Morocco: 2012, a challenge year
The «Arab Spring» was rather mild in Morocco, compared with what is still going on in other countries in the region. This results from the role of the king, the Commander of the faithful, but also from the fact that leaders in Morocco have attempted to anticipate the rise of unrest and discontent.
Today, the country has a true asset with its manageable external indebtedness and its solid and dynamic banking sector.
However, despite true economic and social progress, and despite the benefits that it derives from phosphates, tourism and better infrastructures, Morocco remains a rural, poor and insufficiently diversified country.
Strongly dependent on raw materials, the Moroccan economy remains fragile. Poorer harvests than in 2011 and the deteriorating economic situation in the European Union, its main economic and commercial partner, are weighing on its growth that could be limited to some 3% in 2012. Companies consider payment delays to be excessive, in a country where the driving force behind SMEs - namely credit remains scarce - and continues to be an obstacle.
As the spring board into Africa, Morocco has a Coface rating of A4, one of the best in the region.
However, it must still meet three major challenges: education, health and corruption.
Much will depend on the implementation of the new constitution, the attitude of the government directed by the leader of the Justice and Development Party (moderate Islamists), and greater social justice. In other words, a reduction of poverty, inequality and unemployment.
MUSLIM ECONOMIC SENSITIVITY IS LIBERAL
For Remi Genevey, Strategic Director of the Agence française de développement (AFD), Morocco has made noteworthy progress over the last ten years. However, the country remains poor and rural. Considerable challenges still exist: education, health and corruption.
ECONOMIC APPRAISAL: GROWTH LIMITED TO SOME 3% IN 2012
Still insufficiently diversified and dependent on the commodity prices, the Moroccan economy remains fragile, according to Pierre Paganelli from the Coface Risk Department.
BANKING SECTOR: THE NORTH AFRICAN LEADER
According to Mamoun Tahri-Joutei, BMCE Bank Economic Intelligence Manager, the Moroccan banking industry aims to become a regional «financial hub» this year.
COFACE CONFERENCE IN CASABLANCA ON 10 MAY 2012
For Mohamed Berrada, Chairman of the Links Research Centre, qualitative development must be given preference over growth. The other speakers all stressed the need to diversify the economy, and certain ones called for regional integration.
TESTIMONIALS FROM SIX COMPANIES
Coming from very different sectors, the interviewed companies all highlighted to Morocco’s geostrategic position and its young and increasingly qualified population.
THE UNDERWRITING OF MOROCCAN RISKS BY COFACE
Just like the Moroccan economic fabric, the Coface risks are diversified in terms of size and the profile of the covered buyers, according to Coface Underwriter Olivier Foulonneau.
COFACE SERVICES MAGHREB
The Coface subsidiary in Morocco, directed by Jean-Marc Pons, helps companies wishing to make their way in the Moroccan market, with full knowledge of the facts and safely.