Agreed Summary: Initial Meeting on Building a New Trade and Investment Partnership

Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs
April 12, 2012

The Governments of Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia and the United States, recognizing the value to their economies of enhanced trade and investment ties, and desiring to support increased jobs and economic growth, declare their readiness to explore initiatives to help achieve these goals.

We believe that a new Trade and Investment Partnership can help democratic governments deliver economically for their people through concrete measures, both near-term and longer-term, to enhance trade and investment, support the creation and retention of jobs, and promote innovation, economic growth and development. The Middle East/North Africa region has potential to become one of the most dynamic in the world through trade within the region and with global markets, and by fully developing its greatest untapped resource -- the talent of its people.

On a bilateral basis, we have been actively engaged in analyzing new ways to boost trade and investment. We pledge to intensify these efforts and also to work collectively to identify new opportunities for increasing regional competitiveness. Our work is intended to build upon, not replace, existing obligations and initiatives, such as the Agadir agreement, GAFTA, other bilateral trade and investment agreements and frameworks, and our mutual efforts in support of a strong World Trade Organization.

We have discussed a number of areas for greater cooperation, and agreed to focus our initial efforts on the following areas of common interest:

  1. Investment.
  2. Trade Facilitation
  3. Support for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs)
  4. Good Regulatory Practices and Transparency

Other areas that we have also discussed and look forward to exploring further include:

  • Services
  • Standards
  • Supply Chains
  • Government Procurement
  • Innovation and Intellectual Property
  • Labor Rights and Social Protection

A key objective of our engagement is to create common approaches to priority trade and investment issues, whose cumulative effect can improve Middle East/North Africa region countries’ access to each other’s markets as well as to the United States and beyond.

We agree to meet periodically to assess progress under, and to develop further this discussion as we work together to achieve our common goals. We welcome the possibility of including other Deauville Partner countries.