Morocco’s external funding increased by 35.7 percent between 2016 and 2017, leading to MAD 332.35 billion in public external debt in 2017.
Rabat – Morocco received MAD 30.4 billion in foreign funds in 2017, up 35.7 percent compared to 2016, according to the Treasury and External Finance Department (DTFE), daily newspaper L’Economiste reported January 2.
L’Economiste said the rise in foreign loans is explained by the budget increase allocated for reform programs, amounting to MAD 20.7 billion in 2017 compared to only MAD 6.6 billion in the previous year.
The external funding that Morocco received included loans of MAD 20.89 billion, concessional loans of MAD 7.07 billion, and grants of MAD 2.44 billion.
The government allocated 22 percent of the funds for the financial sector, 19 percent for budget support, 15 percent for agriculture, 14 percent for social services, and 13 percent for transport.
“The external funding strategy is based on the macroeconomic objectives set in particular in terms of economic growth, the budget deficit, the external position and the public debt,” L’Economiste explained.
Morocco’s public external debt rose to nearly MAD 332.35 billion in 2017, compared to MAD 312.46 billion in 2016, according to DTFE.
At the end of 2017, Morocco had MAD 900 billion in public debt and MAD 149 billion in debt service.
Public external debt represented 31 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) in 2017, a fraction of a percent higher than a year earlier, according to the Ministry of Economy.
Public institutions and enterprises (EEP) have borrowed the most, carrying MAD 179.3 billion in debt, followed by the Treasury with MAD 153.1 billion in debt.
The French Development Agency (AFD) announced last month that Morocco receives the bulk of the agency’s funding in Africa, with €2.9 billion in loans as of October 15, 2018. In 2017, AFD provided Morocco with €431 million in loans for project funding.
The most recent AFD loan to Morocco amounted to €50 million to extend and improve potable water in the country’s northern provinces.
The North African country plans to issue a new bond in 2019 of around €1 billion euros, according to Minister of Economy Mohamed Benchaaboun.