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. [...]
[...] In Morocco we recognized unequivocally that the education system needs a great upgrade to increase employment opportunities and external competitiveness, as a strategy to reform education in the medium term has been presented by the Charter of National education and training, written in 1999. Although the government's priority was the extension of coverage (with the spread of primary enrollment projected for this school year), the Charter also envisages improvements in governance (including decentralization), reforms in Human Resources, and partnerships with the private sector. [...]
[...] The sector comprises a large traditional component (based on cereals and dominated by subsistence agriculture), of irrigated farms, mainly producing cereals and sugar beet, and a dynamic sector of high value added products, with the European market oriented towards fresh fruit and vegetables, and to some international markets in which Morocco is one of the major exporters (e.g. olives and sardines). During the past decade, the performance in the sector has been poor. Plans are being prepared to revive the business sector through a gradual lifting of protections on free trade agreements with the European Union and the United States, and this, by the introduction of modern technologies and the restructuring of sector institutions. [...]
[...] Overall, the weight of SOEs in the economy is still quite large. In 2000, the value added services of the public enterprise sector amounted to of GDP and of the total investment in Morocco. Successive reforms of the financial sector led to a considerable liberalization of banking activities, and the modernization of the regulatory framework of banking and capital markets development. The key reform measures undertaken to date include the abolition of direct credit controls, liberalization of interest rates, phasing out all mandatory allocations of credit and banking law revised with a new regulatory oversight applicable to all credit institutions, accompanied by the privatization of some public banks. [...]
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