How would you describe the Moroccan economic situation today?
The drive towards diversification of the productive base and specialisation in high added-value sectors, the large public works policy, the substantial budget allocations to social welfare sectors and the ongoing structural and institutional reforms have allowed us to face the global economic and financial crisis from a fairly comfortable position. The fall in foreign demand has been cushioned by the sustained contribution of domestic demand to economic growth.
By capitalising on its assets, Morocco has succeeded in attaining a growth level of around 5%. The upgrade to Investment Grade by Fitch Ratings, the granting of Advanced Status by the European Union and the accession to the OECD Investment Committee bear witness to Morocco’s credibility among the international institutions.
This year, Morocco has climbed up the World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness ranking. What do you attribute this rise to?
Morocco’s government bodies are undertaking an array of reforms to ensure a stable macroeconomic environment, put in place high-quality institutions and assure healthy and transparent competition between operators.
The country has embarked on a liberalisation of its economy, introducing more flexible procedures, assuring increased protection to private operators and working towards establishing more attractive investment conditions.
On the sectoral front, numerous initiatives have been launched to diversify the offering of the productive base, with particular attention to export goods. These include the National Pact for Industrial Emergence, the Green Morocco Plan in Agriculture, the National Plan for Renewable Energy Development, Vision 2020 for Tourism, and the Digital Morocco Plan.
Which are the investment mega-projects that you presented during the Royal visit to the GCC countries?
The projects discussed include investments in the modernisation of farming in Morocco, as well as in infrastructure and renewable energies.
One example is the Dar Khrofa dam irrigation perimeter in the Larache region, in the north of the country, which will allow 12,000 farmers to achieve an eightfold increase in production. Also, the 500 Megawatt Ouarzazate solar power station, of which the initial 160 MW phase was awarded in September 2012 to ACWA Power International, will be completed in 2016.