Policy Center for the New South (PCNS) and the World Bank recently published a report in which the two institutions explore the ways in which Morocco, through its trade and industrial policies, can seize the opportunities offered by international markets.
Entitled “Morocco’s Trade Policy: Assessment and Prospects”, this joint report reviews the general orientations of Morocco’s trade and industrial policies over the past thirty years, which have anchored the Kingdom in the flow of international trade in goods, services and of investments.
According to the authors of the foreword to this 527-page volume, Jesko Hentschel, World Bank Country Director for the Maghreb and Malta, and Karim El Aynaoui, President of the PCNS, Morocco continues to derive significant benefits from opening of its economy despite the challenges of a complex geopolitical environment.
These include the increasing insertion of Moroccan companies into cross-border production networks, and strong performance in exporting and attracting investment, they stressed, noting that Morocco presents itself as the one of the best performing and most stable economies in its region.
Noting the colossal progress made by the country in reducing poverty, the authors note, in line with the recommendations of the New Development Model, that Morocco can do better in terms of converging the standard of living of citizens with its northern neighbors.
According to Messrs. El Aynaoui and Hentschel, the central message of the analyzes in this volume is that Morocco can do much more to fully realize its commercial potential, particularly on the aspects of strengthening the competitiveness of exporting companies that require new reforms and investments.
Thus, the authors cite the development of the skills of the Moroccan workforce, the improvement of the business environment and incentives for private investment, the maintenance of the competitiveness of the exchange rate which should show more flexibility in the face of endogenous and exogenous shocks.
After noting that industrial, trade and investment policies play a crucial role, the report highlights the importance of the export potential of Morocco’s services sector, whose growth remains the main source of job creation in the country. Kingdom.
Morocco’s agricultural exports have also performed particularly well in recent years, they noted, noting that there is great potential for diversification and growth of agricultural exports to new destinations, while adopting alternative energy sources. greener and more water-efficient production methods.
At the same time, the authors called for the conclusion of new trade agreements, necessary to deepen and broaden Morocco’s bilateral ties with the European Union, its main trade and investment partner, indicating that beyond the France and Spain, a large part of the European market escapes Moroccan exporters.
Morocco’s penetration of African markets, which should be stimulated by the entry into force of the African Continental Free Trade Area (ZLECAf), remains below its potential, they explained, also mentioning the links Morocco’s one-way trade with Asian countries based on imports.
The time has come for Moroccan agencies and the largest private companies in the Kingdom to redouble their efforts in terms of export promotion, said MM. El Aynaoui and Hentschel, who suggest giving more voice to Moroccan exporters and strengthening the capacity of trade promotion agencies.
The publication therefore demonstrates that Morocco has every interest in pursuing its open trade policies and strengthening its efforts to build a more competitive, inclusive and resilient economy.