Rabat - The Head of Government presented a proposal to reform regional investment centers, ordered by King Mohammed VI, att Thursday at the Council of Ministers.
Rabat – The Head of Government presented a proposal to reform regional investment centers, ordered by King Mohammed VI, att Thursday at the Council of Ministers.
The King received the Moroccan Head of Government, Saadeddine El Othmani, the Minister of Economy and Finance, Mohamed Boussaid; the Minister of the Interior, Abdelouafi Laftit; and the King’s advisors, on Thursday at the Royal Palace in Rabat.
The proposals, crafted through a participatory approach with all the concerned sectors, are based on a thorough diagnosis of obstacles that hindered goals set by the King on January 2, 2002, which aimed for decentralized investment management..
“The royal vision acts as a frame of reference for the action of the regional investment centers. It is based on the conclusions of the report of the Court Audit, which evaluated the performance of regional investment centers brought to the attention of His Majesty the King in December 2017. The vision was also based on the results of analysis and a detailed study carried out by a consulting firm and supervised by the Interior Ministry. Recommendations from Commission meetings comprised under the chairmanship of the Head of the Government were also taken into consideration,” stated El Othmani in his speech.
The Head of Government noted that the reform relied on three key aspects: transforming investment centers into public institutions through participatory governance, uniting all the former regional investment commissions into one single commission to improve and harmonize decision-making processes, and simplify measures related to investment files by adopting “administrative devolution” at the regional level, as well as modern approaches and incentive laws at the central level.
Ideally, the transformation approach will deepen stakeholder engagement and integration into the investment files he process, while strengthening the support of both small and medium-sized enterprises, setting the stage for the amicable settlement of disputes between administration and investors.
With the aim to create a unified regional investment commission, the second approach affirms that decisions taken by the new proposed “united commission” would be binding on all its members, and could be appealed before the Wali of the region, or the commission chaired by the Head of Government, if necessary.
At the international level, the effectiveness of a central plan relies on the systematic simplification of the administrative procedure. It requires the implementation of laws that enforce deadlines for issuing authorizations, fighting administrative bureaucracy, and implementing human resources in conjunction with the new public administration principles.
“These are the broad proposal outlining the plan for its implementation submitted to Your Majesty, in the hopes that they are in alignment with Your Majesty’s directives and Your will to reform these centers to make them an efficient lever for promoting investment and free initiative in order to turn the regions into an engine of development, to fight spatial disparities, and to achieve economic and social prosperity for the Moroccan people under Your leadership,” concluded the Head of Government.
Upon receiving a report on the Manarat Al Moutawassit project of Al Hoceima, on October 2017, the King made an unprecedented decision to dismiss several former high officials, including the Minister of National Education, Mohamed Hassad; the Minister of Health, El Houssaine El Ouardi; and the Minister of Housing, Mohammed Nabil Benabdellah.
The King’s decision raised speculation about further dismissals, especially among members of regional investment centers. Suspicions were particularly high following the King’s speech on Throne Day, July 23, when King Mohammed VI deemed the country’s investment centers to be problematic because “they impede the act of investing instead of serving as a mechanism to provide incentives and resolve investors’ problems at the regional level, without referring investors to central government departments instead.”