Monarch Puts Forth Vision of Morocco’s Emerging Economy
Washington, DC (August 21, 2014) — A national holiday in Morocco that commemorates Moroccans’ mobilization for independence from the French, the King and People’s Revolution Day has come to symbolize Morocco’s drive toward modernization. In his annual speech to mark the occasion yesterday– just two weeks after Morocco’s strong business presence at the first-ever US-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, DC– King Mohammed VI focused on the country’s emerging economy, noting impressive results achieved in the past fifteen years and urging even further pro-business reforms.
“Our national economy has witnessed profound structural changes, together with large-scale diversification in all areas of production,” said King Mohammed VI. “It has consistently achieved high growth rates and managed to maintain balance, despite the impact of the world economic crisis.”
Recent economic statistics have been encouraging. In 2013, the country was the second most popular destination for foreign direct investment in Africa, and first in North Africa; the country met its Millennium Development Goal of halving hunger by 2015 two years early; and the IMF has lauded Morocco for its commitment to cutting its budget deficit. In his speech, King Mohammed VI highlighted the role in achieving these results of Morocco’s sector-specific development plans, and the creation of competitive economic hubs like the Melloussa-Tangier Industrial Zone.
Looking to the future, the King said, “Morocco needs to take a few more steps to confidently move forward and join emerging nations…. Strong corporations and businesses have to be set up to boost the immunity of the national economy, both to enhance international competitiveness and develop partnerships with small businesses in order to stimulate growth at home.”
King Mohammed VI also noted the importance of “pressing ahead with administrative and judicial reforms,” as well as reforms of the retirement and tax systems.
Economic equality was a recurring theme in the speech. The King hailed “the growing role of civil society organizations and the active part they play in the development process,” and in particular thanked “trade unions for the major role they have played during the last 15 years in achieving comprehensive social peace, without giving up their immutable principles when championing economic and social interests and upholding the rights of the working class.”
These acknowledgements were in recognition that, as he said in the opening of his speech, “The homeland is for all Moroccans and it is their duty, as individuals and groups, to join forces, with determination and steadfastness, to safeguard the unity of the nation and work for its development.”
The Moroccan American Center for Policy (MACP) is a non-profit organization whose principal mission is to inform opinion makers, government officials, and interested publics in the United States about political and social developments in Morocco and the role being played by the Kingdom of Morocco in broader strategic developments in North Africa, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East.