Israel looks to increase trade with Morocco to $500 million

RABAT, Feb 21 (Reuters) - Israel is targeting annual trade volume of $500 million with Morocco, up from $131 million currently as the two countries look to broaden cooperation since they normalised relations in 2020, Israel's economy minister said on Monday.

Orna Barbivai made the statement following talks in Rabat with Moroccan industry and trade minister Ryad Mezzour, with whom she signed a trade and investment cooperation deal.Under this deal, the two countries committ to facilitating trade and investments in the aerospace, automobile, agri-food, textile and pharmaceutical industries in particular, Mezzour told reporters.

The agreement was part of the implementation of a deal to resume ties brokered by the Trump administration in 2020.

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Earlier in the day, Barbivai discussed with her Moroccan counterpart Nadia Fettah Alaoui future agreements on investment incentives, customs cooperation and double taxation, Morocco's economy and finance ministry said in a statement.

Morocco is also looking forward to cooperating with Israel in fields relating to industrial research and development and the setting up of industrial zones, Mezzour said.

Barbivai's visit to Morocco comes three months after the two countries signed a defence pact.

(This story corrected Israeli minister last name to Barbivai instead of Barbiva)

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Reporting by Ahmed El Jechtimi and Maher Chmaytelli; Editing by Gareth Jones, Mark Heinrich and Angus MacSwan

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