Morocco Economy

Morocco Economy

ECONOMY: GENERAL INFORMATION

Morocco is quite favored in terms of resources. During the colonial period its economy underwent a profound change: the lands that were once used for grazing and gathering wood were redistributed to European settlers causing the disintegration of the traditional agro-pastoral economy; for shepherds and peasants (fellahin) began the process of emigration from the countryside to the cities. At the same time, agricultural activity received a strong boost: irrigation was extended by building dams on the main waterways (especially in the center and south of the country) and new commercial crops were introduced; then the exploitation of phosphate deposits was also started and land and sea communications were increased. After independence the state implemented a policy of “liberal planning” and, during the sixties of the century. XX, the country saw a strong development of the secondary sector. To achieve economic take-off, the government adopted a policy aimed at structural adjustment, under the control of the International Monetary Fund.. A general program was set up to encourage national private investment and the development of local small and medium-sized enterprises. In addition, export-oriented productions were favored, especially in the manufacturing sector, in order to create new jobs, reduce the high rate of unemployment / underemployment (which remains high at 9% in 2018) and at the same time diversify goods. exported. The macroeconomic situation is positive in the first decade of the 2000s and, thanks above all to foreign investments and emigrant remittances, GDP is growing (118,309 mln US $ in 2018) and GDP per capita is high (US $ 3,359 in 2018). Morocco has natural resources and industrial potential and tourism also contributes to its economic growth. Faced with the serious crisis of identity and regional cohesion affecting the Maghreb, Morocco represents the main point of reference for European policies aimed at recovering better relations with North Africa, within the framework of a hoped-for integration of the Mediterranean area. After all, Morocco has always been a hinge in Western European trade, where it is above all France that supports the process of democratization and economic restructuring of the country. On the commercial level, the signing of a treaty with the European Union (1996) for the removal of customs barriers, in addition to limiting disputes related to fishing areas and the export of citrus fruits, in competition with the Mediterranean countries of the Community itself, opened the prospect of the creation of a free trade area. The marketing of kif (cannabis) still remains an important source of foreign currency for the country (according to some, the main source even before phosphates and emigrant remittances): Morocco is the first world exporter of hashish (2007) and the first Europe supplier.

ECONOMY: AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY, LIVESTOCK AND FISHING

Agriculture is a fundamental backbone of the Moroccan economy and employed 38.1% of the active population in 2018, participating in exports to a very significant extent. Despite the strong increase in production recorded in the 1980s, in its development agriculture was, however, held back by the subdivision of land characterized on the one hand by extreme land parceling and on the other by sufficiently exploited large estates; from the extension of the areas under cultivation equal to only 21.8% of the territorial surface; the lack of mechanization and use of fertilizers; finally, by the scarce diversification that makes the whole agricultural sector very subject to heavy fluctuations in production. The construction of dams in the seventies of the twentieth century allowed the increase of the irrigation perimeters. Over half of the arable land is used for cereals (wheat, barley, wheat, corn). In the valley of the Sebou viticulture thrives, originally practiced only for grapes, today also for winemaking; the olive tree is widespread above all in the regions of Marrakech, Fès and Meknès. A remarkable development took place in the fruit and vegetable sector, mostly destined for export: tomatoes, potatoes, legumes, citrus fruits, apricots, apples, peaches, dates, figs, etc. There are also, among the industrial crops, those of cotton, sunflower, flax, peanuts, sugar beets and tobacco. § Forests affect approx. 7% of the territorial surface; they have considerable importance for the numerous precious essences, such as cedar, thuja and cork oak. § Breeding is very widespread, mainly extensive, which includes above all sheep, goats, poultry and to a lesser extent cattle and donkeys. However, grazing activities are highly dependent on climatic trends and their performance is considered not very competitive. § Fishing is constantly expanding, favored by the seabed and currents, and which has various ports such as Safi, Agadir and Mohammedia, with various canning systems.

ECONOMY: INDUSTRY AND MINERAL RESOURCES

According to allcountrylist, Morocco has a substantial industrial system. The areas of production of raw materials and the large port centers, especially Casablanca, are the areas of the most intense industrialization (80% of companies and 70% of employees are located in this band). The sectors based on the transformation of locally produced raw materials, such as food (oil mills, sugar refineries, canneries, pasta factories, etc.), textiles (cotton mills), tanning (very valuable are the Moroccan shops), chemical (especially fertilizers, but also sulfuric acid), the manufacture of tobacco; progress was also made in the steel, metallurgical, cement, petrochemical, mechanical, paper and rubber sectors. Finally, the production of carpets is renowned and of a high standard. § L’ mining had already been practiced since Roman times, but only in the second half of the century. XX has achieved such a development that it has become an element of fundamental importance for the national economy. As mentioned, the subsoil is mainly rich in phosphates (of which the country is the second largest producer in the world), mainly extracted in the areas of Khouribga, Youssoufia and Khemis des Meskala and exported through the ports of Casablanca and Safi. Furthermore, iron, manganese, lead, zinc, tin, copper, silver, cobalt, antimony, molybdenum and pyrites are extracted in moderate quantities. Morocco is practically devoid of energy minerals (extremely modest quantities of coal, oil and natural gas are extracted) and imports 90% of its energy needs in the form of oil.

Morocco Economy