The investment fund is part of a MAD 120 billion ($12.93 billion) stimulus package aimed at relaunching the Moroccan economy.
Rabat – Morocco’s strategic investment fund, worth MAD 45 billion ($4.85 billion), will prioritize productive economic activities with high market value, Minister of Economy Mohamed Benchaaboun announced Tuesday.
Benchaaboun made the announcement before the Finance and Economic Development Committee at the House of Representatives on August 11.
The fund’s mission is to finance major infrastructure projects through public-private partnerships, the minister said. The fund also aims to support companies with equity capitals in order to boost their job creation potential.
The committee that will manage the investment fund is set to select projects based on their employment potential, Benchaaboun said. The committee will also divide the fund into sectoral or thematic funds intended for investment in infrastructure projects across Morocco.
The minister explained that Morocco’s amended 2020 Finance Bill allocates MAD 15 billion ($1.62 billion) from the state’s general budget to the fund. The remaining MAD 30 billion ($3.23 billion) will be mobilized through partnerships with national and international financial institutions.
Benchaaboun presented the investment fund before deputies in order for them to adopt a bill setting the fund’s legal framework.
Social security reform
After outlining Morocco’s strategic investment fund, the economy minister presented the Moroccan government’s plan to generalize social security.
Benchaaboun said the government will first generalize the Obligatory Medical Insurance (AMO) system. The generalization of family allowances, pensions, and job loss compensations will follow.
One of the issues with current social security plans is that Moroccan housewives are fully dependent on their partners and lose their benefits in case of a separation, Benchaaboun highlighted. He pledged to address the issue in the future reform.
The reform will begin in 2021 and take place gradually over a period of five years, the minister said. The first phase, from 2021 to 2023, will focus on generalizing AMO and family allowances. Meanwhile, the 2024-2025 phase will generalize pensions and job loss compensations.
Benchaaboun expressed the government’s willingness to open a constructive dialogue with its social partners. The discussions would revolve around the timetable, the legal framework, and the reforms’ financing and implementation methods.
The Moroccan government will take a series of measures to guarantee the success of this “major” reform project, Benchaaboun said. The measures include the reform of legal frameworks, the rehabilitation of hospitals, and the organization of care pathways.
The measures also include the creation of a unified social register, the reform of social security systems’ governance, and the reform of social contribution systems for professionals.
The Moroccan government also plans to abolish the RAMED medical assistance system, which offers medical insurance to Moroccans in precarious situations, Benchaaboun announced. The AMO system will begin covering this category of citizens. It will ensure medical coverage of the same quality for all Moroccans in spite of their financial contributions.
For the public sector reform, Benchaaboun said the government will focus on resolving the structural dysfunctions of public establishments and enterprises. The reform aims to synergize public enterprises and strengthen their economic and social efficiency.
The government is set to create a national agency responsible for evaluating the performance of public enterprises, the minister concluded.
Recovering from COVID-19
The decree for the investment fund comes after King Mohammed VI announced in his Throne Day speech a MAD 120 billion ($12.93 billion) stimulus package to relaunch Morocco’s economy amid the COVID-19 crisis.
In his speech, the King focused on three main axes, namely the generalization of social security, the reform of the public sector, and the relaunch of economic activities.
The strategic investment fund represents 37.5% of Morocco’s stimulus package.