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Assessment of growth in Morocco

Study by the African Development Bank on the limits for inclusive long-term growth of the Moroccan economy

July 13, 2015
The African Development Bank, the Government of Morocco and the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) of the United States are performing an assessment of the obstacles existing in the Moroccan economy in terms of achieving inclusive long-term growth and identifying the measures which they recommend in order for the country to reach its full potential. Published in March (Diagnostic de croissance du Maroc – Analyse des contraintes à une croissance large et inclusive, African Development Bank, March 23, 2015). After completing an evaluation of the economy as a whole and Morocco’s policies in recent years, the report analyzes a series of areas in successive chapters, from the financing of human and natural resources to the development of infrastructures, macroeconomic and microeconomic risks and innovation.

The prologue identifies three paradoxes which characterize the Moroccan economy and then attempts to provide responses: 1) a growth rate below its potential, held back by public and private consumption, while investment is among the highest on the planet (31.7% of GDP in 2012); 2) slow structural transformation, despite these figures; 3) little momentum in the private sector and small and medium-sized companies (SMEs), though these are the motor for innovation in the country.

The assessment which it offers is that of an economy with volatile growth linked to domestic demand. The economy is not very inclusive and has a limited impact on producing jobs, as well as a productive structure that seems almost frozen in time. It is not very competitive in exports and has an undynamic private sector. 

An entire chapter is devoted to the cost of financing, considered one of the main conditioning factors on economic growth in the country, especially as regards access to bank credit and the high costs of financing for the private sector, as well as the results this has on companies’ operations.

The proposed reforms are aimed, on the one hand, at education, to improve the training and specialization of human resources, as well as schooling rates in the country, and on the other, at different microeconomic realms, such as improving the judicial system, considered extremely slow, the fiscal system, which is unclear and burdensome, access to mortgage credit, and regulation of the labor market. One of the most notable aspects in general is an overall lack of innovation in the economy, for which it proposes greater coordination between private role-players, those responsible for the value chain and the competent public entities. Last of all, ensuring greater long-term growth and sustainability is thought to be conditioned by making urgent improvements in health care services, infrastructures in isolated rural areas and management of energy and water resources.
Assessment of growth in Morocco