Foreign Direct Investment in Morocco

Overview by

FDI in Figures

With 2.5 billion USD, in late 2009 Morocco recorded a decline in FDIs of around 27% compared to 2008. However, this decrease is less pronounced than in comparable countries, due to the apparent resilience of the Moroccan economy against the crisis. It is all the more remarkable as there were only few privatizations.

In the past, Morroco essentially leaned heavily on the national privatization plan, the conversion of the foreign debt to investments and concession of public services operations. In the last few years, the Moroccan authorities have managed to attract a relatively substantial flow of foreign assets. Other sectors have taken over, including the banking, tourism and energy sectors. Also visible are some industrial investments. However, the FDI level remains small and could participate more in pushing ahead the country's economy.


Country Comparison For the Protection of Investors

  Morocco Middle East & North Africa United States Germany
Index of Transaction Transparency* 7.0 6.3 7.0 5.0
Index of Manager’s Responsibility** 2.0 4.6 9.0 5.0
Index of Shareholders’ Power*** 1.0 3.4 9.0 5.0
Index of Investor Protection**** 3.3 4.8 8.3 5.0

Source: Doing Business

Note: *The Greater the Index, the More Transparent the Conditions of Transactions. **The Greater the Index, the More the Manager is Personally Responsible. *** The Greater the Index, the Easier it Will Be For Shareholders to Take Legal Action. **** The Greater the Index, the Higher the Level of Investor Protection.

Foreign Direct Investment 2007 2008 2009
FDI Inward Flow (million USD) 2,803 2,487 1,331
FDI Stock (million USD) 38,613 39,388 40,719
Performance Index*, Ranking on 141 Economies 87 88 94
Potential Index**, Ranking on 141 Economies 97 96 -
Number of Greenfield Investments*** 58 93 49
FDI Inwards (in % of GFCF****) 11.9 9.0 6.1
FDI Stock (in % of GDP) 51.3 45.5 46.0

Source: UNCTAD

Note: * The UNCTAD Inward FDI Performance Index is Based on a Ratio of the Country's Share in Global FDI Inflows and its Share in Global GDP. ** The UNCTAD Inward FDI Potential Index is Based on 12 Economic and Structural Variables Such as GDP, Foreign Trade, FDI, Infrastructures, Energy Use, R&D, Education, Country Risk. *** Green Field Investments Are a Form of Foreign Direct Investment Where a Parent Company Starts a New Venture in a Foreign Country By Constructing New Operational Facilities From the Ground Up. **** Gross Fixed Capital Formation (GFCF) Measures the Value of Additions to Fixed Assets Purchased By Business, Government and Households Less Disposals of Fixed Assets Sold Off or Scrapped.

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Why You Should Choose to Invest in Morocco

Strong Points
Morocco's strengths are:
- A legal framework and assistance measures very favorable to the investors;
- Still relatively low salaries;
- A Strategic position, not far from Europe;
- A Young and relatively well trained population;
- Strong growth.
Weak Points
Morocco's weaknesses are:
- A still relatively limited Domestic market;
- A country still very dependent on agriculture and vulnerable to the prices of hydrocarbons.
Government Measures to Motivate or Restrict FDI
The government adpoted the "Investment Charter" in 1995. This charter mainly provides company exemptions for VAT and corporate tax for 5 years.
In the industrial sector, the Emergence Plan creates infrastructures which offer turnkey premises.
Bilateral Investment Conventions Signed By Morocco
Morocco has concluded agreements with 51 countries including France, Spain, Egypt, Italy, Lebanon, Libya, Portugal, Tunisia and Turkey for guarantee of overseas investments against every risk of nationalization and compulsory purchase. Several of these agreements can be downloaded on the web site of the UNCTAD. Those define the framework of protection of overseas investments for each signatory country.
Besides, the Association Agreement between the EU and Morocco, effective in March 2000, envisages also, with article 50: "establishment of a legal framework supporting investment, if necessary, by the conclusion of agreements of protection of investments and agreements intended to avoid double taxation between Morocco and the Member States".

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Procedures Relative to Foreign Investment

Freedom of Establishment
Guaranteed except for the agricultural sector
Acquisition of Holdings
Majority acquisition of interest in an existing or forming Moroccan company, is authorised by way capital subscription or acquisition of already issued securities.
Obligation to Declare
Investment system in Morocco is very open as investors do not have to obtain prior approval: they simply have to send the Foreign Exchange Office a report in the six months following the completion of the operation. 
Competent Organization For the Declaration
Foreign exchange office
Requests For Specific Authorizations
The financial sector has specific regulations, that of hydrocarbons as well as for free zones.
Find Investment Service Providers in Morocco on

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Investment Opportunities

Investment Aid Agency
Department of Investments (In French)
French Agency of Development
ANIMA Investment Network
Tenders, Projects and Public Procurement
Tenders Info, Tenders in Morocco
DgMarket, Tenders Worldwide
Other Useful Resources
Department of Investments

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