By Sana Elouazi
By Sana Elouazi
Rabat – Moroccans currently have the same standard of living as that of European countries over 50 years ago, according to the World Bank.
In a report released October 19 entitled “Morocco 2014 – Emerging by investing in intangible capital,” the financial institution concludes that Morocco has made “undeniable economic progress” over the past 15 years, but many economic factors continue to pose a “daunting challenge” for the kingdom.
Morocco’s economic achievements have enabled it to set in motion since the early 2000s an economic convergence with southern European countries such as France, Italy, Portugal and Spain. However, the process has been slow and the economic gap between the current Morocco and Europe can be estimated at about half a century, states the report.
The 2017 memorandum on Morocco’s economy emphasizes that the kingdom aspires to economic emergence, “but the road ahead remains long, not only to reach the rich countries, but also to catch up with the emerging countries’ rapid growth.”
The study shows that current standard of living in Morocco corresponds to the standard of living reached by France in 1950, Italy in 1955, the Spain in 1960, and Portugal in 1965, which indicates a “significant” economic gap between Morocco and the other emerging countries in Europe.
Similarly, the purchasing power of Moroccans reaches only 40 percent of the average purchasing power in countries like Brazil, Malaysia, Mexico, Romania, and Turkey, while it reaches only 22 percent of that of Spain, its immediate European neighbor.
In its report’s preface, the World Bank thus advocates putting youth, education, health and training at the heart of Morocco’s development model for the upcoming years, in order to anticipate the future changes for greater human development.