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Cablegate: Mepi Small Grants Report for Amcham Morocco

VZCZCXYZ0021
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHRB #1344 1951810
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 141810Z JUL 06
FM AMEMBASSY RABAT
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4251
INFO RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 8967

UNCLAS RABAT 001344

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR NEA/PI AND NEA/MAG
TUNIS FOR MEPI RO PMULREAN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ETRD EAID KMPI MO
SUBJECT: MEPI SMALL GRANTS REPORT FOR AMCHAM MOROCCO

1. The American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) Free Trade Agreement
(FTA) website has effectively addressed private sector demand both
in Morocco and in the U.S. for greater information sharing on the
provisions of the agreement. In 2004, the site logged over 1.3
million hits, representing 13,522 individual visitors and 60,854
file downloads. In 2005, the FTA web site registered 1.8 million
hits, 35,888 individual visitors, and 141,150 file downloads
(including 36,154 downloads of the various sections of the
AmCham-produced Morocco Trade and Investment Guide). Visitors were
based in the United States (57%), Morocco (31%), and France (5%).
The web site effectively promoted greater public awareness of the
agreement and facilitated the efforts of investors, both key Mission
priorities.
2. New features added to the website as part of a second grant
included AmCham discussion boards and a resume database. These also
contributed significantly to disseminating information on the
U.S.-Morocco FTA. As of May 18, 2006, the discussion boards covered
five FTA-related topics, including arbitration, market access,
machinery, arbitrage and insurance. The newly-revised site also
contained over 161 individual messages from interested investors and
an employment database with 170 posted resumes. The site has
registered 28 companies for access to the resume database and has
posted five job opportunities.
3. AmCham successfully implemented both grants related to the
website project through existing staff and through contractors.
However, Post believes, (and AmCham staff confirm), that AmCham
would require additional staffing or increased use of subcontractors
to effectively implement a significantly larger grant in the future.


4. Post believes that the AmCham website is an excellent model to
duplicate in other countries, particularly within the proposed
Middle East Free Trade Area (MEFTA). Linking together similar sites
among countries could offer a convenient web portal for investors.
The added features included in the second grant are particularly
useful to investors and others seeking information on the agreement.
Post recommends funding of similar grants throughout the region.

BUSH

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