Maghreb bankers argue for better Maghreb integration

November 8, 2018

(TAP) - Intra-Maghreb trade does not exceed 5% of the volume of trade in the world, governor of the Central Bank of Tunisia (BCT), Marouane El Abassi said on Wednesday.

Speaking at the Maghreb Banking Summit, which is being held in Tunis on November 7 and 8, on the theme: ' “Trends in Banking Business: Challenges and Prospects for Maghreb Banks,” El Abassi regretted “the lack of integration at the Maghreb level, “ recalling that “the cost of the non-Maghreb is estimated at 1 to 2% growth for each country.”

For his part, Secretary General of the Arab Maghreb Union (AMU) Taïeb Baccouche, argued, on his part, for a better use of new technologies to develop the Maghreb banking systems.

'We reiterate the imperative of co-ordinating our monetary policies within the Arab Maghreb and ensuring the establishment of a free trade area, to facilitate the mobility of people and capital and to pursue the necessary reforms to strengthen the banking systems and control of the financial sector,' Baccouche added.

AMU Board Chairman and Director-General of the Libyan Islamic Bank Abdelfattah Ghaffar told TAP there were positive political indicators, particularly between Morocco and Algeria, which is able to facilitate the operation of the Union of Maghreb Banks (French: UBM).

Regarding the approach to be adopted by the UBM in order to consolidate and develop banking co6operation between its different members, Ghaffar said several committees were formed within the central banks and professional associations of the five member countries.

They will discuss a number of issues related to banking co-operation, including electronic payment.