The entity will be the first to disappear in application of King Mohammed VI’s directives for public sector reform.
Rabat – The Moroccan government council is set to discuss a draft law to dissolve the country’s Marketing and Export Office (OCE), known as “Maroc Taswiq.”
Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani will preside over a meeting to deliberate over the draft legal text on Thursday, August 27 at 10:30 a.m.
The Moroccan government’s spokesperson, Saaid Amzazi, announced the meeting’s agenda on Tuesday, August 25, through a press release.
The OCE, established in 1965 by Late King Hassan II, aimed to promote Morocco’s food and agriculture products in international markets to boost their exports.
Over the last decade, however, several reports speculated the government would dissolve the office because it can no longer reach its objectives.
The rumors began in 2010 when Morocco’s Court of Auditors highlighted the OCE’s inefficiency. The monitoring institution criticized the office’s restructuring that began in 2005 and was not yet complete in 2010.
The Court of Auditors also considered that the OCE is no longer a significant actor in the export of food and agriculture products and no longer accomplishes its legal mission.
“The OCE … is a financially-unprofitable structure,” the Court of Auditors wrote in its 2010 report.
In 2015, the monitoring body issued a new report about “Maroc Taswiq,” urging decisionmakers to launch a reflection about the future of the OCE in light of its “precarious situation.”
According to the report, the office’s efficiency has been in decline since 1986, when private companies received authorization to export their products directly.
The Court of Auditors qualified the OCE as “unviable” and urged competent authorities for immediate action. However, since then, the case remained on the back burner of the Moroccan government’s agenda.
The start of a major reform project
In his 2020 Throne Day speech, King Mohammed VI called for a reform of public institutions to increase their economic and social effectiveness.
“A sweeping reform of the civil service should be expedited, and the structural deficiencies of public institutions and state enterprises should be addressed to achieve optimal integration and increase these institutions’ economic and social effectiveness,” the King said.
The Moroccan government’s deliberation over the dissolution of the OCE could mark the beginning of the royally-instructed public sector reform.
Earlier in August, Minister of Economy Mohamed Benchaaboun said the reform will mainly target public institutions that are purely administrative and do not create wealth.
These institutions “live off state aid that reaches MAD 36 billion ($3.85 billion) per year, and concrete solutions must be found to manage them,” the minister added.
Some of the institutions are “outdated” and Morocco can “do without them,” he continued.
In addition to dissolving “useless” public institutions, the Moroccan government is studying the possibility of creating homogeneous poles that work in similar sectors.
For instance, the National Railway Office (ONCF) and the National Company of Motorways of Morocco (ADM) can merge into a single pole, Benchaaboun explained.
“These poles will have their own accounts and therefore can make significant, synergized investments. The synergy would give productive results,” the minister predicted.