In October, Bank Al-Maghrib celebrated the resilience of remittances from Moroccans residing abroad.
Rabat – Morocco’s Foreign Exchange Office announced that remittances from Moroccans living abroad increased by 1.7% to MAD 55.83 billion ($6.19 million) in the 10 first months in 2020.
The office shared the figures in its October 2020 bulletin on external trade indicators, cited by 2M.
Travel receipts reached MAD 26.64 billion ($3 billion) at the end of October. Meanwhile, travel expenses fell by 50.4%, to MAD 8.79 billion ($975 million). The result means that the travel balance surplus fell by 63.8%.
Despite the COVID-19 crisis, Moroccans abroad continue to send remittances to their families and relatives.
In October, Morocco’s central bank, Bank Al-Maghrib, expressed satisfaction with the resilience of remittances from Moroccans residing abroad despite the pandemic.
The bank estimated remittances from Moroccans residing abroad would show a “limited decrease of 5% to MAD 61.5 billion ($6.6 billion).”
The bank expects an improvement of 2.4% in remittances from Moroccans residing abroad in 2021. It also forecasts remittances to reach MAD 63 billion or $6.8 billion.
Thousands of Moroccans were unable to come to their homeland this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the summer season, over two million Moroccans typically arrive in Morocco annually as part of the Marhaba operation, an annual campaign welcoming Moroccans residing abroad during the holidays.
The pandemic, however, forced Moroccan authorities to cancel the campaign this year.
Morocco’s government suspended all international flights, land, and sea travel in mid-March to contain the spread of COVID-19.
The state launched special flights in July to serve Moroccans residing abroad wishing to come back to the country.
The government also helped Moroccans who live abroad and were stranded in the North African country to return to their countries of residence through repatriation flights.
FDI and IDMEs
According to the Exchange Office, the net flow of foreign direct investment (FDI) dropped by 31.2% in the first ten months in 2020, compared to the end of October 2019.
The office said that FDI continued to drop to MAD 11.69 billion ($1.3 billion) for the first ten months of 2020.
The Exchange Office said the drop was due to the decrease in FDI income of 28% to MAD 20.43 billion ($2.27 billion). The drop was “mitigated by the fall in expenditure of 23.2%.”
The office said that the net flow of Moroccan direct investments abroad (IDME) also decreased by over MAD 4.58 billion ($507.9 million).
IDMEs reached nearly MAD 6.28 billion (696.4 million) at the end of October. The number represents a drop of 33.5%.
The office said that the disposals of the IDMEs more than doubled, increasing by MAD 1.42 billion ($157.47 million).