Adopted during the last Council of Ministers, draft framework law n° 03.22 which will constitute the Investment Charter to support the Moroccan economy and national investment, must now be discussed in the Finance Committee. Here are the details of this new Charter.
The text was tabled last Thursday in the House of Representatives, then was sent on Friday to the Finance and Economic Development Committee, which will begin its first reading.
This Charter has many objectives centered around the promotion of national investment in order to better contribute to the economic growth of the kingdom. It includes basic support mechanisms which include solidarity investment subsidies, an additional investment subsidy called “territorial subsidy” depending on the territory, another complementary subsidy called sectoral “subsidy”.
Activities of a strategic nature are also taken into account, SME and the development of Moroccan companies internationally, too. The charter stipulates that the State’s investment development policy is based on the principles of freedom of enterprise, free competition, transparency, equal treatment of investors regardless of their nationality, legal certainty and good governance.
The implementation of public policies in the field of the development of investment and its encouragement will be ensured by the competent government authorities in matters of investment, the companies and public establishments concerned, and the ministerial body which will be created in accordance with the framework law, in addition to the regional investment centers and its regional committees, indicates the draft law.
It should be noted that investments in the agricultural sector are excluded from the application of the framework law, as they are subject to other specific legislative and regulatory texts.
Investors wishing to benefit from the support system applied to investment projects of a strategic nature or to encourage Moroccan companies to establish themselves internationally, for their part, must conclude with the State an investment agreement which specifies in particular the obligations of the State and of the investor and the methods of their implementation.
Once the agreement has been signed, investors will also benefit from the aforementioned subsidy systems, tax and customs privileges.
With this Investment Charter, which has been worked on and reworked several times during the mandate of the former Minister of Industry and Trade, Moulay Hafid Elalamy, the current government maintains the same objectives.
The State thus aims to create stable jobs, reduce disparities between the provinces and prefectures of the country in terms of attracting investments, directing investments towards sectors of the future, encouraging exports. and the development of Moroccan companies abroad.
It also seeks to improve the business climate, and the facilitation of investment, the incentive to produce locally rather than import. The ultimate stated goal will be to strengthen Morocco’s attractiveness with a view to establishing it as a continental and international hub for foreign direct investment (FDI).
Subsidies are subdivided into common investment bonuses granted to investment projects according to criteria defined by regulation, additional investment bonuses, known as the “territorial bonus” for investment projects carried out in the provinces or the prefectures, an additional investment bonus, known as the “sectoral bonus”, granted to investment projects carried out in priority sectors of activity.
The list of all the sectors of activity sought by the State will be published and determined by regulation. The Charter does not provide for the accumulation of subsidies, so when an investment project is carried out in two or more sectors of activity, the investor will only benefit once from this bonus which corresponds to the sector of activity in which the greater part of its total investment is made.
For VSMEs, “the State undertakes to pursue the reform of the financial sector through the establishment of support and guarantee mechanisms intended to facilitate access for very small, small and medium-sized enterprises to financing” and to ” take measures in favor of these companies in terms of access to public procurement, strengthening of productive capacities, training and support”. There will be a specific support mechanism intended for VSMEs, the terms of implementation of which will be set, as the case may be, by legislative or regulatory means.
For strategic investment projects, their criteria will be specified later by regulation. They will be able to benefit from specific negotiated advantages (article 17), but the specific support mechanism applicable to investment projects of a strategic nature and the main (basic) support mechanism cannot be combined.
Finally, companies wishing to export internationally, “the basis of calculation and the rates of the common premiums for investment, the territorial premium and the sectoral premium are set by regulation”, indicates the Charter. Article 16 states “the premiums referred to in article 15 above can be combined with each other within the limit of 30% of the premiumable investment amount. However, the cumulative total of investment grants granted to investment projects carried out in the field of energy production from renewable energy sources may not, under any circumstances, exceed an amount fixed by regulation. .
With this Investment Charter, which includes several mechanisms to encourage entrepreneurs, the State wishes to rebalance the share between private, national and international investment in the Kingdom’s total investment.
This part for the moment represents a third of the total investment, ie nearly 100 billion dirhams per year, and remains far from the public sector, the main investor in the country.