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Economy of Morocco

The economy of Morocco is considered a relatively liberal economy governed by the law of supply and demand. Since1993. Morocco has followed a policy of privatization of certain economic sectors which used to be in the hands of the government. Morocco has become a major player in the African economic affairs, and is the 5th African economy by GDP (PPP). The World Economic Forum placed Morocco as the 1st most competitive economy in North Africa, in its African Competitiveness Report 2014-2015.

The services sector accounts for just over half of GDP and industry, made up of mining, construction and manufacturing, is an additional quarter. The sectors who recorded the highest growth are the tourism, telecoms and textile sectors. Morocco, however, still depends to an inordinate degree on agriculture. The sector accounts for only around 14% of GDP but employs 40-45% of the Moroccan population. With a semi-arid climate, it is difficult to assure good rainfall and Morocco's GDP varies depending on the weather. Fiscal prudence has allowed for consolidation, with both the budget deficit and debt falling as a percentage of GDP.

The major resources of the Moroccan economy are agriculture, phosphates, and tourism. Sales of fish and seafood are important as well. Industry and mining contribute about one-third of the annual GDP. Morocco is the world's third-largest producer of phosphates (after the United States and China), and the price fluctuations of phosphates on the international market greatly influence Morocco's economy. Tourism and workers' remittances have played a critical role since independence. The production of textiles and clothing is part of a growing manufacturing sector that accounted for approximately 34% of total exports in 2002, employing 40% of the industrial workforce. The government wishes to increase textile and clothing exports from $1.27 billion in 2001 to $3.29 billion in 2010.

Sectors

Agriculture

Agriculture employs about 40% of Morocco's workforce. In the rainy sections of the northeast, barley, wheat, and other cereals can be raised without irrigation. On the Atlantic coast, where there are extensive plains, olives, citrus fruits, and wine grapes are grown, largely with water supplied by artesian wells. Morocco also produces a significant amount of illicit hashish, much of which is shipped to Western Europe.

Fishing

The fishing industry in Morocco is a leading foreign exchange earner, accounting for 56% of agricultural and 16% of total exports. For a long time the industry has been an economic pillar for the country.

Industry

The Moroccan industrial sector looks set to continue the strong growth it has enjoyed in recent years. Industrial activity recorded a 5.5% increase in 2007, a slight rise over 2006, when the sector grew by 4.7%. Added value in the sector increased by 5.6% in 2007. Overall the contribution of industrial activity to GDP fluctuates between about 25% and 35% every year, depending on the performance of the agriculture sector.

Manufacturing

Manufacturing accounts for about one-sixth of GDP and is steadily growing in importance in the economy. Two particularly important components of Morocco's industrial makeup are processing raw materials for export and manufacturing consumer goods for the domestic market.

The manufacturing sector produces light consumer goods, especially foodstuffs, beverages, textiles, matches, and metal and leather products. Heavy industry is largely limited to petroleum refining, chemical fertilizers, automobile and tractor assembly, foundry work, asphalt, and cement.

Textiles

Textiles form a major industry in Morocco. The European Union is Morocco's top client as regards textile and clothing, with France importing 46% of hosiery, 28.5% of basic textile and 27.6% of ready-to-wear clothing from Morocco, managing director of the Moroccan Export Development Center underlined.

Mining

The mining sector is one of the pillars of Morocco's economy. It represented a turnover of USD 2.7 billion in 2005, including MAD 2.17 billion in exports and 20% of energy consumption.

Construction sector

The construction and real estate sectors are also a part of the investment boom in the country. Increasing public investment in ports, housing development projects, and roads as well as the boom in the tourism sector have been a big shot in the arm for the construction sector. The rise in construction activities and efforts to improve infrastructure are creating many opportunities for public-private partnerships.

Services

Services, including government and military expenditures, account for about one-fourth of Morocco's GDP. Government spending accounts for fully half of the service economy, despite an ongoing effort on the part of the government to sell much of its assets to private concerns.

Tourism

Morocco is a major touristic destination. Tourism is thus a major contributor to both the economic output and the current account balance, as well as a main job provider. In 2008 8 million tourists have visited the kingdom. Tourist receipts in 2007 totalled US$7,55 billion. Morocco has developed an ambitious strategy, dubbed "Vision 2010", aimed at attracting 10 million tourists by 2010. This strategy provides for creating 160,000 beds, thus bringing the national capacity to 230,000 beds. It also aims to create some 600,000 new jobs.

Thus, Morocco achieved an 11% rise in tourism in the first five months of 2008 compared with the same period last year, it said, adding that French visitors topped the list with 927,000 followed by Spaniards (587,000) and Britons (141,000). Morocco, which is close to Europe, has a mix of culture and the exotic that makes it popular with Europeans buying holiday homes.

Retail

The retail industry represents 12.8% of Morocco's GDP and 1.2m people - 13% of the total workforce - are employed in the sector.

Offshoring

In 2009 Morocco was ranked among the top thirty countries in the offshoring sector. In 2007 the country had about 200 call centres, including 30 of significant size, that employ a total of over 18,000 people.

Media and advertising

According to the Moroccan Advertisers Group, Dh3.9 billion ($507 million) was spent in 2007, a near-fourfold increase on the Dh1.1 billion ($143 million) spent in 2000. There is still room for growth, as the market remains underdeveloped by international standards.

Communications

The telecoms sector increased in value from Dh25.6 billion ($3.3 billion) in 2006 to Dh33.3 billion ($4.2 billion) in 2007. With a workforce of some 41,000 employees, the sector contributes 7% to annual GDP and is one of the country's leading recipients of foreign direct investment (FDI).

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Economy Of Morocco"

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