Israeli minister to sign trade deal during Morocco visit next week

Both countries look to expand cooperation ever since normalizing diplomatic relations during the Abraham Accords.

MK Orna Barbivai speaks at the Plenum Hall at the Knesset, on May 20, 2019 (photo credit: NOAM REVKIN FENTON/FLASH90)
MK Orna Barbivai speaks at the Plenum Hall at the Knesset, on May 20, 2019
(photo credit: NOAM REVKIN FENTON/FLASH90)

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.

Economy Minister Orna Barbivai will start her visit on Sunday and meet ministers, government officials and business leaders in Rabat, Casablanca and Marrakeh, the Economy Ministry said on Thursday.

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.

 Defense Minister Benny Gantz is seen in Morocco, on November 24, 2021. (credit: DEFENSE MINISTRY) Defense Minister Benny Gantz is seen in Morocco, on November 24, 2021. (credit: DEFENSE MINISTRY)

Bilateral trade has been small but on the rise, the ministry said, reaching $131 million in 2021.