Morocco is one of the countries that makes efforts in terms of investment; but that do not necessarily translate into economic growth. And for good reason, the share of public investment is preponderant there compared to private investment. One of the recommendations made within the framework of the new development model is to reverse the balance, with an objective of 65% of private investment and everything that entails in terms of redefining the role of the State... In this equation, foreigners Direct investment will have to play a fundamental role.
It is true that FDI is constantly evolving in Morocco. At the continental level, Morocco is even in pole position, just behind Egypt, in terms of attracting FDI. Thus, at the end of October, they increased by 14.8%, according to the Exchange Office, despite a rather gloomy context, to reach 15.4 billion DH. Even so, “they remain at a fairly low level compared to the potential that Morocco hides. They only represent 2% or 3% of total investment, knowing that Egypt, for example, is doing twice as well," illustrates Xavier Reille, IFC director for the Maghreb, during a webinar on the topic "Foreign direct investments : what is the Moroccan offer?
In terms of the Doing Business ranking, Morocco continues to improve its position in this global business climate ranking. “Whether in terms of sustainability, security or the management of the Covid crisis, Morocco remains well positioned,” said Ali Mehrez, project director at AMDIE. It must be said that FDI is important from a macroeconomic point of view, since it helps balance the trade balance; Morocco is not a big exporter; but not only. They have a role as an accelerator of development. In this sense, they provide new standards of management, governance, regulation…. Furthermore, “they are considered the driving force behind the development of certain sectors, in terms of providing skills, knowledge, job creation, integration into the global value chain, etc., as is the case of the automotive sector,” adds Hassan Belkhayat, member of the CGEM.
Several reasons attract foreign investors to Morocco. Without being exhaustive, Julianne Furman, CEO of Polydesign Systems, cites: "The geographical proximity to Europe, the costs of production factors and reasonable human resources, as well as the tax advantages granted to Tangier, for example."
For their part, industrial acceleration zones continue to be a great catalyst for attracting foreign investors both in terms of facilitation of procedures, availability of information, simplification of procedures, etc. the point that it is commonly accepted that the business environment in Morocco is gaining fluidity and reforms. Chloé Joachim de Larivière, legal advisor at Gide Loyrette Nouel Casablanca, explains that the evolution of FDI and the increased appetite of foreign investors is the result of all the reforms implemented by Morocco to improve its attractiveness. Indeed, company law has experienced a change favorable to investment in Morocco, both in terms of vehicles and governance rules, parity…
“There is a comparative advantage that Morocco can boast of. It is about the fact that it does not attach any importance to the nationality of foreign investors, contrary to the rules imposed by certain neighboring countries,” notes Ms. De Larivière. He adds: “In addition, exchange regulations are relaxed, investors have complete freedom to repatriate their income and there is no opposition regarding the origin of financing (internal / external). Among the latest important reforms is the approval of the Personal Property Security Law, as well as the establishment of the national registry. In fact, several arguments advocate for Morocco, in terms of attracting foreign investors, including political and economic stability, the modern legal framework, evolved and adapted to expectations, satisfactory infrastructure, the proactivity of public authorities and accessibility to The renewable energies….
Achievements to consolidate and areas to improve
There are several gains that Morocco will have to capitalize on to continue promoting foreign investments. However, it is worth taking into account some points for improvement. Ms. De Larivière refers to access to legal information which, although progress has been made, is still insufficient. Likewise, the deadline for the implementation of implementing decrees after the laws are passed remains long. The language of publication of laws always poses a problem, in the sense that translation is not always carried out concomitantly. Furthermore, access to jurisprudence is still lacking, despite some efforts in this area, in the sense that companies have been created in charge of consolidating judicial decisions. In addition, incentives must be put in place in terms of digitalization, for example, which has shown all its interest during this pandemic period, the expansion of certain programs aimed at SMEs to large companies, in particular those related to subsidies to the investment. In solar and wind energy. energies, as well as the training of human resources. If Morocco has several advantages compared to African countries, it should be noted that the competitors are not necessarily African, but come from Central or Eastern Europe, such as Czechia, Slovakia, Albania, Bulgaria. If we take only the tax aspect of this last country as an example, the IS and IR are only the 10%. Hence the continuous efforts to place Morocco on the list of the most attractive countries in terms of FDI.