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Economy of Morocco

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  1. Introduction
  2. Political policies and economic reforms
  3. Recent economic performance and outlook
  4. Social Development
  5. Environment and Natural Resources
  6. Relations with the World Bank Group

Morocco is a country of 29 million people with low-middle income, and gross domestic product per capita, estimated in 2001 to be 1190 U.S. dollars. Agriculture occupies an important place in the economy, with a share of GDP which has increased by about 15% over the last twenty years, and employs about 40% of the workforce, against 25 and 35% for industry and services respectively. Mining (phosphates), food and textiles dominate the industry, and trade and tourism are the main activities in the service sector.

The economy is relatively open, with exports and imports amounting to about 50% of GDP. Europe is the main trading partner of Morocco, and its major exports are textiles, food products (agricultural and Sea), phosphate and its derivatives, and tourism.

In recent years, a democratic transition on the political scale was initiated in Morocco. The political opening began in 1998 with the appointment of Mr. Youssoufi, a historic leader of the opposition, who is known and respected, as the prime minister. The opening was further strengthened in September 2002, with the freest parliamentary elections that the country has ever known.

The election results confirmed the Socialist Union of Popular Forces (USFP ruling party of outgoing Prime Minister) as the main political force in the country, followed closely by the Istiqlal Party and the ruling Justice and Development (PJD). Following these elections, King Mohammed VI appointed Mr. Driss Jettou, former interior minister as prime minister, as stipulated in the Constitution.

The promotion of democracy and open government, have been the spearhead of King Mohammed VI. He emphasized on pressing social issues facing the country including education and status of women, through new initiatives. The transparency of the judicial system has improved. Civil society has also become more dynamic with regular debates on major issues facing the country, and the future vision of the Moroccan society.

The transition to an open political climate is in progress, while the economic challenges and social challenges facing Morocco are increasing. The growth rate was low and volatile throughout the 90s, partly due to several years of drought which led to increased poverty and a surge in unemployment in urban areas.

The new government has presented an ambitious reform plan to put the country on a path of sustained growth, which should create more employment and also improve living standards in urban, suburban and rural areas. The King has put special emphasis on the need to improve access to basic services such as health care, education and infrastructure in rural areas, and social housing in urban areas. This reform program, coupled with improved economic management, allows cautious optimism about the prospects for Morocco's sustainable growth.

In the late 80s, the implementation of a comprehensive reform program with the favorable external environment of Morocco and the agricultural sector, have led to economic growth. Following the economic crisis in 1983, the authorized governmental devaluation of the dirham, reduced the protection of trade significantly, reduced the fiscal deficit, and rescheduled its external debt.

Tags: Moroccan economy, Tourism in Morocco, Moroccan fishing and agriculture sector

[...] Political policies and economic reforms In the late 80s, the implementation of a comprehensive reform program with the favorable external environment of Morocco and the agricultural sector, have led to economic growth. Following the economic crisis in 1983, the authorized governmental devaluation of the dirham, reduced the protection of trade significantly, reduced the fiscal deficit, and rescheduled its external debt. These measures had the following positive results: between 1985 and 1991, the economy grew at an average rate of per year, with exports of manufactured products growing at an impressive rate of during the same period. [...]


[...] Environment and Natural Resources Morocco has considerable natural resources, including vast areas of farmland, large reserves of marine products of high quality, phosphates, and coastlines and deserts, suitable for coastal tourism and adventure. However, major environmental issues emerged, especially regarding the shortage of water. There are also serious concerns about deforestation, soil erosion and industrial effluents. Considering the population growth and unchanged patterns of use, the water availability per capita will fall by half by 2020. The alarming trend of water scarcity reflects the lack of a strategy for the rational use of water to ensure its viability. [...]


[...] The Moroccan economy needs to increase and maintain annual growth rates of at least to lower unemployment rates in the years to come. On the fiscal front, the authorities tightened their management of public finances. In 2002, the expected revenues from privatization were not achieved, and therefore all costs have been reduced. The deficit was maintained at of GDP and was financed internally, increasing domestic debt to almost 50% of GDP. The government foresaw a total budget deficit which was slightly below of GDP, for 2003.To achieve their goal of limiting the deficit to of GDP by 2007, the authorities are putting in place a reform program to modernize the financial management and human resources management within the administration, to increase the efficiency of public spending, and free up resources for productive investment and social needs. [...]

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