Ag minister says trade mission to Morocco a success for Canadian producers
Ottawa, Ont. – According to Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, his just completed trade mission to Morocco was a huge success, laying the groundwork for more open trade between Canada and the North African country.
During the visit, Ritz and his Moroccan counterpart, Agriculture Minister Aziz Akhannouch, discussed the mutual benefits of a Canada-Morocco free trade agreement (FTA). The two also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on agricultural co-operation.
Canadian agriculture and agri-food exports to Morocco, including high-quality durum wheat, pulses and dairy genetics, totalled more than $188 million in 2011. Canada is also the country’s top supplier of durum wheat.
“Morocco is an important market for Canadian pulse and durum wheat growers and we are enhancing our trade relationship with the negotiation of an ambitious free trade agreement,” says Ritz. “The Moroccan agriculture and food market is growing and diversifying, offering new sales opportunities for Canadian farmers. An FTA with Morocco could also pave the way to greater Canadian commercial presence in the Middle East and North Africa.”
This year Canada is being recognized as the Country of Honour at Africa’s largest agriculture trade show, the 2012 Salon International au Maroc (SIAM). The show is being held in Meknès, Morocco, until April 29.