Executive Summary

At the confluence of Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa, and the Middle East, Morocco seeks to transform itself into a regional business hub by leveraging its geographically strategic location, political stability, and world-class infrastructure to expand as a regional manufacturing and export base for international companies. Morocco actively encourages and facilitates foreign investment, particularly in export sectors like manufacturing, through positive macro-economic policies, trade liberalization, investment incentives, and structural reforms. The Government of Morocco implements strategies aimed at boosting employment, attracting foreign investment, and raising performance and output in key revenue-earning sectors, with an emphasis placed on value-added industries such as renewables, automotive, aerospace, textile, pharmaceuticals, outsourcing, and agro-industry.

As part of the Government’s development plan, Morocco continues to make major investments in renewable energy and is on track to meet its stated goal of 52 percent total installed capacity by 2030. The New Development Model , an overarching plan for economic reform released in April of 2021, lays out the country’s ambition to increase the share of renewable energy in total energy consumption from 19.5 percent in 2021 to 40 percent by 2035. Opportunities for green investment include smart grids, green hydrogen, energy storage, and renewable energy.

According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development’s (UNCTAD)  World Investment Report 2022  , Morocco attracted the ninth-most foreign direct investment (FDI) in Africa in 2021. Inbound FDI rose by 52 percent in 2021 to $2.2 billion, vice $1.7 billion in 2020 and 2019 and a 2018 peak of $3.6 billion. France, the United Arab Emirates, and Spain hold a majority of FDI stocks. Manufacturing attracted the highest share of FDI stocks, followed by real estate, telecommunications, tourism, and energy and mines. Morocco continues to orient itself as the “gateway to Africa,” and expanded on this role with its return to the African Union in January 2017 and the launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA), which entered into force in 2021. In June 2019, Morocco opened an extension of the Tangier-Med commercial shipping port, making it the largest in Africa and the Mediterranean; the government is developing a third phase for the port which will increase capacity to five million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs). Tangier is connected to Morocco’s political capital in Rabat and commercial hub in Casablanca by Africa’s first high-speed train service. However, weak intellectual property rights enforcement, inefficient government bureaucracy, corruption, and the slow pace of regulatory reform remain challenges.

In 2022, Morocco introduced a series of reforms to strengthen its anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing legislation, regulations, and criminal penalties to address the weaknesses identified when Morocco was placed on the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) “grey list” of countries subjected to increased monitoring due to deficiencies in anti-money laundering and terrorist financing compliance in 2021. As a result of these reforms, in February 2023, Morocco was taken off the FATF grey list.

News Briefing for May 2024

May 23      Minister of Tourism said in an interview that Morocco has launched plans to promote Morocco as a tourism destination with the goal of welcoming 26 million tourists by 2030.

May 16      In a new report published, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development projected an annual growth rate of 3% for Morocco’s economy in 2024.

May 15       The demand of Moroccans for electric cars remains limited due to technical reasons and consumption culture, with gasoline and diesel cars continuing to dominate the national market. The cost of batteries used in electric cars significantly impacts Moroccan consumer interest despite the remarkable increase in foreign investments in this sector, particularly from China.

May 10       The Ministry of Tourism reported that Morocco’s tourism sector recorded a record number exceeding 1.3 million tourists by April 2024, recording a remarkable growth of 17 % compared to April 2023.

May 6        Morocco’s unemployment rate has surged to a 25-year high of 13.7% in the first quarter of 2024, driven by a prolonged drought, the informal sector’s expansion, outdated data collection and unreported employment, according to a recent Bloomberg report.

May 6       Spanish newspaper Atalayar revealed that Morocco has surpassed China, Japan, and India to become the main exporter of the automotive sector to the European Union. The kingdom uses modern factories, industrial complexes, qualified employees and low production costs to create a strong commercial landscape, with a production turnover that reached more than 535,000 cars.