Transfers from Moroccans around the world recorded a historic leap in 2021, a dynamic that continued in 2022, contributing greatly to filling the trade deficit, thanks to the measures put in place by Bank Al-Maghrib (BAM) .
BAM has indeed worked to reduce the cost of remittances for Moroccans residing abroad (MRE) and to diversify transmission channels, explained Abdellatif Jouahri, Wali of Bank Al-Maghrib.
Speaking at the opening of the Rabat Forum on reducing the cost of remittances from the African diaspora, Jouahri underlined that “the public authorities and the Central Bank worked very early on, in concert and in coordination with the banking sector, to consolidate this dynamic (jump in income from MREs, editor’s note) by promoting, in particular, the diversification of transmission channels and the reduction of costs”.
Receipts from Moroccans around the world recorded a historic jump of 37% in 2021 and 13% in 2022, thus financing more than a third of the trade deficit and representing nearly 20% of the resources collected by banks, he added. he recalled, stating that “Morocco has developed, for several decades, a solid banking infrastructure based on a transnational presence of proximity which constitutes a major asset for the support “of our compatriots in their countries of residence”.
“In Morocco, we were sensitive to this cost issue very early on. Bank Al-Maghrib also decided, in 2009, to lift any exclusivity clause binding international money transfer operators to their partners in Morocco. This measure has made it possible to significantly reduce these costs,” he said.
Moroccan banks are present in 27 countries on the continent and have subsidiaries and branches in 7 European countries and around 50 representative offices across different regions of the globe, noted the governor of the Moroccan central bank, who mentioned , however, some challenges.
In this context, he mentioned the case of the European Union, where several banking authorities have decided to suspend the intermediation activity carried out by banking subsidiaries located in Europe with the diaspora and on behalf of their parent companies. Moroccan companies, he specified, informing that the conditions for the provision of this activity will be further tightened if the draft European directive relating in particular to branches in third countries is voted as it stands.
Abdellatif Jouahri also noted that studies on the links between remittances from migrants to families and the development of countries of origin “conclude that the productive investment of diasporas in their countries remains low”.
In this sense, he emphasized the need to change the paradigm by considering our diasporas as a real asset and a major component of “our public policies, thus leading them to contribute to strengthening the capacities of our compatriots and to the influence of our country “.
He also called for “large-scale diplomatic action” within African countries to “alert on these worrying developments and work to preserve the gains and maintain the links”, particularly of the last generations of migrants on the European soil with the mother country.
Note that the African diaspora had reached more than 150 million in 2021, two-thirds of which are on the African continent, according to a concept note from the forum. Over the period 2010-2020, remittances from this diaspora totaled more than $610 billion for the MENA region and $440 billion for sub-Saharan Africa, representing respectively an average of 1.7% and 2.4% of the GDP, says the note, noting that only 10% of these remittances are invested in savings projects or products in Africa.