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Further trade reforms would sustain economic growth
25
Jun '09
The economic and trade reforms pursued by Morocco since its previous Trade Policy Review in 2003 have contributed to the positive overall performance of its economy, including its growing diversification, with an annual real GDP growth rate of 4.5% on average during the period 2002-2007, and 5.8% in 2008; nonetheless, the economy is beginning to feel the negative impact of the current economic crisis, according to a WTO Secretariat report on the trade policies and practices of Morocco.

Morocco has taken steps to liberalize its economic sectors, in particular key services. It has reduced the level of its average tariff protection by 13.2 percentage points to 20.2%. However, Morocco still imposes some tariffs at rates higher than the bound levels, and maintains a VAT regime that does not respect the principle of national treatment.

The report notes that a taxation reform, including the simplification of the tariff structure through the elimination of variable duties, and a reduction of the number and levels of rates, particularly in the agricultural sector, would help Morocco to fully honour its multilateral commitments and would further simplify its trade regime.

Improved commitments under the GATS would enable Morocco to consolidate its reforms in areas such as tourism and telecommunications, where its commitments fall short of the liberalization efforts already achieved.

The report, along with a policy statement by the Government of Morocco, will be the basis for the fourth Trade Policy Review (TPR) of Morocco by the Trade Policy Review Body of the WTO on 24 and 26 June 2009.

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