Moroccan media reported that, in a sudden reduction of its market share, the Turkish retail chain “BIM” decided, today, Wednesday, to sell a 35% share of its branch in Morocco.
Turkish retailer “BIM”
The sale was made in favor of the investment company “Blue Investment Holding” owned by “Helios Investment Partners” in London.
And active in the African market for $ 83.2 million, according to “Bloomberg” news agency.
The Turkish supermarket chain “BIM” had announced its intention to sell a share of its branch in Morocco.
This is after the Moroccan Minister of Industry, Trade and Digital Economy, Moulay Hafid El-Alami, announced his desire to review the free trade agreement between Morocco and Turkey due to the high trade deficit of Morocco.
The beginning of the crisis
It is noteworthy that in March 2020, the Moroccan Minister of Trade said that his country had asked BIM stores to increase at least half the percentage of local goods they sell in their stores in Morocco.
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This coincided with Morocco’s review of a free trade agreement that it concluded with Turkey in 2004.
According to the statements of Moulay Hafid El Alami, Minister of Trade, the Turkish BIM stores, which have about 4,751 branches in Morocco, cause the closure of about 60 shops in every Moroccan neighborhood.
He said, “I summoned the president of BIM years ago, and told him it was impossible to continue our relations.”
The government official added, in the House of Representatives, on Monday, that “when the (BIM) store enters a certain neighborhood, 60 merchants close their stores.”
Adding that he stipulated that company officials “be 50% of the products they sell are Moroccan, or they will be arrested by any means.”
18 billion dirhams annual losses
He also pointed out that “Morocco’s impotence regarding free trade agreements is found in the major agreements, which are with America, Europe and Turkey.”
But the losses are deeper with Turkey, due to the lack of investment, return or support.
He stressed that the losses with Turkey are free of charge, which “amounts to 18 billion dirhams annually, which is more than 1.8 billion dollars.”
He pointed out that the volume of Turkish investments in Morocco is less than 1%. He continued, “They do not provide the Kingdom with any financial support, at a time when Turkish investments in Algeria, for example, reach $ 5.4 billion.”
It is noteworthy that in 2004, Rabat and Ankara signed a free trade agreement, which entered into force in 2006 in order to strengthen trade exchanges between the two countries.
But Turkish goods have benefited the most from the Moroccan market, according to government data.
And Turkish exports to Morocco rose rapidly, and increased 4-fold in just ten years, which did not match Moroccan products.
It is worth noting that the BIM supermarket chain is known for offering a limited range of basic foodstuffs and consumer goods at competitive prices.
It was established in 1995, and the stores operate in 3 countries, which are Turkey, and it operates 49,721 stores in it, Morocco 4,751 and Egypt 1,401.
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