CES 2021 - Microsoft announces the Surface Pro 7+ 2-in-1 PC and the deployment of its 85 ″ Surface Hub 2S

Microsoft is unveiling the Surface Pro 7+, a 2-in-1 laptop PC for business and education, which benefits from some improvements over version 7. The Surface Hub 2S digital board will ship in February. Rumors are rife that a Surface Pro 8 will be released soon. To be patient and to satisfy professionals, Microsoft unveils its Surface Pro 7+, a revised version of the Surface Pro 7 promised as more efficient.    Among the major evolutions of this new model, we note first of all the passage of the Intel Core processors from the 10th to the 11th generation. Storage will still be capped at 1TB, but a maximum of 32GB of RAM can now be installed, down from just 16GB previously. The SSD will also be removable and a Full HD webcam integrated into the Surface.  4G is now supported with a SIM card slot and eSIM support. Plus, battery life gets a big boost, from 10:30 am to 3:00 pm - on paper anyway - with a fast charge to 80% in an hour. The Surface 7 Pro +

Elalamy does not lose sight of Ankara

The Turkish capital is still under the eye of the Minister of Industry. Turkish, yes. But then Turkish head? Again yes: in essence, it is the reaction of BIM to the accusations brought on February 10, 2020 against him in the House of Representatives by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Green and Digital Economy, Moulay Hafid Elalamy , to favor Turkish products to the detriment of those of Morocco. In a dispatch published on February 12, 2020 by the British news agency Reuters, the chief financial officer of the hard-discount brand from Turkey, Haluk Dortluoglu, was adamant. "We only send around 15% of our products sold to Morocco from Turkey. The rest, 85% is purchased from local producers, "he said, but did not provide further details. These details, we have sought to obtain them through the communication consultancy agency Tribeca, in charge of press relations for BIM, but we have been informed that "the management of [the latter] does not want to give more explanations at this stage ".

Moroccan-Turkish Relation

In any event, an investigation must be immediately carried out by Mr. Elalamy's department, according to indiscretions obtained by the electronic journal Le360, and thus lift the veil on the assertions of the company. Because if the latter can, indeed, buy 85% of its products in Morocco, nothing says that they are really Moroccan: we know, "Turkey has a good number of logistics platforms" in the Kingdom, as Le360 reminded us of this, and this can bring fundamentally Turkish products into the category of products mentioned by Mr. Dortluoglu. BIM is, in any event, in the eye of the Moroccan authorities. What in itself is not new: when Mr. Elalamy referred to her in the First Chamber, where he took part in the weekly session of oral questions of deputies, it was first to highlight the summons which he had split "five years earlier" to the address of his boss, while visiting Morocco, to have at least 50% of Moroccan products on his shelves.

We can even say that it is by pure chance that BIM found itself at the heart of the news, since the intervention of the Minister more generally dealt with the balance sheets of free trade agreements (FTAs), and this is the MP PJD (Justice and Development Party) Driss El Yazami El Idrissi who mentioned it very briefly, recalling that the agreement with Turkey, which Mr. Elalamy publicly calls for renegotiation since another intervention in the House of Representatives November 19, 2019, had been signed in April 2004 and it has been in force since January 1, 2006: the elected official actually wanted to attack the Turkish firm less - on the contrary, he questioned the Moroccan industrial system, not sufficiently integrated according to him- that the party of the National Rally of Independents (RNI), which directed at these two stages the departments of Industry and Commerce through Rachid Talbi Alami and Salaheddine Mezouar and including Mr. E lalamy is himself born. But BIM or not BIM, Morocco cannot, anyway, leave the floodgates open: at the end of December 2019, its trade deficit worsened, according to data published by the Exchange Office (OC) on its web on February 4, 2020, 2.994 billion dirhams (MMDH) compared to the previous year, to now stand at 208.995 MMDH; allowing the Kingdom to improve the coverage rate of its imports by its exports by only 0.2 point (57.4%, against 57.2% in 2018).

The note could even have been more salty were the drop, from 7.2% to 2.677 billion dirhams, of the energy bill due to the decrease in the quantities imported (-3.3%) and the prices of the barrel of international oil (-3.5%). In question, the FTAs, and in particular therefore that with Turkey: according to the figures presented by Mr. Elalamy in the House of Representatives, the deficit with the Anatolian country would reach 18 MMDH, while Morocco does not however import any hydrocarbons - unlike for example the European Union (EU) and the United States, with which the Kingdom also records a negative trade balance, of the order of 75 MMDH and 20 MMDH respectively.

The Moroccan-Turkish FTA is all the more problematic since Turkish investments still constitute, despite the fact that more than fourteen years have now passed since its entry into force, less than 1% of the total foreign direct investment (FDI) made each year in Morocco, while in Algeria for example they represent 5.4 billion dollars despite the absence of FTAs ​​with Turkey.

"There is a problem in the trade relations that we have with Turkey," criticized Elalamy in Parliament. The latter had rightly taken advantage of his presence in the gallery of the legislative institution to review the steps that have been taken since he first argued for a review of the FTA: first, the frontal refusal of Turkish Minister of Commerce Ruhsar Pekcan after pouring it out to her on the sidelines of the thirty-fifth session of the Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (COMCEC) , held from 25 to 28 November 2019 in Istanbul; then, following Mr. Elalamy's threat to "tear up" the text, the visit, on January 15, 2020, of the concerned party to Morocco, where she pronounced herself "in favor of balanced commercial growth"; finally, on February 6, 2020, the formal acceptance by Ankara, by email, of the principle of opening new negotiations.

"We will not rush, but we will not spend years discussing these empty things," said the minister. For many Moroccan industrialists, the possibility of adopting a new FTA is more than welcome. "In Turkey, there are tax advantages for export. There is also state aid. Here nothing is done for industrialists. Moroccan textiles have been killed since the signing of the FTAs, notably with Turkey. BIM also killed the small local grocer. That doesn't mean you have to throw these chords in the trash or lock yourself in, but you need safeguards. We have seen this with the “French preference” policy where French brands have advantages over their competitors, ”comments a local LED lamp manufacturer, who goes so far as to qualify the FTAs ​​in their entirety. , "fiascos for the national economy".

Besides Turkey, Morocco is a signatory to the FTA with no less than fifty-five countries. But except for those which link it to Jordan as well as to the country of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), namely Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, the Kingdom doesn’t is a winner on none of these agreements. Enough to leave on his lugs Mr. Elalamy ...