Diverse and promising
Strategically located at the entrance to the Mediterranean Sea, Morocco has for several centuries served as one of the main trading points between Europe and Africa. Since the mid-1980s, the government has implemented a successful reform program characterized by the substitution of external debt for internal debt; this measure has effectively reduced the public debt exposure to fluctuations in the international financial markets.
Morocco has opted for a liberal, diversified economy, based on private
initiative and largely open on the outside world. It offers conditions of
success to investors thanks to its economic potentialities and human resources, to the perspectives which it enjoys as a link between two economic entities, the Maghreb and Europe, and particularly thanks to the will of the authorities to encourage investments.
Ambitious longer term development initiatives include a program to invest US$7 billion in tourism assets over the next 10 years in order to attract 10 million tourists annually and bring the sector's percentage of GDP to 20 percent versus 7.7 percent currently.
Renovation of the Rabat airport and modernization of the highway system has begun. Output from the electronics sector has doubled over the last five years due to incentives to attract foreign investment.
Thanks to its remarkable performance, particularly in the industrial sector,
Morocco is already in a position to contribute to an important potential with a view to engage in an efficient collaboration between operators interested in Morocco and abroad: trade exchange, sub-constructing, join venture investments and technical cooperation.
The country's authorities have continuously strived to improve the investment climate through the strengthening of inducing measures (see the module Morocco's Assets, Royal Letter) and encouragement in favor of both national and foreign investors, notably through the following:
* Investment Codes interesting various economic sectors: industry, mining,
maritime fisheries, real-estate, tourism, handicrafts, exportations;
* An exchange regulation that authorizes free and automatic transfer of the
capital invested and related revenues;
* An investment credit policy and a reform of the financial system which aims to adapt the Moroccan banking system to European standards;
* Good quality reception infrastructures in such areas as road network,
telecommunications, industrial zones;
* Agreements avoiding double taxation and ensuring investment guarantee along with bilateral and multilateral trade agreements;
* Harmonization and generalization in the area of accountancy: Morocco has endowed itself with a general Code of accounting normalization;
* A global reform of the capital market comprising the reform of the Casablanca Stock Exchange, the creation of collective bodies for the investment of movable property under the form of ICV's (investment companies with variable capital) and the creation of common investment funds;
* The creation of financial offshore markets, the first of which is operational
since 1992 in Tangier ;
* A large privatization program.
Diverse and Promising
Despite the progress of the reform program, the annual economic growth during the 1990s averaged less than two percent. This poor economic performance can be explained partly by drought (six in 10 years) and by an economic slowdown in Europe. , but also raises challenges in terms of increasing external competitiveness and modernizing social and economic institutions.