Washington, DC, January 22, 2016 (MACP) — Morocco was named among the 50 most innovative economies in the world and one of just two such economies in Africa by the 2016 Bloomberg Innovation Index released this week. The Index scores economies using seven “factors including research and development spending and concentration of high-tech public companies” as well as patent activity and manufacturing value-added, and evaluated over 200 world economies before trimming the list to 84 with data on at least six of the seven factors.
The Index’s results echo the findings of many industry reports of recent years. In 2014, the Wall Street Journal’s Frontiers/FSG Frontier Markets Sentiment Index reported that Morocco is among the top ten frontier markets—and the only one in the Maghreb—most favored by foreign corporations. KPMG International and Oxford Economics’ 2015 Change Readiness Index (CRI) ranked Morocco as the most “change-ready” country in the Maghreb, with particularly positive results in the category of “enterprise capability.” The World Bank’s Doing Business 2016 report ranked Morocco first out of 20 MENA countries in terms of “ease of starting a business” and placed it sixth overall in the region for “ease of doing business.”
In 2014, CNN named Casablanca a “finance hub of the future,” and media reports have recognized the small waterfront town of Taghazout in Morocco as a “start-up haven” for entrepreneurs the world over, rated by Virgin “alongside Seattle and London as one of the world’s best start-up hubs.” This weekend, Casablanca will host the inaugural “StartUp Maroc” conference, bringing together entrepreneurs, investors, and other key players for three days of networking and mentoring.
The trend among investors and entrepreneurs can be attributed in part to Morocco’s geographic location, political stability, and modern infrastructure, as well as reforms undertaken by the government to attract businesses and develop new markets. In 2013, Morocco became the second biggest destination for foreign direct investment in Africa, and is itself the second largest African investor on the continent.
“Morocco has made amazing progress in little more than a decade to become such a destination for global investors and business people, including start-ups and entrepreneurs,” said former US Ambassador to Morocco Edward M. Gabriel. “Not too long ago, the country’s economy relied largely on phosphates, tourism, and textiles. Now, Morocco boasts a strong automotive sector, aeronautics sector, and its overall economy is being more diversified and industrialized.”
Contact: Jordana Merran, 202.470.2049
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