On Tuesday 19 February 2019, we will hold our first Morocco conference in the capital city of Rabat. The theme will be Building a new economic paradigm.
Morocco has many of the hallmarks of an exciting emerging market, with huge potential for investment, growth and trade. It is also well-placed to position itself as a gateway to the African continent, with many keen to secure this reputation through effective economic policies and regulation.
Yet strong employment and economic growth lag behind expectations and there still remains many opportunities to capitalise on.
We are honoured that H.E. Abdellatif Jouahri, Governor, Bank Al-Maghrib will deliver the opening keynote address at the event. He will outline the economic strategy for Morocco and how the banking and regulatory environment will play its part in ensuring the region can achieve its goals.
Throughout this one-day event, there will also be a number of discussions regarding strategic opportunities for banking and financial markets; the impact of One-Belt, One-Road on Morocco; sustainable employment and SME development through innovation.
Special sessions and interviews will also take place with leading local and international players represented.
We’re truly excited to be able to bring our editorial focus to Morocco’s macroeconomic outlook and we look forward to welcoming you to the event.
NB: The conference will be conducted in English, with interpretation in French.
For sponsorship enquiries, please contact Verity Adamthwaite at email@example.com or +44 (0) 20 7779 8387.
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Q & A
Ahead of the conference, we asked H.E. Abdellatif Jouahri, Governor, Bank Al-Maghrib five questions.
Read the full Q&A below.
Question 1: How does Morocco's economic strategy need to develop in order to reach its potential?
Morocco has made important progress during the last decades. Thanks to major economic, social and institutional reforms, as well as an ambitious infrastructure development program launched at the beginning of the millennium, Morocco has been able to significantly speed up its growth, reduce unemployment and poverty, and improve human development indicators.
These projects have been followed, since the second half of the 2000s, by a set of sector-based strategies aiming to diversify the country's economy and improve its competitiveness and exportable offer, along with an opening-up process that led to signing several free trade agreements.
Despite these achievements and the ongoing efforts in terms of reforms and public spending, the social gap remains important. In addition, growth and employment have witnessed a considerable slowdown during the last 5 years.
In order to overcome these challenges, authorities must make a qualitative leap in their reform efforts, with two objectives: strengthening the competitiveness and the resilience of the economy, on the one hand, and narrowing social gaps, on the other.
To this end, there is an urgent need to improve the quality of the education and training system. In fact, there is a national consensus about considering this point a top priority given its impact on the achievement of both objectives. All evaluations made have confirmed that the quality of our education system is poor, which negatively impacts both its internal and external outputs. Indeed, repetitions and dropout rates generate today a very high social and economic cost. Youth unemployment also represents a real challenge for authorities and for society. A vision has been developed in this regard, and there is a consensus about it. An effective mobilization is nevertheless needed for its implementation.
Another important crosscutting project is the implementation of a comprehensive framework that would ensure greater consistency and better synergies for public policy and anchor it to a shared vision that would help prioritize reforms and optimize the use of resources and ultimately, achieve better results. This can be materialized through making the practice of public policy assessment systematic. It will ensure that the choices made are always relevant and will enable introducing appropriate adjustments possible during their implementation phase.
Question 2: Added value, trade, technology, finance, infrastructure - what are the foundations of the future Morocco?
All of them. In view of the frequent and rapid changes in its external environment, economic diversification is a way to strengthen our resilience and enhance our competitiveness. Morocco is fully aware of this challenge, and has relentlessly sought to diversify its productive fabric and exportable offer. Look at the change in the structure of Morocco’s exports and the importance of the weight of Morocco's new global crafts in this structure. Since 2014, cars have topped the list of all exported products. At the same time, Morocco also capitalizes on its traditional comparative advantages. Specifically, the production, processing and exportation of phosphate, of which Morocco has the world’s largest reserves, is witnessing a qualitative leap, as the OCP Group has developed and implemented an ambitious strategy with national and continental objectives.
Morocco is also pursuing a policy to diversify its economic partners, particularly since the beginning of this millennium. The opening-up towards Africa, with which our country shares strong geographical and historical ties, is the fruit of this policy implemented at the highest level of the State.
Aware of the challenges of climate change but also the related opportunities, Morocco has designed a strategy to develop renewable energies that will help the country reduce its energy dependence and also position itself as a hub of expertise and a success story in this area. The other major challenge today is the digital revolution. The country needs to brace itself for the challenges that this revolution imposes and also to seize the opportunities that it presents, bearing in mind that the impact of such revolution can already be seen in many areas.
As far as infrastructure development is concerned, I think it is not hard to observe the progress made in this area since the beginning of the 2000s. Morocco has significantly transformed its infrastructure; building highways and numerous ports including the one in Tangier, which is today one of the most important ports in the Mediterranean. The last major project in this respect is Africa’s first high-speed rail.