Israeli minister to sign trade deal during Morocco visit next week

Orna Barbivai says agreement would help realize trade potential between countries which 'will significantly contribute to the economic welfare and growth of both countries'

Reuters|
Israel's economy minister will travel to Morocco next week to sign an economics and trade deal, as the countries look to broaden cooperation since they normalized ties in late 2020.
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  • Economy and Industry Minister Orna Barbivai will start her visit on Sunday and meet ministers, government officials and business leaders in Rabat, Casablanca and Marrakesh, the Economy Ministry said on Thursday.
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    שר החוץ יאיר לפיד נפגש ברבאט עם שר החוץ של מרוקו, נאסר בוריטה
    שר החוץ יאיר לפיד נפגש ברבאט עם שר החוץ של מרוקו, נאסר בוריטה
    The Israeli and Moroccan national flags displayed in the Moroccan capital Rabat, August 12, 2021
    (Photo: AP)
    On Monday, she is slated to meet her Moroccan counterpart to sign the cooperation agreement that the ministry said would lay the economic infrastructure for expanding trade between the countries.
    "Morocco is an important country for Israel — politically, economically and culturally," said Barbivai, whose Moroccan-born husband is also making his first trip since leaving the country in 1957 at the age of 2.
    "Despite the existing trade ties and the Israeli industry that exists in Morocco, the scope of economic cooperation is limited in relation to the potential, which if realized will significantly contribute to the economic welfare and growth of both countries," she said in a statement.
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    אורנה ברביבאי בריאיון באולפן
    אורנה ברביבאי בריאיון באולפן
    Economy and Industry Minister Orna Barbivai
    (Photo: Kobi Koanks)
    Bilateral trade has been small but on the rise, the ministry said, reaching $131 million in 2021.
    During his historic visit to the North African nation last year, Defense Minister Benny Gantz and his Moroccan counterpart Abdellatif Loudiyi signed a landmark agreement that lays the foundation for security cooperation, intelligence sharing, and future arms sales.
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