Morocco is an attractive market; and not only for large corporations, there are many opportunities for SMEs as well. Some 18,840 Spanish firms, mainly SMEs, are already exporting to the country. Why?: Steady growth over the years and cultural and geographical proximity.
Recent legislative reforms have brought Morocco into a modern, global and competitive environment. According to a recent report by the World Economic Forum, Morocco has not only improved its position in the world, but it has also increased its standard of living, created a sustainable economic model and generated an economic climate favourable to business and investment.
Morocco is currently rated 70 of 140 countries, ranked number 9 in North Africa and the Middle East and number 2 in the Southern Mediterranean.
With a population in the region of 32 million, Morocco produces 5% of total African GDP which is about 35% of the North African GDP and growth forecast at 5% for 2014.
Economic activity is concentrated in the Casablanca-Rabat-Tangiers axis which is, potentially, the platform from which to reach millions of consumers.
Morocco and the European Union
Morocco is the first Southern Mediterranean country to sign an Advanced Statute in its relations with the European Union: the establishment of a free-trade agreement between the two. This North African country is also a recipient of European funds for neighbouring countries which offers a further stimulus to trade, not only for the geographical proximity but also for the synergy created by complimentary productive structures and the continuing dependence of Morocco on European products and technologies to fuel development.
Within the framework of the New Mediterranean Policy for a strategy to promote economic integration, the Euro-Mediterranean Association Agreement with Moroccois aimed at consolidating a free-trade area between the European Union and the AMC (Associated Mediterranean Countries). In general terms, the agreement establishes a free-trade zone for industrial goods, enhances access to agricultural markets and strengthens political, economic and financial cooperation. All of which follows on from a progressive dismantling of import duties and equivalent levies on trade between the two territories.
Morocco and Spain
Geographical proximity and historical ties make Spain an ideal candidate to exploit trade opportunities that are on offer in this North African country. These opportunities vary from industry to industry; for example: mining and agriculture need material inputs, machinery and capital goods, whilst developing sectors such as tourism, telecommunications and energy are in need of more specific inputs which Spanish companies are well placed to provide due to their leading position in these technologies and services.
Spanish exports to Morocco totalled € 432’4 million in January which is a 24’6% increase over the same period in 2012. It was in the same year that Spain overtook France as number one trade partner to Morocco when trade reached a total of € 8,870 million – a 29% increase and leaving a favourable balance of € 2,350 million.
Both the vibrant Moroccan economy and that of Europe are undergoing profound changes. The North African country is working on transforming its economic structure by focusing on making it a reference partner for Europe and, specifically, for Spain. The aim is to make it a model for the region and, finally, for the whole of Africa.
For further information on business opportunities in Morocco, please contact:
Managing Partner – International Team Consulting.