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Morocco Week in Review 
July 17 2004

Message to the Congress of the United States
Moroccan King: talks with Bush, fresh impetus to strategic partnership
US Ways and Means Committee informally approves draft legislation for FTA with Morocco
US approves trade deal with Morocco.
AFBF Supports Morocco FTA.
Morocco's 2004 GDP up 3.3 pct, above forecast .
Morocco launches first survey on handicapped
UNICEF: Morocco, a model in child protection in the region
Royal adviser, UNICEF-Mena chief probe cooperation
Ten million Arab children do not go to school, speaker
Caritas-Morocco Aims to Rebuild 2 Schools
Over 360,000 jobs created between Q1 2003, Q1 2004 (survey)
Morocco's tourism program aims to generate 80,000 jobs
Italy to co-finance 3.5 Mn Euro-worth projects in Morocco.
Moroccan MP criticizes as 'vague' Arab Women Congress recommendations.
Italy to co-finance two projects in Morocco
EC allocates 275 Mn euro to Morocco to implement National Indicative program
EU to give 275 million Euros to Morocco in assistance over 2005-06
Moroccan writer awarded Pablo Neruda prize
Tangier to host first international Art and Music Festival.
China expresses concern on Morocco's pesticide test in green tea

Message to the Congress of the United States

TO THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES:
I am pleased to transmit legislation and supporting documents prepared by my Administration to implement the United States-Morocco Free Trade Agreement (the "Agreement" or the "FTA"). This Agreement enhances our bilateral relationship with a longstanding partner in the North Africa and Middle East region. The Agreement will benefit the people of the United States and Morocco, illustrating to other developing countries the advantages of open markets. This Agreement is a strong demonstration of my Administration's commitment to opening markets, leveling the playing field, and expanding opportunities for American workers, manufacturers, businesses, farmers, and consumers. In negotiating this Agreement, my Administration was guided by the negotiating objectives set out in the Trade Act of 2002. The Agreement will expand Morocco's market for U.S. manufactured goods, agricultural products, services, and investment. As soon as this Agreement enters into force, tariffs will be eliminated on virtually all manufactured goods traded between our countries.

The Agreement provides U.S. producers of beef, poultry, wheat, corn, soybeans, and other agriculture products with increased access to Morocco's market, while complementing Morocco's agriculture reform program. In addition, the Agreement provides the opportunity for U.S. producers to adjust to increased imports from Morocco, if necessary. New opportunities for U.S. services firms will be opened, U.S. investment will be protected, and U.S. companies will be able to participate in government procurement opportunities on the same basis as Moroccan firms.

This Agreement has some of the strongest intellectual property protections ever contained in a U.S. trade agreement with a developing country. The United States and Morocco have agreed to cooperate on environment and labor issues and to establish mechanisms supporting those efforts. Negotiation of this Agreement has promoted adoption of a new labor law in Morocco. This Agreement has also helped lead to improved domestic environmental laws in Morocco, and a number of additional cooperative projects have been identified for future work.

The approval of this Agreement will be another important step in implementing our plan for a broader Middle East Free Trade Area. Indeed, this Agreement offers the United States an opportunity to encourage economic reform in a moderate Muslim nation, as we have done with the Jordan FTA and the recently concluded Bahrain FTA. Leaders in Morocco support a reformist and tolerant vision that includes free parliamentary elections, the sale of state-owned businesses, the encouragement of foreign investment that can be connected to broad-based development, and better protection of the rights of women and workers. It is strongly in the interests of the United States to embrace these reforms and do what we can to encourage them. Passing this Agreement is a critical step in that direction.
GEORGE W. BUSH THE WHITE HOUSE, July 15, 2004.
http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2004/07/20040715-12.html
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Moroccan King: talks with Bush, fresh impetus to strategic partnership
RABAT, July 12

HM King Mohammed VI of Morocco said his recent talks with US president, George W. Bush, will give "fresh impetus to the promising strategic partnership" between his country and the United States. This came in a message HM the king addressed to the US president at the end his working visit to the United States where he met with the American leader. The Moroccan monarch, who started on Wednesday his visit in Washington before heading for New York, pointed out that this strategic partnership is "in the interest of our peoples and for the sake of the stability and prosperity of the world". He described discussions with the US president as "fruitful", saying they will strengthen bilateral relations and further enhance "longstanding friendship and mutual esteem."

Talks between the two leaders, Thursday at the White House, focused on bilateral relations, regional and international issues, including the Middle East and the fight against terrorism. They both voiced satisfaction at the "important and positive evolution" of the two countries relations- since their last meeting in New York in September 2003- as evidenced by the recent signing of a Free Trade Agreement and by President Bush's decision to designate Morocco as a major non-NATO ally. http://www.map.co.ma/mapeng/eng.htm
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US Ways and Means Committee informally approves draft legislation for FTA with Morocco
WASHINGTON, July 15

The US House of Representatives' Ways and Means committee and the Senate's financial committee informally approved Wednesday the free trade agreement signed on June 15 with Morocco. The agreement, America's first with an African nation and the second with an Arab one, after Jordan, had been finalized March 2 after seven rounds of negotiations. The deal was first announced during a visit of King Mohammed VI to the United States in April 2002.  The FTA is expected to boost Morocco-US economic exchanges which do not exceed 1 billion dollars in average.

The US-Morocco FTA will eliminate tariffs on 95% of bilateral trade in consumer and industrial products, with all remaining tariffs to be eliminated within nine years - the best market access package of any US FTA with a developing country signed to date, according to the US Trade Representative.

According to statistics of the US trade representatives' department, the United States exports to Morocco an average of USD 475 million-worth of goods and imports nearly USD 500 million from the country. Some 120 American companies are operating in Morocco. With a total investment of USD 600 million, they helped create 90,000 direct and indirect jobs. MAP http://www.map.co.ma/mapeng/home_dep/mad_1.htm
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US approves trade deal with Morocco.
WASHINGTON

The US Senate Finance Committee approved a free trade agreement with Morocco which would eliminate tariffs on 95% of bilateral trade in consumer and industrial products.  Industry backers have said the bill, which passed by a vote of 20 to 1, represents the most extensive access of any US trade agreement with a developing country.  The bill is expected to be particularly beneficial to the US grain industry.  The United States accounts for roughly 60% of Morocco's total corn imports - although it has encountered increasing competition from Latin American exporters in recent years.  Meanwhile the House Ways and Means Committee was due to put the final touches on its version of the bill late Wednesday, clearing the way for a full House vote and final Senate approval as early as next week.
http://www.bday.co.za/bday/content/direct/1,3523,1659976-6078-0,00.html
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AFBF Supports Morocco FTA.
Friday, July 16, 2004

Citing an overwhelmingly positive outlook for U.S. agricultural exports to Morocco, the American Farm Bureau Federation Board of Directors voted today to support the Morocco Free Trade Agreement, according to a press release. According to analysis conducted by AFBF, the agreement is expected to result in a 10-to-one gain for the U.S. agriculture sector, which already enjoys a positive trade balance with Morocco. Under the agreement, U.S. agricultural sales to Morocco are expected to reach $382 million by 2015, with approximately $260 million of this surplus related directly to increased sales created by the agreement.

"Under this agreement we expect to see improvements in quite a few commodity sectors," said AFBF President Bob Stallman. "U.S. sales of beef and poultry have been minor to non-existent, but under the agreement they are granted access. The United States should expect to see increased trade in feedstuffs, wheat, beef and poultry markets.
http://www.hpj.com/dtnnewstable.cfm?type=story&sid=12189
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Morocco's 2004 GDP up 3.3 pct, above forecast .
By Souhail Karam RABAT, July 16 (Reuters)

Morocco's agriculture-dependent economy is expected to grow 3.3 percent in 2004, slightly above an initial forecast of 3.0 percent, Finance and Privatisation Minister Fathallah Oualalou said on Friday. "Taking into account the good agricultural campaign of this year, we're now expecting a 3.3 percent rise in GDP (gross domestic product) for 2004 after last year's rise of 5.2 percent," Oualalou told Reuters by telephone. The 2004 budget was based on a 3.0 percent GDP growth, he added. The 5.2 percent GDP growth for 2003, announced by Oualalou, is below the latest figure of 5.5 percent announced by the minister in February. Economic growth in Morocco has been volatile because of the agriculture sector has suffered in recurrent droughts, increasing poverty in rural areas, said an International Monetary Fund report on Morocco issued in May.

Morocco has announced a bumper harvest of cereals for 2004 of 8.1 million tonnes, up from 7.7 million tonnes in 2003. Morocco's harvest starts in June and ends in late August.  This meant another lucrative year for the 40 percent of the country's workforce in the sector and a lower burden of cereals imports on the country's trade balance.

Economists say this dependency has hampered state efforts to improve public services mainly for health and education, seen as the country's weakest sectors. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in its annual Human Development Index this week ranked Morocco 125th in 2004 in a list of 177 countries. Oualalou said the budget deficit, including privatisation receipts of some 12.3 billion dirhams ($1.38 billion), was set to reach 3.0 percent in 2004, in line with the budget forecast.  His comments on the budget deficit were likely to dismiss fears of a possible postponement in key privatisation operations planned for thjs year.

These involve mainly the sale of a 16 percent stake in state-controlled Maroc Telecom to France's Vivendi Universal which in 2000 bought 35 percent of the firm's capital for $2.2 billion. Vivendi has said it is ready to pay around 800 million euros ($988 million) for the stake. French and Moroccan press reports have said Morocco and Vivendi differ on the valuation of Maroc Telecom, with Rabat valuing it at eight billion euros and Vivendi seeing it closer to five billion.

Oualalou said Morocco planned to float this year around 15 percent of the lucrative firm on both the Casablanca bourse and a foreign stock market.
Sources close to the operation, which is under study, said five percent would be floated on the Casablanca bourse and 10 percent either in Paris, London or New York, with the French stock market looking favourite. ((Reuters Messaging: souhail.karam.reuters.com@reuters.net; +212-37 720065)) ($1=8.926 Moroccan dirhams) ($1=0.8096 Euro) Copyright 2000 Reuters Limited.  http://www.borsaitalia.it/fwa-cgi-bin/news.pl?id=1089997874nL16340596&tit=UPDATE%201-Morocco
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Morocco launches first survey on handicapped
RABAT, July 14

A national survey aiming at improving conditions of handicapped in Morocco has been launched recently, announced on Tuesday the Family, Social Action and Solidarity department. State Secretary in charge of family, children and handicapped persons, Yasmina Baddou, told the national TV channel TVM that Morocco aims to enhance handicapped persons' conditions and their social integration through collecting infirmity-related data. The survey, the first ever national-wide, will concern some 66,000 people, including 6,000 handicapped. It will be conducted with the help of the European Union, within the MEDA program (EU's main financial instrument for the implementation of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership). Data gathered by the survey will be used to make a national plan seeking handicapped integration according to the nature of their infirmity.
http://www.map.co.ma/mapeng/home_dep/h_depmay26.htm
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UNICEF: Morocco, a model in child protection in the region
RABAT, July 14

Director general of the United Nations for Children- UNICEF in the Middle-East and North-Africa said "Morocco is a model in child protection in the region."  It is a country that broke taboos and launched action to fight child labor, sexual exploitation and other problems that remain hidden phenomena in many countries, said Tom Dermott, who started Tuesday a visit in Morocco to assess the Morocco-UNICEF cooperation program. He will be meeting Moroccan officials including minister of foreign affairs and cooperation, Mohamed Benaissa, health minister, Mohamed Cheikh Biadillah and adviser to HM king Mohammed VI and chief of the National Observatory of Children's Rights, Zoulikha Nasri.

Dermott's visit, to last until July 17, will take him to the northern province of Chefchaouen for talks with local partners and to examine projects underway in the region, the UN body said in a release. Morocco-UNICEF cooperation, which dates back to the 50's, made remarkable successes, like in the national vaccination scheme.

The release goes on that Morocco has made significant progress in harmonizing legislation with children rights and elaboration of the national action plan titled "A Morocco worthy of its children", which evidences the interest the kingdom grants application of UN recommendations.
http://www.map.co.ma/mapeng/news/economy/eco_003.htm
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Royal adviser, UNICEF-Mena chief probe cooperation
RABAT, July 15

Adviser to King Mohammed VI of Morocco, Zoulikha Nasri, met, here Wednesday, with chief of the Middle-East and North Africa section of the UN Fund for Children (UNICEF), Tom Mc Dermott to discuss means to enhance Morocco-UNICEF cooperation. The meeting covered children's situation in Morocco and the kingdom's plan of childhood promotion, whose elaboration was ordered by the monarch, Morocco's national TV "TVM" reported. Dermott, who started Tuesday a working visit to the kingdom, also had talks with health minister, Mohamed Cheikh Biadillah, and state secretary for literacy and informal education, Anis Birou.

Dermott's visit, to last until July 17, will take him to the northern province of Chefchaouen for talks with local partners and to examine projects underway in the region. Morocco-UNICEF cooperation, which dates back to the 50's, made remarkable progress, particularly in the national vaccination scheme.
http://www.map.co.ma/mapeng/home_dep/h_dep15sfdg.htm
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Ten million Arab children do not go to school, speaker
RABAT, July 12

Speaker of the Moroccan House of Representatives, Abdelouahed Radi, deplored here Monday, that "10 million Arab children do not go to school."  Radi who was presenting a report at the Parliament on the millennium development objectives in Arab countries, said that "half Arab women are illiterate and that the rate of women representation in Arab parliaments does not exceed 5 percent."  Social development indicators in Arab countries are "not satisfactory", said Radi, calling for the review of the development strategy in the Arab world. According to the Moroccan speaker, marginalization, poverty and illiteracy caused social and political tensions in the Arab world, but above all political violence, i.e. extremism.  Radi highlighted the importance of carrying out wealth and job-generating strategic projects to achieve Arab complementariness as well as development.

On the nation level, he said, Morocco has made great efforts to eradicate poverty and social marginalization. He noted that women currently occupy 35 seats in the Moroccan House of Representatives (lower parliament chamber), that is 10 percent of deputies. As for schooling, Radi noted that the rate of generalizing basic education increased from 52 percent in 1990 to 73 percent in 1998. He added that this rate is expected to reach 100 percent in 2010. For Radi, a global sustainable development can only be reached through a collective effort of the state, civil society and private sector. MAP 2004
http://www.map.co.ma/mapeng/eng.htm
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Caritas-Morocco Aims to Rebuild 2 Schools
ROME, JULY 12, 2004 (Zenit.org http://www.zenit.org )

Caritas-Morocco appealed to the charity's network for $1.18 million to rebuild two schools devastated by last February's earthquake in the Al Hoceima area. The yearlong reconstruction would allow classes to resume for 1,600 students, Caritas reported from Spain. The two schools Caritas-Morocco is rebuilding are Fatima Zahra, of Al Hoceima, and Oued Eddahab, of Imzouren. Both institutions are the object of an integral program of reconstruction, after being seriously damaged by the quake. Caritas' financial aid will make possible the restoration of classrooms, libraries, study halls, multimedia labs, and playgrounds, as well as electrical and sanitary installations. The calendar of work, which will be carried out by Caritas-Morocco in coordination with Caritas-France, will be established this week. The French Caritas is acting as liaison for other endeavors of the charity's international network.
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Over 360,000 jobs created between Q1 2003, Q1 2004 (survey)
RABAT, July 13

Morocco's different economic sectors created around 362,000 jobs between first quarters of 2003 and 2004, the high commissioner for planning said. The survey, titled "activity, employment and unemployment - first quarter 2004", says 33% of the new jobs are unpaid and that 61% were created in cities. According to the survey, women's share in the job market went on from 28.4% to 33.2%. Self employment generated 25,000 and cooperatives some 43,000, the same source said, adding that the active population aged 15 and more increased by 4.4% during the same period to reach 11,526,000 persons. 5% of the rise was reported in cities while rural areas scored a 3.7% rise. The survey attributes this "very favourable" growth to the performance of non-farming sectors and the positive impact of the successive satisfactory agricultural yields (2002-2003 / 2003-2004), recalling that employment in rural areas had lost momentum in 2000 and 2001 due to drought. MAP 2004 http://www.map.co.ma/mapeng/home_dep/h_depmay1980.htm
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Morocco's tourism program aims to generate 80,000 jobs
RABAT, July 16

The program adopted by the government in the tourism sector aims at generating 80.000 direct jobs and 100.000 indirect ones, said Wednesday Tourism, handicraft and Social Economy Minister, Adil Douiri. Douiri told the Moroccan TV channel "TVM" that, in addition to the government's ambition to drain 10 million tourists by 2010, the scheme is also meant to triple the Moroccan tourism activity during the next decade. Attaining the objectives set for 2010 depends on creating a fresh product that meets aspirations and requests of Moroccan and foreign tourists, he said. Douiri pointed out that the number of tourists has increased by 6 percent in 2003, as compared to 2002, thanks to liberalization of air transport and promotion of the Morocco destination. He added that Moroccans were the second customers in Moroccan hotels, after French tourists.
http://www.map.co.ma/mapeng/eng.htm
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Italy to co-finance 3.5 Mn Euro-worth projects in Morocco.
RABAT, July 13

Italy has approved the co-financing of two projects, worth over 3.5 million Euro, in Morocco, the Italian embassy in Rabat said in a release. The projects, proposed by Italian NGOs, aim to achieve rural development in the province of Settat (near Casablanca) and promote craftsmanship in the province of Nador (north-eastern Morocco).  The project, to be carried out in Nador, will require a budget of 1.54 million Euro. Half of this amount will be funded by the Italian Foreign ministry while the other half will be covered by Italian NGOs and other Moroccan and Italian partners. This project will improve work conditions in 1250 craftsmanship units and help train 300 young people in the province of Nador.  The second project will cost 2.08 million Euro, including 60 percent that will be financed by the Italian Foreign ministry. The rest of the amount will be covered by a co-funding of the European Union (EU) and Italian NGOs. With these two projects, Italy's co-financing of projects made at the initiative of Italian NGOs has reached 11 million Euro.
http://www.map.co.ma/mapeng/home_dep/h_dep221.htm
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Moroccan MP criticizes as 'vague' Arab Women Congress recommendations.
BEIRUT, July 13

Recommendations made by the Arab Regional Congress of Women, held here recently under the theme "10 years after Peking: call for peace", are "vague and unpractical", said a Moroccan MP. Fatima Belmoudden from the Socialist group at the House of Representatives (Parliament lower chamber), said the final declaration of the Congress was "too long" and its recommendations "vague and empty of practical measures that women could use to militate." She said "the event's agenda and goals were well prepared, but the effort was not used to go forth in the Peking action plan, to be assessed in 2005."

Participants rather wanted the congress to adopt concrete recommendations to identify problems impeding the Peking action plan, she insisted. The Moroccan delegation, led by Secretary of State of Social Development, Family and Solidarity, Yasmina Baddou, said a greater involvement in politics would give women access to parliament and power in general. She underlined the importance of adopting the quota system in the Arab World as a temporary mechanism, which already proved reliable in several democratic countries. The Arab women encounter was initiated by UN Economic and Social Commission in West Asia.
http://www.map.co.ma/mapeng/eng.htm
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Italy to co-finance two projects in Morocco
Jul 15, 2004 (Al-Bawaba via COMTEX)

Italy has approved the co-financing of two projects, worth over Euro 3.5 million, in Morocco, the Italian embassy in Rabat said in a release. The projects, proposed by Italian NGOs, aim to achieve rural development in the province of Settat (near Casablanca) and promote craftsmanship in the province of Nador (north-eastern Morocco). The project, to be carried out in Nador, will require a budget of Euro 1.54 million. Half of this sum will be funded by the Italian Foreign ministry while the second half will be covered by Italian NGOs and other Moroccan and Italian partners. This project will improve work conditions in 1,250 craftsmanship units and help train 300 young people in the province of Nador. The second project will cost Euro 2.08 million, including 60 percent that will be financed by the Italian Foreign ministry. (menareport.com) http://www.zawya.com/Story.cfm?id=197w8472&section=Countries&page=Morocco&channel=All%20Morocco%20News&objectid=22403786-8F1A-11D4-867000D0B74A0D7C
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EC allocates 275 Mn euro to Morocco to implement National Indicative program
RABAT, July 16

The European Commission (EC) has allocated 257 million Euro to Morocco to implement the National Indicative Program (NIP) 2005-2006. The program was signed, here Thursday, by Moroccan Finance and Privatisation Minister, Fathallah Oualalou, and the European Commission's director general for external relations, Eneko Landaburu. EC's assistance to NIP is divided into three parts. 100 million euro (36 percent of the global amount) was allocated to economy and trade. It includes a program for fiscal reforms (80 million euro), a program to accompany the association accord and the strategy of enlarged Europe (15 million euro) and an assistance program for professional associations (5 million euro).

Besides, 130 million Euro (47 percent) will be dedicated to social projects, including a low-cost housing project (90 million euro), a project for developing northern provinces (30 million euro) as well as 10 million euro to rural development project in the Atlas (center of Morocco) and to the cooperation program for higher education (Tempus). Meanwhile, 45 million euro (17 percent) will be allocated to assistance to environment and the civil society, including an assistance project in the water sector (30 million euro) and an aid to institutions and NGOs operating in the realm of human rights (5 million).

Oualalou said NIP is signed at a time when Morocco-EU relations have made important strides part of the implementation of the new neighborhood policy.Last Monday, the two sides finalized the action plan for the implementation of the new neighborhood policy. Landaburu told a press briefing the EU is resolved to guarantee the success of its neighborhood strategy with Morocco, given the particular important of the north African country in the region.He also expressed satisfaction at the finalization of discussions between Morocco and the EU concerning the action plan for the implementation of the European neighborhood policy.
http://www.map.co.ma/mapeng/home_dep/h_depma17.htm
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EU to give 275 million Euros to Morocco in assistance over 2005-06
RABAT, July 15 (KUNA)

Morocco signed Thursday with the European Union the 2005-06 plan for the EU assistance program, according to which the African country will receive 275 million Euros to finance several developmental projects. The Moroccan Finance and Privatization Minister Fathallah Oualalou signed the agreement for his country. A total of 90 million Euros will be spent to boost housing projects in morocco, in addition to 30 million to develop rural areas and 80 million for the taxation reform program. Each of Egypt, Algeria, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon are also receiving 243 million euros, 106 million, 110 million, 80 million and 70 million Euros from the EU respectively in assistance. http://www.zawya.com/Story.cfm?id=KUN0102040715212709&section=Countries&page=Morocco&channel=All%20Morocco%20News&objectid=22403786-8F1A-11D4-867000D0B74A0D7C
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Moroccan writer awarded Pablo Neruda prize
Rabat, July 13

The Pablo Neruda prize was awarded, here Monday, to Moroccan writer in Spanish, Mohamed Sibari, during a ceremony organized by the Chilean embassy in Rabat, to mark the 100th anniversary of the chilean poet. Sibari said he was proud to receive such a prize, for its significance and reference to the originality that was always Neruda's. The Moroccan writer recalled the remarkable career of Pablo Neruda, holder of the 1971 Nobel Prize of literature, and his influence on intellectuals worldwide, particularly in the Arab region.

Sibari, one of the founders of the Association of Moroccan Writers Writing in Spanish and former professor of Spanish in Larache (North of Morocco), is also member of several local and foreign associations. Chile's ambassador to Morocco, Alejandro Carvajal, underlined the significance of celebrating Pablo Neruda's centennial, stressing the universality of his works, which were translated into more than 100 languages. The 100 Pablo Neruda prizes were shared by 65 counties, Carvajal said, paying tribute to the Moroccan writer who "remarkably contributed to spreading Spanish."
http://www.map.co.ma/mapeng/eng.htm
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Tangier to host first international Art and Music Festival.
Tangier, July 13

Tangier will host the first edition of the Music and Arts festival from July 23 to August 15. Several Moroccan and international poets, artists and singers will take part in the festival, held under the theme "creation and communication." This event is a contribution to the restoration of Tangier's prestigious image, said director of the festival, Mohammed Said Figo.  The festival will also feature local traditional music groups, poetry, plays and painting expositions.
http://www.map.co.ma/mapeng/news/economy/eco_f101.htm
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China expresses concern on Morocco's pesticide test in green tea
BEIJING, Jul 13, 2004 (Xinhua via COMTEX)

China expressed concern on its major green buyer Morocco's pesticide residue test in green tea, appealing the two sides to enhance communication on that issue. Chinese Minister of Commerce Bo Xilai told Morocco's Minister of External Commerce Mustapha Mechahouri here Tuesday that green tea was China's traditional product with reliable quality, vowing to expand China-Morocco trade and two-way investment.   China sold 49,000 tons of green tea to Morocco, worth 77 million US dollars and accounted for nearly one third of the country's total export of green tea, figures released by the Chinese ministry show.

China-Morocco trade surged by nearly 50 percent year-on-year to hit 860 million US dollars last year and is expected to exceed 1.2 billion US dollars this year, the figures show. Bo said China attaches importance on a balanced trade with Morocco and has taken strong measures to encourage Chinese enterprises to buy more from Morocco, adding that he hopes the businesses of the two countries make close contact and enhance the bilateral trade. He said Chinese companies are very strong in building road, ports, power stations and hotels, appealing Morocco exchange information on major projects with China to facilitate the Chinese companies' bidding in those sectors. "China is willing to expand the two-way investment with Morocco, " Bo said. Mechahouri said he welcomes Chinese enterprises to invest in Morocco and hopes the bilateral trade could be further expanded. Copyright 2004 XINHUA NEWS AGENCY.
http://www.zawya.com/Story.cfm?id=195h8482&section=Countries&page=Morocco&channel=All%20Morocco%20News&objectid=22403786-8F1A-11D4-867000D0B74A0D7C


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