A recent seminar concludes that Morocco should diversify its economy to meet the coming, post-pandemic challenges.
Rabat – With new opportunities and challenges emerging from the COVID-19 crisis, Morocco needs to adapt to the coming paradigm shift by diversifying its economy –upgrading its investments in innovative research and supporting its manufacturing sector.
The sentiment comes from the talking points and conclusions of a seminar “Economic recovery of Morocco” the General Confederation of Moroccan Enterprises (CGEM) organized in Casablanca on Tuesday, February 16.
Speaking at the seminar were Mohamed Benchaaboun, Minister of Economy, Finance and Administrative Reform, and Moulay Hafid Elalamy, Minister of Industry, Trade and Green and Digital Economy.
During the seminar, discussions centered on how to mobilize and incentivize both Moroccans at home, as well as abroad, to invest in the country’s economy.
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Approximately 10% of all money transfers from Moroccans abroad, which reached 68 billion dirhams ($7.6 billion) in 2020, are directed to investment, Benchaaboun revealed. Of this sum, about 75% goes into property and real estate.
Speaking of Moroccans abroad, Benchaaboun noted that many have developed a “network of connections, trade and technology, on which Morocco can capitalize to solve the issue of recovery.”
The Minister of Economy noted the government’s efforts to encourage investment, citing the reform of the Regional Investment Centers as one of the success stories. The reforms reduced the processing time of investment projects to no more than one month, according to Benchaaboun.
Elalamy focussed on Moroccan manufacture, noting the government’s efforts to finance and accompany innovative projects in the sector. “In February 2021, 338 projects totaling a national turnover of 20.6 billion dirhams and 14 billion dirhams for export were selected for support,” he said. The Minister of Industry highlighted the importance of the “Made in Morocco” label, and other initiatives that will benefit it.
For Elalamy, Moroccan’s drive for home manufactured products in the wake of the pandemic was surprising. “Morocco was extremely innovative, and despite my long experience in the private sector I have discovered a new morocco, with new capabilities,” said the minister.
Elalamy went on to praise Moroccan manufacturers for their responsiveness, flexibility, and innovation during the COVID-19 lockdown.
During the early, particularly stressful weeks of the pandemic, the North African country saw factories mobilized for manufacturing masks, respirators, school books and many other supplies that were previously imported.
For Richard Attias, a Moroccan events producer and an entrepreneur, the key to the country’s economic recovery lies in diversifying the Moroccan economy. “Time is of essence, we can not wait,” noted the businessman.
As an essential part of its post-pandemic recovery plan, Morocco should provide more support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SME), Attias maintained.
“We often tend to say that Morocco is the gates to Africa,” he said. While Morocco should continue pursuing its continental aspirations, Attias believes the country should be more globally oriented to capitalize on the opportunities of the post-pandemic world. “Morocco could be a winner in this regard,” he concluded.