Our comprehensive assessment of Morocco's operating environment and the outlook for its leading sectors are formed by bringing together a wealth of data on global markets that affect Morocco, as well as the latest industry developments that could impact Morocco's industries. This unique integrated approach has given us an impeccable track-record for predicting important shifts in the markets, ensuring you’re aware of the latest market opportunities and risks in Morocco before your competitors.

Country Risk

Morocco Country Risk

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Core Views

  • Despite not possessing hydrocarbon wealth, the economy will remain a relative outperformer in North Africa over the medium term. Investor interest in the country as an export-oriented manufacturing hub for the European market, coupled with a burgeoning tourism industry, should bode well for Morocco's underlying growth momentum in the next few years.

  • We expect the Moroccan economy to experience weak growth throughout 2014, after having reaped benefits from an agriculture-based recovery in 2013. However, we see growth accelerating over the early months of 2015, due to a strong external environment and improvements in domestic demand and liquidity. We have revised our growth forecasts upward, and see the economy expanding by 2.9% in real terms in 2014 and 4.0% in 2015 (compared to our previous projections of 2.8% and 3.7%).

  • The...

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Morocco Country Risk

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Core Views

  • Despite not possessing hydrocarbon wealth, the economy will remain a relative outperformer in North Africa over the medium term. Investor interest in the country as an export-oriented manufacturing hub for the European market, coupled with a burgeoning tourism industry, should bode well for Morocco's underlying growth momentum in the next few years.

  • Morocco will be one of the best economic performers in the MENA region in 2015, partly by reaping the rewards of lower oil prices. We have raised our real GDP growth forecast for this year to 4.5%, from 4.0% previously.

  • The Moroccan economy is one of the best placed in the MENA region to benefit from the oil price slump, and we forecast the current account deficit to narrow to just 1.9% of GDP over 2015 - a sizeable improvement from 5.5% in 2014. These savings will ease the...

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Morocco Operational Risk Coverage (9)

Morocco Operational Risk

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BMI View: Morocco is very open to foreign businesses, with tax incentives to foreign investors, a large number of free trade zones, unlimited foreign participation in the national stock exchange, and reliable contract enforceability. However, risks remain in the form of exposure to international forex fluctuations, a poor track record for intellectual property protection and some of the highest corporate and income tax rates in the region. These factors are reflected in our overall score for Trade & Investment Risk of 47.9 out of 100, which leaves the country in 11th position regionally, between Kuwait and Egypt.

Morocco welcomes foreign direct investment in almost all sectors of its economy, offers tax incentives to foreign investors, and operates a number of free trade zones, the largest of...

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Morocco Crime & Security

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BMI View: Morocco offers a generally safe location for foreign workers and businesses, with a lower risk from crime and terrorism than many of its North African neighbours. Having said that, foreigners are susceptible to petty crimes such as bag snatching, and there is a wider threat from terrorist activity due to Morocco's proximity to the base of operations of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). Morocco also faces tensions due to its occupation of the Western Sahara, which has soured relations with neighbouring Algeria and the wider African Union. Although it is unlikely to lead to full-scale armed conflict, this dispute weakens Morocco's international position and its capability for regional cooperation regarding non-state threats such as AQIM. Overall, Morocco scores...

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Morocco Labour Market

Morocco Logistics

Morocco Trade & Investment

Morocco Industry Coverage (10)

Agribusiness

Morocco Agribusiness

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BMI View:  Morocco's agriculture sector holds significant potential, particularly the dairy, poultry and sugar industries. The dairy sector benefits from growing interest from international dairy companies and is likely to enjoy strong growth in the coming years. In the livestock segment, we expect increased government support and investment - backed by strong domestic demand - to help the industry to develop. However, the lack of investment in modern infrastructure will hamper production growth in the short term. We expect long-term production growth in the country's all important grain sector due to government support, but even with the...

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Autos

Morocco Autos

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As of end-October 2014, a total of 100,128 new vehicles had been sold in Morocco, according to figures from Morocco's Vehicle Importers Association (AIVAM), representing a slight (-0.45%) fall on the same period in 2013. Passenger cars continue to account for the lion's share (nearly 90,000 units) of vehicles sold in Morocco, with commercial vehicles - primarily light commercial vehicles (LCVs) - making up the remainder. 

Looking forward, it would seem as though 2015 will mark a stronger year for new vehicle sales than 2014 . We are currently forecasting an 8.3% rise in total vehicle sales, to 123,530 units, with passenger cars showing stronger growth than LCVs . BMI's  Country Risk team believes that Morocco is poised for a rebound in economic growth this year, driven by improvements in the external sector and investment outlook. Both...

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Food & Drink

Morocco Food & Drink

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BMI View:  Whilst Morocco is poised for a rebound in economic growth over 2015, our short-term expectations for its food and drink industry remain subdued. We forecast per capita food consumption to expand only by 1.3% in 2014 and fair only a little better in 2015 (expanding by 1.5%). We also expect a moderate acceleration in household consumption on the back of lower international food and oil prices, as well as a recent hike to the minimum wages of both the public and private sectors. Our longer-term view for Morocco's food and drink industry remains positive, as it will benefit from ongoing structural reforms, a promising demographic profile and sizable investment in tourism. 

Headline Industry Data (local currency)

  • Per capita food consumption growth year-on-year (y-o-y). in 2014...

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Infrastructure

Morocco Infrastructure

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BMI View: We are forecasting positive growth in Morocco's construction sector in 2015 based on extensive government investment in a range of infrastructure projects. Morocco is improving its road, rail and air travel connections, upgrading port facilities, addressing the housing shortfall and building a substantial tourism infrastructure base. The country is also keen to realise ambitious renewable energy targets, resulting in a wide range of solar and wind power projects entering the pipeline.

Morocco is open to foreign direct investment and is also the target of a multitude of international development financing programmes, benefiting from its strategically strong geographic position. There are ongoing concerns relating to corruption in the tender process and delays to ongoing projects, as well as regional political unrest, which could undermine confidence in Morocco's infrastructure sector...

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Insurance

Morocco Insurance

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BMI View : We see significant potential in North Africa for insurers. However, continued economic constraints will hamper the full development of the sector over the short term, particularly the non-life segment. That being said, strong government impetus in much of the region to augment health insurance density will boost penetration over the medium term. However, we continue to expect life insurance will underperform in comparison to non-life insurance, owing to the disinclination among much of the population to purchase life insurance policies when household budgets...

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Medical Devices

Morocco Medical Devices

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BMI Industry View: The Moroccan market remains small, both in overall terms and also in per capita terms, leaving room for further development. With minimal medical device production, focused primarily on consumables, Morocco remains highly dependent on imports mainly from the EU, and this trend is set to continue during the forecast period.

Headline Industry Forecasts

  • In 2013, the medical device market is estimated at US$235.8mn. Per capita spending at around US$7 remains low, leaving considerable potential for further expansion. The market is forecast to grow at a US dollar 2013-2018 CAGR of 7.0% taking expenditure to US$331.4mn.

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Mining

Morocco Mining

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BMI View:  We expect to see strong growth in the mining sector of the Middle East and North Africa over the coming years. With low base effects, governmental will to increase non-oil revenues and significant resources it appears the region is set for strong growth. We highlight Turkey and Northern Iraq as key areas for growth. That said, the region will remain peripheral in the global mining sector as it continues to underperform due to political instability in much of the region.

The key issue in the Middle East's mining sector presently is Iran's ongoing negotiations with Western powers. Our core scenario is for negotiations to continue and for limited sanctions relief to be rolled over until 2015. This will benefit the mining sector as it is one of the beneficiaries of an easing of sanctions. On the upside, if negotiations are successful (which we currently give a...

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Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare

Morocco Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare

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BMI View: Our outlook for Morocco's pharmaceutical market remains relatively optimistic over the short-to-long term. Increased access to healthcare in Morocco following the implementation of the final phase of its universal health insurance scheme will drive an increase in pharmaceutical spending. The country's reliance on pharmaceutical imports will provide opportunities for multinational drugmakers, though the inefficient regulatory environment is a risk to operating in Morocco.

Headline Expenditure Projections

  • Pharmaceuticals: MAD10.37bn (USD1.23bn) in 2013 to MAD10.53bn (USD1.28bn) in 2014; +1.6% in local currency terms and +4.0% in US dollar terms. Forecast increased from last quarter due to...

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Telecommunications

Morocco Telecommunications

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BMI View : The strong demand for mobile data services in the North African telecoms markets is driving investments in network upgrade and expansion, with operators in Algeria, albeit from a low base, and Morocco leading the way in capital expenditure (capex) spending in 2014. The uptake of 3G network services in this region, aided by the increasing availability of low-cost smartphones, will allow mobile operators diversify their revenue streams away from basic services amid increased regulatory and competitive pressure. Libya is still left out of this development trend, with insecurity and political stability delaying a much-needed liberalisation process in the telecoms sector and...

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Tourism

Morocco Tourism

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BMI View: The Morocco tourism report examines a range of key indicators for the tourism market in this popular North Africa destination, including the prospects for growth in terms of inbound arrivals and outbound departures throughout our current forecast period to 2018. Benefiting from a stable political environment and increasing levels of foreign investment, we expect to see healthy growth in industry value and tourism-related expenditure as Morocco continues to attract greater numbers of visitors from a range of different markets.

Morocco benefits from its geographical proximity to key markets in Europe and its perception as a stable destination in a region where many countries have seen widespread political unrest, which has deterred potential visitors. The country is...

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