The handicraft sector has recovered with the resumption of tourist activity recording an increase in exports of around 31% at the end of April 2022, indicated the Minister of Tourism, Handicrafts and Social and Solidarity Economy, Fatim-Zahra Ammor.
Responding to an oral question in the House of Councilors on “the measures taken to deal with the crisis in the handicraft sector”, Fatim-Zahra Ammor stressed that the aforementioned evolution exceeds by 19% the volume of exports recorded before the health crisis. The sector has suffered greatly from the health crisis, in particular arts and crafts due to its dependence on foreign tourists, the minister pointed out, noting that this segment accounts for 18% of the sector’s workforce.
And to add that the department acts on two main axes, namely the structuring and organization of the sector, and the development of the offer and marketing.
With regard to the first axis, the Minister noted that a large number of craftsmen work in the informal sector, which implies an urgency in terms of structuring and organization. Thus, Fatim-Zahra Ammor announced the publication by the ministry of implementing decrees relating to the implementation of the provisions of law N 50-17 relating to the exercise of craft activities, intended to to organize and promote 172 professions, and the creation of an electronic platform for the National Crafts Register allowing craftsmen to register with the National Social Security Fund (CNSS). The government official estimated that these measures, claimed by the craft chambers and the professional chambers, are able to accelerate the system of health coverage of the sector, in consultation with all the partners, specifying that to date , more than 164,000 craftsmen have been registered in the register.
In this regard, Fatim-Zahra Ammor called on all craftsmen to register in the National Handicrafts Register as a regulatory framework for the protection, organization, preservation and promotion of their know-how, and which also allows them to benefit from health coverage as well as other support, supervision and training programs provided by the State. With regard to the second axis, the Minister informed of the continuation of the implementation of programs relating to technical support for craft complexes, the rehabilitation of current infrastructures and the creation of new infrastructures such as spaces of exhibition, sale and the houses of the craftsman in the rural world, noting that 64 projects are in progress.
In order to support professionals in the promotion of handicrafts, the minister reported the launch of a vast campaign to market their creations in several large shopping centers in several Moroccan cities, stressing that this pilot operation, which the ministry striving to expand, offers an opportunity for artisans to improve their income to mitigate the impact of the health crisis.
At the same time, the agreements related to e-commerce with the sector’s platforms have been expanded by the signing of a partnership agreement between the ministry and a banking establishment, to offer a new financing product on preferential terms and non-refundable support. financing for the benefit of all artisans, noting that consultations are taking place with other banks for financing.
Fatim-Zahra Ammor then highlighted the development of an export promotion program so that the sector is not affected by the vagaries of tourism, and the establishment of a new approach to promote products in coordination with the chambers of crafts, and the conclusion, in mid-June, of regional agreements with all the chambers to give new impetus to the marketing of these products.
The ministry is also working, according to the minister, on a revision of the National Crafts Week to allow the greatest number of artisans to benefit from it, and through the integration of the international dimension to promote exports. A new approach based on a global development of the Moroccan product has been adopted through the supply of raw materials for production and marketing. Pending its generalization to all segments of crafts, this new approach is now effective in the carpet and pottery branches, she concluded.