London, January 19, 2012 (MAP)
Morocco thanks to its political stability and pertinence of economic choices, provides haven from revolutions and recession, wrote the Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) Magazine in its latest issue.
“While its partners in Europe contemplate the possibility of a double-dip recession and its neighbors get to grips with the aftermath of the ‘Arab Spring’ uprisings, there is a pervading feeling that the country will sustain its solid economic growth,” said the Magazine which chose in 2011 Morocco as Africa’s country of the future.
It added that the Kingdom is poised to make lucrative gains from refining its Foreign Direct Investments strategy.
Morocco’s national investment agency (AMDI), in conjunction with the Moroccan government, is refining the country’s image as an FDI destination, it noted, explaining that this is being done through improving Moroccan institutions and expanding its network base, with a view to attracting the key movers and shakers in the international business world in order to make Morocco a regional investment hub of the future.
As the developed economies of Europe experienced financial contraction during the 2008 global financial crisis, it was inevitable that Morocco, heavily reliant on its trade ties with its European partners, would experience knock-on disruptions to its primary sectors, it said.
The Magazine went on saying that the economies of France and Spain have traditionally been Morocco’s principal investors, accounting for 50% and 17%, respectively, of the country’s FDI at the end of 2007 according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Yet both were hit badly by the global financial crisis. Adding to this mire is the ‘Arab Spring’ that swept North Africa and the Middle East early in 2011. “Morocco’s economic resilience in coping with these shocks has been remarkable.”
The country weathered the knock-on effects of the political and economic turbulence, prompting the credit ratings agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P) to affirm its rating of the country’s long- and short-term foreign currency sovereign credit at BBB- and A-3, respectively, and reporting a GDP growth of 5% in 2011. “It is this economic consistency that leads AMDI to attest that Morocco is a competitive destination for FDI,” it stressed.
“We believe the international crisis may be an opportunity for Morocco,” says Fatallah Sijilmassi, director-general of AMDI. “It creates the framework whereby international companies are now looking for places they can expand their businesses, make costs reductions and find political and economic stability. When you are such a company examining all these parameters, in this time of turbulence where nothing is as easy reading as it used to be, my guess is Morocco is your best bet.”
The figures support this optimism. AMDI’s Activity Report reveals FDI inflows into Morocco from its four principal trading partners, namely France, Spain, the United Arab Emirates and Switzerland, rose by 49%, 76%, 80% and 38%, respectively, in 2010. Additionally, Morocco’s Investment Commission recorded a 61% increase in the number of projects it approved last year, from 56 projects in 2009 to 90 in 2010, with a total investment value of $7.2bn, the FDI Magazine said.