Business Brief: Unsteady Signals on Morocco’s Economy; Trade Deficit Widens; Corruption Called Out by Head of Government; Jobs Report Continues to be Weak; and PJD Promises Educational Reforms – Jean R. AbiNader

Jean R. AbiNader August 7, 2018 Economy Jolted by firing of Minister of Finance and Economy Mohamed Boussaid three days after King criticized slow pace of social and economic development; no reasons yet given from the Royal Palace. Although the RNI politician is considered by some to be one of the best and brightest in the cabinet and may not have direct responsibility for the issues raised by King Mohammed ...

Casablanca and Washington remember Kathy Kriger — Ambassador Edward M. Gabriel (ret.)

Ambassador Edward M. Gabriel (ret.) August 1, 2018 This week our colleague and beloved friend Kathy Kriger passed away unexpectedly in Casablanca, Morocco.  Many people knew her as the owner and proprietor of Rick’s Café, modeled after the fictional café from the movie Casablanca, with its beautifully decorated interior designed by the famous Bill Willis.  Her death stunned many in Morocco and those of us who knew and worked with ...

Regional Round-Up: Thoughts about the Potential of a Continental Free Trade Agreement; How France Views Morocco’s Counterterrorism Efforts; EU Set to Include Western Sahara in Trade Talks with Morocco – Jean R. AbiNader

Jean R. AbiNader June 25, 2018 The announcement of a Continental Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) for Africa has attracted its share of skeptics, especially since the biggest economies in Africa have yet to endorse the proposal. Souhir Mzali, the Africa regional editor of the Oxford Business Group (OBG) recently penned her observations about the idea and summarized what many believe are the key obstacles to its realization. Since the purpose ...

Equalizing the Playing Field-FIFA 2026 Bidding Process — Ambassador Edward M. Gabriel (ret.)

Ambassador Edward M. Gabriel (ret.) May 30, 2018 (This article has been updated from its original version first published March 23, 2018) At first glance, one has to wonder if the competition to host the 2026 soccer (football) World Cup can even be competitive. It’s the United 2026 joint bid of the US, Mexico, and Canada versus Morocco.  With a combined GDP of more than $21 trillion, the US-led consortium ...

Maghreb Matters: Morocco’s Agricultural Sector Heading Up; Results of IMF Meetings in Tunisia and Algeria; Morocco and EU Agree to Talk Fish – Jean R. AbiNader

Jean R. AbiNader June 5, 2018 The agricultural sector, still a key component of Morocco’s economy, received some good news from the Oxford Business Group (OBG) in its latest review of the sector. According to the report, “Higher yields and improved product quality are driving investment in Morocco’s agricultural sector, with the country seeking to boost returns on farming output and expand exports.” While the country is still largely dependent ...
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