focusing on bilateral and plurilateral free
trade agreements with key strategic partners.
CANADA-MOROCCO TRADE RELATIONSHIP
Canada currently maintains a trade surplus with Morocco. Major
Canadian exports include cereals, mineral fuels and oils, vehicles,
vegetables and pharmaceutical products (valued at C$375-million in
2009), while major imports include fruits, woven goods and footwear
(valued at C$138-million in 2009). Although exports have increased
in recent years – Canada's exports to Morocco
increased 22.9% from 2008 to 2009 – Canada lags behind
other major trading powers in the region. As a result, Canadian
businesses have identified Morocco as a priority market for an FTA.
Morocco, a country of 32 million, has been widely viewed as the
gateway to Africa and has therefore been courted by other major
trading nations. Morocco agreed to an association agreement with
the European Union (EU) in March 2000 and an FTA with the United
States in March 2004. A Canada- Morocco FTA would provide an avenue
to deepen Canada's commercial presence in the Mediterranean and
North African regions. Morocco is a member of the Greater Arab Free
Trade Area (GAFTA) and maintains strong economic ties with Tunisia,
Egypt and Jordan (as signatories to the Agadir Declaration). A
Canada-Morocco FTA would better position Canadian business
vis-à-vis competitors, particularly those that benefit from
current preferential trading arrangements with Morocco.
SCOPE OF THE FTA
Canada has indicated that it intends to pursue a
"comprehensive" FTA that would cover a wide range of
areas, including trade in goods and services, investment,
government procurement, environment and labour cooperation. A
comprehensive FTA would likely deliver commercial benefits for
Canada across a wide range of sectors, including the manufacturing,
agriculture and agri-food, and service industries. Canada has
recently shown preference for the comprehensive FTAs over
traditional FTAs (focused on tariff reduction). Canada is currently
in the process of negotiating a Comprehensive Economic Trade
Agreement with the EU and a Comprehensive Economic Partnership
Agreement with India. Canada also has ongoing FTA negotiations with
the Ukraine, South Korea, the Caribbean Community, the Dominican
Republic, and the Central America Four (El Salvador, Guatemala,
Honduras and Nicaragua).
Although no timeframe has been given for negotiations, the
Harper government has committed to engaging all stakeholders to
ensure that their interests and concerns are taken into account
during the negotiations. Therefore, the early stages of the process
will provide opportunities for corporations and stakeholders
looking to increase their presence in Morocco and in the greater
Mediterranean and North Africa regions, as well as for Moroccan
corporations and stakeholders looking to establish their presence
in Canada. Interested parties should take this opportunity to
determine the best possible methods of influencing negotiation
strategies and objectives of the Canadian and Moroccan governments
prior to negotiations beginning in earnest.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
Emotional culture is influenced in great part by the mindset and actions of leadership, although employees also play more of a role than they may realize in creating the culture that exists in the group.
The session will be led by Dr. Robert Brooks, an award-winning author and psychologist. In his presentation, Dr. Brooks will describe the mindset and realistic practices of leaders and staff that help to nurture and sustain a culture characterized by positive emotions, satisfying, respectful relationships, a sense of meaning and ownership for one’s work, and enhanced job performance. Examples will be offered to illustrate strategies for developing a positive emotional culture in an organization.
Join leading lawyers from the Blakes Pensions, Benefits & Executive Compensation group as they discuss recent updates and legal developments in pension and employee benefits law as well as strategies to identify and minimize common risks.
Ready? The company wants its in-house lawyers to be on the front lines, but there is little to no training around how to “look for risk,” let alone how to evaluate it or report it. Our special guest, Sterling Miller, will present simple ideas and processes you can use to spot and identify risk, and demonstrate how to evaluate and manage that risk alongside the business.
While that agreement mandated export measures on Canadian softwood lumber exports destined for the United States, it also protected those lumber exports from the potential imposition of onerous import measures by the U.S.
On September 29, 2016, the Supreme Court of Canada issued its first tariff classification decision since Canada signed the International Convention on the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System in 1998.
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).