Morocco: United States to Host U.S. -Moroccan Business Development Conference

Washington, DC — On December 4, Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs Jose W. Fernandez and Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Beth Jones, in cooperation with the Bureau of Energy Resources, will convene a business development conference in Washington D.C. that will bring together representatives from both U.S. and Moroccan business communities.

The Moroccan delegation will be led by Minister of Industry, Trade and New Technologies Abdelkader Aamara, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Aziz Akhannouch, and Minister Delegate for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Youssef Amrani.

Deputy Secretary of State Thomas R. Nides will provide opening remarks. The conference will take place at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. Attendees will discuss ways to increase bilateral trade and enhance business development in sectors such as aerospace, agriculture, automotive, and renewable energy and infrastructure.

The U.S.-Morocco Free Trade Agreement, implemented in 2006, is one of the United States' most comprehensive free trade agreements; it eliminated tariffs on 95 percent of traded goods. The FTA has bolstered trade and investment between our two countries, resulting in two-way trade valued at $3.79 billion in 2011.

Currently, there are more than 120 American businesses operating in Morocco, which have invested $2.2 billion and have created more than 100,000 direct and indirect jobs. However, in order to achieve the FTA's full potential, the United States is providing $1.5 million in assistance designed to attract foreign investors to Morocco, to foster local economic development, and strengthen the legal and regulatory framework.

Secretary of State Clinton has set a goal of increasing trade from Morocco to the United States, and the Morocco Business Development Conference aims to do just that by raising awareness among U.S. businesses of opportunities to trade with, and invest in Morocco.

The Opening Plenary of the U.S.-Morocco Business Development Conference will take place on Tuesday, December 4, in the Department of State's Loy Henderson Auditorium from 9:00 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. This session is open to credentialed members of the media.

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