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flag Morocco Morocco: Investing

In this page: FDI in Figures | Why You Should Choose to Invest in Morocco | Procedures Relative to Foreign Investment | Investment Opportunities

 

FDI in Figures

In recent years, Moroccan authorities have been successful in attracting a relatively consistent flow of foreign capital, mainly relying on the national privatization program, the conversion of foreign debt into investments and the operations of public services concessions. Other sectors have taken over, including banking, tourism, energy and industry. However, the level of FDI remains modest and could make a stronger contribution to the launching of the country's economy. Recently, many big groups have installed their operations in Morocco as well as the French companies Safran and Renault.

After a decline in 2009-2010 due to the global recession, FDI flows into Morocco began to rise again in 2011despite the context of the Euro-zone crisis and the revolutions of the "Arab Spring". In 2013, Morocco was the recipient of the largest amount of FDI in the Maghreb region and the country is classified among the top on the African continent. It is also important to note that the country went up eight places in the classification Doing Business 2014 issued by the World Bank in relation to its business climate (it ranks 87 out of 189 countries). France, Saudi Arabia and Spain are the three main investors. FDI is mainly concentrated in the real estate sector, followed by industry and tourism. The country's stability should attract investors. In addition, a vast project of economic modernization has been launched to boost FDI. Casablanca in particular, aims to become an international financial center.

 

Country Comparison For the Protection of Investors

  Morocco Middle East & North Africa United States Germany
Index of Transaction Transparency* 7.0 6.0 7.0 5.0
Index of Manager’s Responsibility** 2.0 5.0 9.0 5.0
Index of Shareholders’ Power*** 4.0 9.0 5.0
Index of Investor Protection**** 5.0 5.0 8.3 5.0

Source: Doing Business - Last Available Data.

Note: *The Greater the Index, the More Transparent the Conditions of Transactions. **The Greater the Index, the More the Manager is Personally Responsible. *** The Greater the Index, the Easier it Will Be For Shareholders to Take Legal Action. **** The Greater the Index, the Higher the Level of Investor Protection.

 
Foreign Direct Investment 201120122013
FDI Inward Flow (million USD) 2,5682,7283,358
FDI Stock (million USD) 44,51645,24650,280
Performance Index*, Ranking on 181 Economies 96--
Potential Index**, Ranking on 177 Economies 69--
Number of Greenfield Investments*** 946343
FDI Inwards (in % of GFCF****) 8.49.110.2
FDI Stock (in % of GDP) 44.947.147.8

Source: UNCTAD - Last Available Data.

Note: * The UNCTAD Inward FDI Performance Index is Based on a Ratio of the Country's Share in Global FDI Inflows and its Share in Global GDP. ** The UNCTAD Inward FDI Potential Index is Based on 12 Economic and Structural Variables Such as GDP, Foreign Trade, FDI, Infrastructures, Energy Use, R&D, Education, Country Risk. *** Green Field Investments Are a Form of Foreign Direct Investment Where a Parent Company Starts a New Venture in a Foreign Country By Constructing New Operational Facilities From the Ground Up. **** Gross Fixed Capital Formation (GFCF) Measures the Value of Additions to Fixed Assets Purchased By Business, Government and Households Less Disposals of Fixed Assets Sold Off or Scrapped.

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Why You Should Choose to Invest in Morocco

Strong Points
Morocco's strengths are:
- A legal framework and assistance measures very favorable to the investors;
- Still relatively low salaries;
- A Strategic position, not far from Europe;
- A Young and relatively well trained population;
- Strong growth.
Weak Points
Morocco's weaknesses are:
- A still relatively limited Domestic market;
- A country still very dependent on agriculture and vulnerable to the prices of hydrocarbons;
- A bureaucracy that is too heavy.
Government Measures to Motivate or Restrict FDI
The government adopted the "Investment Charter" in 1995. This charter mainly provides company exemptions for VAT and corporate tax for 5 years.
In the industrial sector, the Emergence Plan creates infrastructures which offer turnkey premises.
In the case of offshoring facilities, the government has offered telecommunications costs set at 35% below the market price and training grants of up to USD 7,000 for each Moroccan employee during the first three years of employment.
A new version of the investment incentive regime is currently undergoing a governmental review.
Bilateral Investment Conventions Signed By Morocco
Morocco has concluded agreements with 51 countries including France, Spain, Egypt, Italy, Lebanon, Libya, Portugal, Tunisia and Turkey for guarantee of overseas investments against every risk of nationalization and compulsory purchase. Several of these agreements can be downloaded on the web site of the UNCTAD. Those define the framework of protection of overseas investments for each signatory country.
Besides, the Association Agreement between the EU and Morocco, effective in March 2000, envisages also, with article 50: "establishment of a legal framework supporting investment, if necessary, by the conclusion of agreements of protection of investments and agreements intended to avoid double taxation between Morocco and the Member States".

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Procedures Relative to Foreign Investment

Freedom of Establishment
Guaranteed except for the agricultural sector
Acquisition of Holdings
Majority acquisition of interest in an existing or forming Moroccan company, is authorized by way capital subscription or acquisition of already issued securities.
Obligation to Declare
Investment system in Morocco is very open as investors do not have to obtain prior approval: they simply have to send the Foreign Exchange Office a report in the six months following the completion of the operation. 
Competent Organization For the Declaration
Foreign exchange office
Requests For Specific Authorizations
The financial sector has specific regulations that of hydrocarbons as well as for free zones.

Learn more about Foreign Investment in Morocco on Globaltrade.net, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Investment Opportunities

Investment Aid Agency
Department of Investments
French Agency of Development
ANIMA Investment Network
Tenders, Projects and Public Procurement
Tenders Info, Tenders in Morocco
DgMarket, Tenders Worldwide
Other Useful Resources
Economic Developments and Prospects in Morocco - African Economic Outlook
 
 

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Learn more about Investing in Morocco on Globaltrade.net, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Last Updates: February 2015