He is president of the National Transport Federation (FNT) within the CGEM but also a member of the Economic, Social and Environmental Council (CESE). Abdelilah Hifdi, was elected, for the second time, President of the CGEM group to the Chamber of Councilors for the 2021-2027 term, following the elections held on October 5.
Having held several high positions within the Moroccan administration and member of the Board of Directors of the CGEM, Abdelilah Hifdi was kind enough to confide, in an exclusive interview to MoroccoLatestNews, on his election for the second time to the Upper House, the expectations of professional bodies, the experience with the ex-government led by the PJDiste or the expectations of the new liberal government of Aziz Akhannouch.
How do you see your election, for a second term, as president of the CGEM group within the Chamber of Councilors?
Abdelilah Hifdi: This is indeed my second appointment as chairman of the CGEM group in the upper chamber. I therefore symbolize the continuity of the CGEM parliamentary group in the 2nd chamber, since I was already president of this group from 2015 to 2021. This is not something new for me.
It was new in 2015, since it was my first experience of representing the category of professional employers’ organizations, after the 2011 constitution.
We have been able to have a history over the past six years in order to bring together continuity in favor of the company, how to work within a political space when we come from an economic ecosystem, so as not to fall into the political predation.
On the first day when we arrived in the House of Councilors, the political parties believed at one point that they were dealing with ” lambs “, Whereas we saw them as” predators “. There was a lot of mistrust.
But later, other relationships were established, made of friendship, esteem and trust. And we were able to work hand in hand, with all the political parties while we are all, practically, without political affiliation.
Even those among us, who belonged to political parties, have kept this neutrality, this autonomy and independence of the employers’ organization from the political world.
And it is normal that we do politics, because we are in a political environment. But, we defend the policy of the company. And as a result, we sometimes voted with the opposition.
Why do I say sometimes, because we often voted with the government. And it will be this time around. Why ? Today we are talking about representative democracy.
But within the CGEM, we have always worked hand in hand with the government in different spaces of consultation, communication, sharing, without being in parliament. For example, we cannot imagine that a finance law will be drawn up by the government, without sharing its main axes with the CGEM so that we can give our opinion.
Moreover, and before the drafting of the PLF, we propose around forty amendments which are often applied, which precisely makes it possible to improve the PLF.
That is to say, today we are in a representative democracy where we were registered long before through all the representative committees, in particular the joint committees, the business environment committees, or the government platform. CGEM. We talk about all the questions concerning the business climate, the financing of the SME or TPE and all that concerns the company.
When it comes to working with political parties, today there is a new, more liberal government which also constitutes the majority in the upper house. How do you see your collaboration with this new coalition, made up of several businessmen?
Today with the RNI, there is a great agreement because our DNA is the same. We are also criticized for this proximity. But these people are entrepreneurs. The political elite must understand that we get along better with entrepreneurs than with others.
Unfortunately the PJD government and its PJDist ministers were not entrepreneurs. They did not understand our fears, our hopes and the concerns of the corporate world.
I do not want to dwell on this point, but I believe that every government must understand that wealth is created only by business. It is the business that creates wealth, jobs, etc.
If we come back to a study by the HCP carried out in 2020, it is clearly indicated that in Morocco, out of 10 jobs created, 9.3 come from the private sector.
That is, when we encourage the private sector, there might be some dysfunction. But we are not going to legislate on dysfunctions. These are exceptions (…).
I say that today, we must encourage the company and encourage it to invest, create jobs, innovate, move towards scientific research, etc., also by setting up a transparent contractual framework in the Labor Code.
What do you think of the blocking of the organic law on the exercise of the right to strike, which has struggled to see the light of day since 1962?
The 1962 Constitution, in its article 14, stipulates that the right to strike remains guaranteed. An organic law will come to specify its exercise. However, this law never saw the light of day, that is to say 58 years later. Do you find that normal?
Our role is to draw the attention of the public authorities to this subject in order to put in place rules of conduct concerning strikes. The right to strike is guaranteed by the Constitution, but the freedom to work must also be guaranteed.
I go further, even if it will disturb the unions, but since the constitution says that the right to strike remains guaranteed and that an organic law will come to specify the exercise, I believe that the right to strike is prohibited as long as the organic law has not yet intervened.
Today, I am giving an example to say that the work that we expected from the government, in consultation with the company, is important work for the general interest of the company.