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  • Print publication year: 2016
  • Online publication date: October 2016

6 - From Marrakesh to Nairobi: Africa – A Force for the World Trading System: From the Past Twenty Years to the Next Twenty Years

from Part I - The Future of the Multilateral Trading System: Perspectives from African Policy-Makers and Partners



Morocco’s membership of the GATT and WTO has been part of an overall strategy of the Government of the Kingdom of Morocco, at the instigation of the late King Hassan II, to introduce a package of institutional and socio-economic reforms, which sought mainly to modify and diversify the structure of the national economy, optimize the allocation of its resources and ensure its integration into the world economy. Being a Member of the Multilateral Trading System is also an expression of the government’s wish to integrate more fully into the world economy by anchoring its reforms in the legal primacy of an international agreement, rather than just in domestic legislation, as reaffirmed by the Constitution adopted in 2011. In doing so, Morocco made opening up its economy a firm and irreversible commitment.

Through the WTO and its wide network of free trade agreements, Morocco is moving to the next phase of its trade and investments policies, focusing on value-added exports and world-class infrastructures as well as on renewable energy. Twenty years after Marrakesh, the system still carries value for Morocco and Africa and will certainly be a tool for trade and investments in the next two decades. Africa’s role needs to be strengthened. While Africa’s share in world trade has improved considerably over the past decade, it is difficult to accept that a continent which represents more than the 15 per cent of the world’s population should still account for only 3 per cent of world trade. The legitimate objective that we should probably all be pursuing over the next few decades is matching Africa’s share in world trade with its share in the world’s population.

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African Perspectives on Trade and the WTO
  • Online ISBN: 9781316795873
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