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2013 Edition

in Focus
A Publication of the Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco in New Delhi (India)
C o n t e n t s
A Bright Future.........................................................................4
His Majesty King Mohammed VI on the national agenda

Morocco on The Move...............................................................6

Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco to India

EEPC India Exhibition in Morocco................................................9

Morocco-India Historical Ties....................................................10

Morocco Offers Investment Opportunities for Indian Investors....12

India-Morocco Business Ties....................................................23

Ibn Battuta: A Traveler Par Excellence......................................26

India Strengthens Africa Ties...................................................29

Morocco Wants Ties with India to go Beyond Food Security........30

Courting India, Morocco-Style..................................................32

India - Morocco Food Legumes Initiative...................................36

Offshoring Success..................................................................38

A Regional Role.......................................................................40

Shop ‘Til You Drop’..................................................................42

Facts for Visitors.....................................................................46

A Slice of Morocco on India’s Plate............................................48

India signs Protocol with Morocco.............................................50

Published by The Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco

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Embassy of Morocco. The magazine is produced to promote Morocco-India ties. The journal has no commercial value and is not for sale, it is for private circulation only.
A Bright Future
His Majesty King Mohammed VI on the national agenda

e have a Elected officials must serve
collective duty to the citizens and maintain
work together to their trust, avoiding any
strengthen the foundations personal or narrow-minded
of a modern Moroccan state considerations.
imbued with the values of
unity, progress, social justice The advanced regionalisation
and equity, thus reflecting a initiative that I have launched
firm commitment to our and that was endorsed by the
timehonoured identity. Our new constitution is a major
nation has entered a new project that needs to be
era, not by coincidence managed with forethought
or because of unforeseen and the utmost care so as to
circumstances, but rather as introduce gradual, in-depth
the result of a well-thought- change to state institutions
out policy and gradually and the relationship between
implemented strategy. central government and
These are based on our local authorities. At the
sovereign will and are fully same time, special attention
consistent with the citizens’ should be given to the
legitimate expectations. major project of carrying
out the reforms needed
We have carried out for the implementation
comprehensive economic of the new territorial
reforms to consolidate and management system, using
upgrade basic infrastructure an approach based on good
in urban areas, and governance that makes
improve access to remote human development the
of all progress, the judiciary will be
rural zones by providing the foremost concern. Indeed, in
the first to undergo major reform.
necessary services and facilities. order to tackle the challenges of
Given that the new constitution
Similarly, we have sought to create territorial governance, we need
puts the independence of the
conditions conducive to promoting to achieve fair, equitable human
judiciary at the heart of the nation’s
investment, implementing a social development that enables us to
constitutional setup, I believe
development policy. In this rectify shortcomings in rural areas
conditions for the success of this
respect, we gave fresh impetus to and address the inadequacies that
major reform project are now in
social and development-oriented hamper growth in urban settings.
place. I hope, in this regard, that
projects by launching, in 2005,
the authority in charge of reform Thanks to these policies, we
the National Initiative for Human
will adopt an open, participatory have been able to launch major
Development, which builds on a
approach and prepare concrete, projects that have strengthened
comprehensive vision designed to
practical recommendations as our infrastructure and helped us
fight marginalisation and poverty.
quickly as possible. I also call provide the services needed for the
As our policy choices require that
upon stakeholders and officials country’s development. Sector-
we set priorities and determine
in all institutions to be worthy specific strategies have been laid
precise timeframes for their actual
of the trust placed in them. In down, using efficient criteria to
implementation, we wanted,
addition to the executive and achieve the desired objectives. In
through a specific approach, to
judicial branches, I ask elected this respect, we have focused on
come up with a roadmap for
institutions, at all levels, to developing industrial and modern
carrying out reforms.
comply fully and at all times technology sectors, creating hubs
Since the rule of law is the source with the new concept of authority. and major integrated economic

Morocco in focus 4
centres that boost investment and and its rich cultural heritage. commit themselves to the ideals
help our enterprises sharpen their Since 2001, we have been of freedom, equality and respect
competitive edge. implementing a comprehensive for difference.
strategy, building on specific
We should further promote Moreover, the school should
programmes that have contributed
Morocco’s Green Plan, which not be an institution based
to the growth and development of
is one of the key elements for on the principle of cramming
tourism in our country. As part
agricultural development in our information into pupils, but one
of Vision 2020, we have sought
country. We therefore need to which encourages critical thinking
to further develop the sector by
increase the activities included and perceptiveness to prepare
setting up the Wissal fund for
in the plan so as to expand students for the information and
the promotion of investment
and diversify our production knowledge-based society. The
in tourism, which primarily
base and upgrade smallholders’ government must to act along
aims to promote sustainable
capabilities through solidarity- these lines and to lay special
development. As a result, Morocco
based programmes that improve emphasis on upgrading state
is a preferred tourist destination
the living conditions of rural schools as well as on developing
in the Mediterranean.
populations, especially as private education and ensuring
Morocco experienced challenging As I am keen to guarantee justice interaction and complementarity
climate conditions in 2012. I and provide assistance to the between the two systems.
must insist, in this respect, on the most impoverished segments of
need to further develop contract our population, I have sought to I also call upon the government to
mechanisms for partnership make sure a health care scheme meet citizens’ social demands and
between the public and private for the benefit of those in need to make sure the country’s finance
sectors to make the best possible is implemented. The scheme is policy is properly managed in
use of available investment the result of a long preparatory order to preserve our development
resources. process in which the Kingdom potential as well as the nation’s
has been involved for the last 10 credibility in the international
As we are aware of the importance arena. Since I am fully aware of
years, the aim being to provide
of this partnership, we have the need to safeguard the future of
assistance to the disadvantaged.
adopted a groundbreaking coming generations, I have always
The government is therefore called
approach by creating the Moroccan emphasised the indispensable
upon to do all it can to make this
Investment Authority, which link between development and
scheme a success by carefully
brings together national sectoral environmental protection so as to
identifying beneficiaries and
investment funds. The authority ensure sustainable development.
ensuring good service provision.
seeks to promote investment This is why we have been
in all sectors and encourage Our education system should working with great resolve to
partnerships between businesses help young people ensure their preserve and manage our natural
and government institutions. Our personal development so that resources properly, making sure
goal is to enable our country to they may shoulder their civic they contribute to our economic
access financing opportunities responsibilities in an environment development. The ambitious wind
offered by foreign sovereign funds, that preserves their dignity, and solar energy programme
especially investment funds in the upholds equal opportunities I have launched falls within
Gulf sister nations. In this regard, and enables them to contribute the framework of this policy. It
we appreciate the decisions that to economic, social and cultural is designed to help us reduce
have been made concerning the development. To this end, we have conventional energy imports and
strategic partnership between to reconsider our approach and alleviate the energy burden on
Morocco and the GCC, and I our education policies to go from a our economy.
should like to reiterate Morocco’s system centred on the teacher and
firm commitment to expanding his or her performance, in which Based on speeches delivered by
its relations with the Gulf nations knowledge is simply transmitted His Majesty in 2012
and strengthening our ties in all to learners, to a method that Source: The Report: Morocco 2013,
sectors. promotes interaction, and enables Oxford Business Group
students to develop their abilities
In this respect, we should
and gives them opportunities
underscore tourism’s important
to show their creativity and
role in promoting employment and
innovative thinking, in addition
creating national wealth, given
to enabling them to acquire skills,
Morocco’s varied natural assets
improve social interaction and

5 Morocco in focus
Morocco on The Move
H.E. Mr. Larbi Reffouh
Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco to India

wider powers to the Head of

Government, appointed by the
King from the party which wins
elections, and to strengthen the
provisions relating to the control
of the Government by the two
Chambers of Parliament. The new
Constitution has also paved the
way for the organization of new
legislative elections in November
By choosing the way of the
evolution of political institutions
of the country, Morocco has
pursued the reforms undertaken
Political Reforms profound constitutional reform, in the 1990s. Needless to say,
which was largely supported by the Moroccan monarchy has a
The winds of the “Arab Spring”
the Moroccan people through a historical and religious legitimacy
were channeled by Morocco
referendum. and has always been the symbol
to expand and consolidate
democracy and accelerate the By consolidating the principle of the state’s continuity and the
pace of political reforms. His of separation of powers and the guarantor of national unity and
Majesty The King Mohammed independence of the judiciary, stability.
VI announced in March 2011 a the new Constitution gives

Morocco in focus 6
there is the project “advanced
regionalization”, which will allow
Morocco to build a new model
of territorial governance and
establish a new relationship
between the central government
and regional entities. Also, the
reform of justice aims primarily
at consolidating independence
of the judiciary, modernizing its
regulatory framework, upgrading
its structures and improving legal
Thus, what makes the Moroccan
model distinctive is it has
always made “evolution within
continuity” a guiding principle of
its political practice.

Economic Reforms
Since its independence, the
Kingdom of Morocco has
In this respect, the democratic disadvantaged regions and the made the irreversible choice of
process was launched two fight against social exclusion, political pluralism and economic
decades back when the late marginalization and poverty. liberalism. The right to property
King, His Majesty Hassan II, Many actions have been taken and freedom of initiative are
had initiated a series of reforms to support income-generating part of the fundamental rights
in the political and economic activities and improve access to guaranteed by the Constitution.
fields, opening the door for a new services and basic infrastructure
era of democratic transition. This (education, health, roads, water The Moroccan economy is an
concerned, among other things and sanitation, environmental economy characterized by a
many steps for the promotion of protection, etc.). large opening towards the outside
human rights and the protection world. Since the early 1980s,
of freedom of expression and, Other major reforms include the Morocco has adopted a policy of
mostly, the decision to establish consolidation of the Amazigh economic and financial openness.
a new government of ‘alternance’, culture as a component of the The main goal of that policy is
led by parties from the opposition. national identity and unity. to strengthen the liberalization
The latter are also enriched by of foreign trade, to help for
Since the enthronement of His African, Andalusian, Hebrew and greater integration into the world
Majesty The King Mohammed VI Mediterranean elements. Besides, economy, and to contribute to the
in 1999, Morocco has witnessed the Equity and Reconciliation consolidation of the multilateral
a movement of unprecedented Commission has been engaged trading system.
reforms in all areas. in the path of restoring truth
and reconciliation of Morocco During the reign of late King HM
In this regard, the reform of with itself. Its work contributed Hassan II, the Moroccan economy
the “Family Code”, which to the enrichment of the culture focused on two main sectors:
revolutionized the status and of dialogue and human rights agriculture and tourism. From
empowerment of women in and laid down the bases of this point, the late King’s insight
Morocco, introduced a range of the reconciliation with a view in terms of implementing a dam
measures that enhance women’s to protect human rights and policy since the late 1970s is of
equality in terms of marriage, strengthen the rule of law. strategic importance either for the
divorce and taking care of children development of the agricultural
and impose strict legal restrictions The dynamics of reforms does sector or meeting the basic needs
on polygamy. Moreover, the not end here. Other key reforms of Moroccan people in terms of
launch of the National Initiative are underway and new ones drinking water, especially when
for Human Development (NIHD) will certainly be considered in the country is located in a semi-
aimed at the development of future if need be. For instance, arid region in Africa.

7 Morocco in focus
In recent years, the priority European Union, the United in the Mediterranean region and
has been given to modernize States, Turkey, Tunisia, Egypt in Africa), a modern highway
and diversify the economy to and Jordan. network connecting all the major
be more competitive, to build cities, 15 international airports
world-class infrastructure and Morocco has also elaborated (largest airport hub in the region),
to improve the business and several specific strategies to and the ongoing construction of a
investment environment. A vast develop the most vital economic high-speed railway project (from
program of industrialization sectors of the country and ensure Tangiers to Marrakesh).
has been conducted to make strong and sustainable economic
Morocco one of the leading growth. This reform is marked Morocco also has a wide
countries in promising and value- by an innovative contracting network of Integrated Industrial
added sectors, like automobile, approach and public-private Platforms (Kenitra, Nouaceur,
electronics, and aeronautics. This partnership advocating greater Tangier Oujda) and free zones
policy has contributed in attracting and coordinated participation (Tangier, TangerMed, Dakhla,
important investments by major of the private sector in the Laayoune, Nador and Kenitra),
multinational companies, such development of sectoral which offer dedicated facilities in
as Renault, Bombardier, Tata strategies and policies, along terms of property, infrastructure
and Dell. with the funding of projects. These and investment incentives, and
strategies are part of a process are directly connected to the
Besides, the process of economic to accelerate the development of major ports and airports. In
liberalization and integration strategic sectors, like agriculture, addition, Morocco provides
into the global economy has fisheries, tourism, mining, specific financial, tax and customs
been consolidated by the renewable energy, handicrafts, advantages to investors, as part
establishment of partnerships logistics, and promising sectors, of agreements or investment
for cooperation with different such as automotive, aerospace contracts to be concluded with
countries, by the engagement of and off-shoring. the government.
Moroccan companies in West
Africa, like Maroc Telecom During the last decade, Morocco The major economic reforms
(Telecommunications), BMCE, has launched large-scale undertaken together with the
Attijari Wafa Bank (Banking) projects aimed at elevating its ongoing implementation of
and Addoha (Housing), and infrastructure to international several ambitious mega-projects
through the conclusion of bilateral standards. Among these projects, and sector-based strategies have
free trade agreements with the I would like to mention Tanger- started to give good results,
Med Port (one of the largest ports especially with the continuous
increase of the GDP.

Morocco in focus 8
EEPC India Exhibition in Morocco

ngineering Export Le salon International DE with participation from countries such
Promotion Council (EEPC) L’INDUSTRIE: About the as Morocco, France, Spain, Italy and
India, Kolkata organized Exhibition Turkey. 9000 business visitors visited the
its 26th Indian Engineering show of which 95% were professionals
As the Francophone area’s one of
Exhibition (INDEE). The show and rests were individuals. This year,
the largest annual manufacturing
was a part of the 4th edition the exhibition was held over an area of
expo, Le salon International
of Le Salon International DE 6000 sq meter.
DE L’INDUSTRIE has for long
L’INDUSTRIE exhibition in
been the connecting point for
Casablanca, Morocco from 13 to Why Morocco?
the manufacturers and importers
15 December, 2012.
of the neighbouring countries, Morocco is considered a gateway
The event brought together the most other parts of Africa & Europe. to West and Northern Africa. The
varied and complete exhibition The Show brings together buyers, country is steadily progressing towards
of the latest in machinery and sellers and end users from around greater internal modernization and
technologies in key industries. the world. globalization, with the creation of
About 90 Indian engineering the country’s first commercial courts,
In 2012, Le salon International
companies participated in the streamlined customs services and 16
DE L’INDUSTRIE hosted 200
event. Casablanca is Morocco’s Regional Investment Centers dedicated
exhibitors from 10 countries.
largest city as well as its chief port. solely to facilitating new business
About 12,000 business visitors
It is also the biggest city in the ventures.
visited during the exhibition and
Maghreb region [Morocco, Algeria,
India proposed to be a Partner Strategically located along the Strait
Tunisia, Libya & Mauritania].
Country. of Gibraltar just a seven-hour flight
Casablanca is considered the
economic and business center of The Event was a platform of from JFK and three hours from Paris,
Morocco. innovation, production and Morocco is seen more and more as a
development for sectors such as regional hub in North Africa for shipping
Casablanca hosts headquarters logistics, assembly, production and
mechanical engineering, steel and

and main industrial facilities metallurgy, automobile, textile sales. The moderate Mediterranean
for the leading Moroccan and and clothing, hi-tech industries, climate on 2,750 miles of coastline
international companies based electrical and electronic, building and its developing infrastructure make
in Morocco. Industrial statistics and construction, rubber, plastic Morocco an attractive location for both
show Casablanca retains its and packaging, agricultural business and leisure.
historical position as the main implements, household appliances
industrial zone of the country. and products, air conditioning While India exported only USD 76
The Port of Casablanca is one and so on. million worth of engineering goods to
of the largest artificial ports in Morocco, the country’s demand for
The previous exhibition was engineering products is much more, and
the world, and the largest port of
held over 4000 sq meter area, is often compared to the likes of Nigeria.
North Africa.

9 Morocco in focus
Morocco-India Historical Ties

Late King of Morocco, HM Hassan II

with first Prime Minister of India, Late
Jawahar Lal Nehru

Late King of Morocco, HM Hassan II

with Late Mrs Indira Gandhi, Prime
Minister of India and daughter of Late
Jawahar Lal Nehru.

Crown Prince and current King of

Morocco, His Majesty Mohammed VI
with Late Mrs Indira Gandhi, Prime
Minister of India.

Morocco in focus 10
Late King of Morocco, HM Hassan II honouring the then Prime
His Majesty Mohammed VI, King of Morocco with
Minister of India, Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee
Chairperson of United Progressive Allliance in
India, Mrs Sonia Gandhi

His Majesty Mohammed VI,

King of Morocco honoured
Indian film actor, Amitabh

His Majesty Mohammed VI, King of Morocco paying floral tributes at the Samadhi of Mahatma Gandhi at
Raj Ghat in New Delhi.

11 Morocco in focus
Morocco Offers Investment
Opportunities for Indian Investors

Morocco, more business

Morocco Overview

Capital Rabat 802 517 B DH (2011)

€72 B
Democratic and social Constitutional 24 320 DH (2011)
Institutional System GDP per capita
Monarchy €2 200
Area 710 850 km²
Average growth
Average growth 5% (over the last 5 years)
the last 5 years)
Climate Mediterranean GDP Distribution  Primary Sector 13.7%
Time Zone GMT (GMT+1 in summer) (2010) Secondary Sector 26.7%
Arabic (official),Amazighe
French, Spanish,
(official), Tertiary Sector 59.0%
English Spanish and English
French, Inflation Rate 0.9% (2011)
Source: Haut Commissariat au Plan et Office des Changes

Morocco in focus 12
Morocco: a stable political environment

A continuing drive for openness and democratisation

 A monarchy established in the year 788 (12 centuries ago)

 A bicameral parliamentary system
 Both chambers vote on all laws
 The Constitutional Council reviews the constitutionality of all laws
 The judicial branch remains independent from the legislative and executive branches
 A multi-party system
 Over
O 85 000 associations
i i and
 In July 2011, a referendum established a new Constitution, guaranteeing:
• Human rights
g • Improved
p moral standards in p
public life
• The legality of the State and its institutions • The plurality of the Moroccan identity
• Individual and collective liberty

A stable political environment:

Morocco, a true exception in the MENA Region
International analysts highlight the Moroccan …and praise its democratic push.
“Despite regional troubles, Morocco continues its “Morocco's stability and the constructive spirit of the Moroccan
progress Various factors point to encouraging prospects for
progress…Various society as well as its commitment to tolerance and openness
the Moroccan economy in 2011, namely an excellent harvest praised Morocco's institutional reforms and the adoption by the
and a continuous diversification of the Moroccan economy” Moroccan people of the new democratic constitution”.
International think‐tank Oxford Business Group (OBG)‐ Bernardino Leon, EU special representative for the Southern
29/07/2011 Mediterranean region – 07/26/2011

‘‘The Moroccan economy continues to be one of the best “The new constitution represents a "major and positive step" on 

“Th tit ti t " j d iti t "
performers in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) the path of democracy consolidation in Morocco”
Region’’. Carlos Carnero Gonzalez, Special  Ambassador for European 
Nema Shafik, Deputy Managing Director of the International Integration Projects‐ 07/22/2011
Monetary Fund(IMF) – 05/14/2012
“His Majesty the King and the people of Morocco showed great
l l maturity. Comparedd to what
h it is happening
h elsewhere
l h
in the region and around the world, Morocco is quite admired
“Morocco is a model to follow in the region. Together with
in the United State. We look to Morocco quite often as an
Tunisia, we will find the needed cohesion and dynamism to
example of how you create a climate in which businesses are
strengthen the role of the region in the Mediterranean “.
welcomed, investors are attracted, people have jobs because of
Moncef Marzouki, President of Tunisia – 02/08/2012
Hillary Clinton, US Secretary of State‐ 26/02/2012
“Morocco tends to align more with Europe than with its  “Morocco is one of the countries to have made the most 
significant progress in terms of investment, especially thanks 
Southern and Western neighbors“                                                                                              
CNN ‐ 21/02/2011 to the quality of the information MIDA provides investors 
and the high level of their presentations.”
World Bank – 05/22/2012

"The  European Council congratulates its cooperation with 
Morocco, the most advanced country in the Arab region in terms 
of democracy and respect for human rights.
Thorbjorn Jagland Secretary General at the European Council ‐
Thorbjorn Jagland, Secretary General at the European Council ‐
– 08/10/2012

13 Morocco in focus
Strong macroeconomic drivers
GDP Growth(%)

Sustained GDP
Successfully meeting 
growth the major 
1998 2000 2002-2009
2002 2009 2010 2011 challenges, 2011. 
g ,

Inflation (%)
Controlled inflation 5
2.0 0.9
0.9 Morocco maintains 
Mean 1990- Mean 200- A4  grade ‐ 2011
1995 2009 2010 2011

Unemployment Rate (%)

40 Urban National

Declining 22.0
13.9 Affirms
20 12.7 13.4
8.2 89
8.9 Morocco's 
0 Investment rating‐
1999 2010 2011
FDI ( in B DH)
Rising FDI 20
10 4
In Africa
95-99 00-04 05-09 2010-2011

Public Debt (% of GDP)

Control of Public 50 52 #1
Debt Inflation control
2000 2010 2011

Source: Haut Commissariat au Plan & Ministère de l’Economie et des Finances

Ambitious sectorial strategies

Launched in 2009
• 1.6 % in additional GDP growth
• 220 000 jobs created
• Key sectors: automobile; aeronautics; electronics; IT;
fishing and agriculture; textile

Launched in 2008
• General access to high-speed internet
• E-government
• To encourage the use of IT in SMEs
 The greatest increase in the number of internet users 
i N th
in Northern Africa in 2011
Af i i 2011

Morocco in focus 14
Ambitious sectorial strategies

Launched in 2010
• To improve the country’s logistical competitiveness
• To reduce logistical costs from 20% to 15% of GDP
• An integrated national network of 70 multi-flow
logistical zones

Launched in 2010
• 20 million tourists in 2020
• 200 000 new beds
• Tourism GDP: from US$6 billion in 2010 to US$17
billion in 2020

Ambitious sectorial strategies

Launched in 2008
• To modernise the agricultural sector
• US$10
$ billion in additional GDP from agriculture
• US$15 billion in public and private investments

Launched in 2008
Launched in 2008
• US$1.5 billion in additional GDP
• The creation of 75 000 jobs by 2020

15 Morocco in focus
Ambitious sectorial strategies
Launched in 2008
• A GDP from trade of DH98 billion, representing
12.5% of the country’s GDP.
• The creation of over 200 000 jobs.

Launched in 2009
• To reduce the shortage of units
• To build 100 000 units per year
• To expand social housing
 Morocco is the first country in the world in 
the fight against slums (6th edition of the World 
the fight against slums  (6th edition of the World
Urban Forum in Roma)

Ambitious sectorial strategies

Launched in 2009 (Solar) and in 2010 (Wind) with a budget 
Launched in 2009 (Solar) and in 2010 (Wind) with a budget
of US$ 15 billion
• Renewable energy >40% of national production by
• Capacity: 2 000 MW of solar power + 2 000 MW of
d power

Launched in 2010

• To make of Casablanca a regional hub for the
Maghreb and Western Africa.

Morocco in focus 16
Important infrastructure improvements

Airports Tramways
• 15 international airports • Rabat and Casablanca
• Casablanca is #1 Europe-Africa hub • €1 billion Tanger Med: world-class infrastructure in a
strategic geographical location.
• Annual capacity of 3 million containers.
• Capacity of 8.5 million containers by 2017
• Objective: reach World Top-15.
• Integrated industrial, logistics, and
commercial zones neighbouring the port.

Ideal maritime platform to serve Europe and

Western Africa.

Highways (number of Km) Railway Network
• 2000 - 2010: from 150 to 1 000 km (≈ x 7) • First high-speed train in Africa
• 2010 -2015: from 1 000 to 1 800 km ((≈ x 2)) (Tangier-Casablanca)
(Tangier Casablanca) in 2015 –
€1.8 billion

22 Integrated Industrial Parks (P2Is)






i Real Estate
R lE t t

MARRAKECH SHORE Main mission: to ensure the movement of
assets (through land searching and
localizing, administrative and legal
organizing, turnkey delivery, and site
DAKHLA management).

 Investments
I between
b DH 100 d 300
DH 100 and 300 
million encompassing between 5 000 m² 
GENERAL P2I AUTOMOBILE P2I AGRICULTURAL  60%  of funds allocated to P2Is and 40% to
P2I non-P2I areas.

17 Morocco in focus
Morocco: a strategic geographical location


14 km

Tangier Med
Med Port


Morocco: at the crossroads of the continents

2h 3h
NEW YORK 2d 3d

4h 30d

Flight duration
Sea/land route

Morocco in focus 18
Tanger Med Port: Connections to 130 ports in 65 countries

A total traffic of 27 million tonnes in 2011, a rise of 17% from 2010

Ranking of Moroccan
shipping routes

Morocco: an unparalleled connection between Europe, the

Middle East, and Africa

Number of international  Direct connections to 32  Direct connections to 24 cities 

passengers:  European cities in Africa and the Middle East
Steadily growing

Source: Office National des Aéroports & Royal Air Maroc

19 Morocco in focus
Competitive costs

Exportation costs* Competitive salaries Corporate Tax Rates


US$ per container US$ per month 62.80% 63.80%

990 3787
884 43% 44.50%
3046 41.70%
730 737 773 2736
+ 47%

1081 1226
360 393 530

Maroc Egypte Turquie Tunisie Chine

The cost measures the charges perceived

on a 20-foot container in U.S. dollars. All
the costs associated with the procedures
to export or import the goods are

Source: World Bank 2012

Access to custom fee exemptions

Agreement under negotiations
with Canada

Association Agreement with European Union 

Located just 14 km
from Europe
Agreement with  Turkey (2003) 
Agreement with United States of 
America (2005) 

di Agreement (2004) 
( )
United Arab Emirates Agreement 
Arab League Agreement (1998)
Agreement under negotiations with the 
Economic Community of West African
Economic Community of West African 

Morocco in focus 20
An attractive incentive package

Investment Promotion
Funds Hassan II Fund Energy Funds

 Eligibility Conditions:  Eligibility Conditions:
 Eligibility Conditions:
• Total investment ≥ DH10 • Investment in equipment
• Investment ≥ DH200 million
million goods ≥ DH2.5 million
• Investment in goods and • Signature of an investment
• Jobs created ≥ 250
equipment ≥ DH5 million contract with the State
• Sectors:  Budget of DH10 billion
 Land Assistance: A contribution
up to 20%
20% off acquisition
i i i costs A t
bil aeronautics,
ti nan
otechnology, microelectronics  Objectives: 
, and biotechnology. • To finance new energy
 External Infrastructures: 
 Contributions are limited to a facilities, especially in the field
assistance of up to 5% of total 
maximum of 15% of the total of renewable energy.
amount of investment
investment and DH30 million as • To offer subsidies to project
the following: leaders.
 Training: A contribution of up to  • Land Assistance: 30% of costs
20% of training costs. of land acquisition and
• Equipment: 15% of costs of
new equipment (excluding
taxes and import duties).

An attractive incentive package

Moroccan Fund
General Tax Casablanca Finance
for Tourism
Code City
Development (FMDT)

 Size   Eligibility Conditions  Eligibility Conditions

Currently DH1.5  • Investment ≥ 200 millions  • Activities with non-
billion increasing to DH15 billion
billion, DH15 billion DH resident businesses
over the next 10 years. • Compliance with financial
• Objectives  VAT exemption for the importation legislations and
- To support the carrying out of of equipment regulations.
“Vision 2020” goods, materials, and tools for the  Full exemption for the first 5 years
- To
T produce
d a significant
i ifi iimpact 36 months following
h f ll the
h start off off activity
ti it and t off 8.75% 
d a rate 8 75%
on the Moroccan economy and the activity. thereafter.
to ensure financial stability for  Reduced corporate tax rate of 10
investors. %
 Eligibility Conditions :  Income tax set at 20%
• The projects in question will
operate in the fields of hotel
infrastructure, recreation, en
tertainment, business
tourism and touristic cultural

21 Morocco in focus
Free zones in Morocco

Incentive benefits in Free TANGER FREE ZONE



 Exemption from custom fees and TECHNOPOLIS

simplified customs procedures RABAT CASABLANCA

 Full exemption from corporate tax  MARRAKECH
for first 5 years and a rate of 8.75%  AGADIR CLEANTECH
for the following 20 years.

 Full exemption from income tax for

first 5 years and a reduction of 80% LAAYOUNE

for the following 20 years.

 No restrictions on capital or
dividend transfers. DAKHLA

A business environment favourable to investment

• 51 Double Tax Avoidance Agreements
• 62 Investment Protection Agreements
• Member of OECD Investment Committee
Protection • Member of International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID)
• Member of MIGA (Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency)

• The creation of the Business Environment National Committee (CNEA) to facilitate

procedures and access to information, and to carry out legal reforms
• The modernisation of business law
Legal Reforms • The strengthening of intellectual property protection
• A new law on arbitration and mediation
• New banking regulations
• Administrative simplification

An Incentive Tax • Reduction of tax burden

System • The creation of funds specifically for investment promotion

• Morocco adhered to the OECD Declaration on Propriety, Integrity and Transparency in the
International Conduct of International Business and Finance and to the OECD Declaration on Green
Instruments Growth

Morocco is "the most improved" country in business regulations in 2011

+21 positions in global ranking

Morocco in focus 22
India-Morocco Business Ties
Mr. Goutam Ghosh, Head-Arab Division
Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Moroccan Economy Thanks to its economic and they should make a vigorous
development model, which contribution to growth.
The Moroccan economy
combines openness, liberalisation
displayed a degree of resilience
and structural reform, Morocco Business Climate &
in a particularly difficult economic
has shown resilience in a difficult Competitiveness
context, growing by 3.2% in 2012,
national and international context.
driven by internal consumption Various assessments on the
Nevertheless the slowdown in
and public investment. business climate show that the
activity in Europe, which is the
Morocco has a coherent strategy country’s chief economic partner, country is adopting international
in place since the early 2000s to and below-average agricultural best practices. The measures
achieve its medium-term vision production resulted in a distinct taken include, at the institutional
and has made a good start on slowdown in growth, which was level: (i) establishment of
structural change, with Morocco’s 3.2% in 2012. the Moroccan Investment
phosphate industry – the world’s Development Agency (AMDI) in
However, growth should pick up February 2009 to support and
biggest producer and exporter –
in 2013 to reach around 4.6%, streamline the country’s efforts to
playing a key role both from a
driven by the consolidation of attract foreign direct investments
financial point of view and as a
internal demand. Some industries (FDIs), welcome investors and
source of growth for other sectors
have been given a boost by the contribute to removing obstacles
of the economy, though the textile
implementation of the 2009- to investment; (ii) establishment of
industry is among those needing
15 National Pact for Industrial an Inter-Ministerial Committee for
to reposition quickly in the face of
Emergence (Pacte national Improving the Business Climate
international competition.
d’émergence industrielle, {PNEI}) (CNEA) in September 2009 to

23 Morocco in focus
India-Morocco Economic
Quantum of bilateral trade, which was
For long, India has been one of
US$ 1.15 billion in 2010-11, reached the major markets for Moroccan
US$ 1.7 billion in 2012-13 (including phosphate and its derivatives.
Other main items of export to
India’s exports to Morocco at US$ India are metallic ores and metal
426.38 million and India’s imports from scrap, semi-finished products
Morocco at US$ 1300.35 million) and inorganic chemicals. The
main items of India’s exports to
Morocco are cotton yarn, synthetic
fiber, transport equipment,
pharmaceuticals, agricultural
implements, chemicals, spices
and manufactured metals. The
balance of trade has been in
favour of Morocco because of
imports of phosphoric acid and
rock phosphate by India. The
quantum of bilateral trade, which
was US$ 1.15 billion in 2010-11,
reached US$ 1.7 billion in 2012-
13 (including India’s exports to
Morocco at US$ 426.38 million
and India’s imports from Morocco
at US$ 1300.35 million).

India-Morocco joint venture

An India-Morocco joint venture
in fertilizer sector in Morocco,
called IMACID, located at Jorf
Lasfar, about 150 Kms south
of Casablanca, was set up in
Mr. R. V. Kanoria, Immediate Past President FICCI speaking at November 1999 between M/s
the India-Africa Partnership Day during African Development Chambal Chemicals & Fertilizers
Bank-AGM at Marrakesh Ltd. of the Birla Group and
Office Cherifien des Phosphates
prepare action plans that would to develop investment poles (OCP) on the Moroccan side
guarantee better coordination (integrated industrial platforms, to produce phosphoric acid. In
between the various Ministries, free trade areas, agropoles, 2005, Tata Chemicals Ltd. joined
as well as simplification and clusters, etc.) providing private as a third equal partner in this
enhancement of the transparency sector development opportunities. joint venture. At present, the JV
of administrative procedures; Morocco moved up 20 places on is producing around 430,000 MT
and (iii) creation of 16 regional the World Bank “2012 Doing per annum of phosphoric acid,
investment centres to serve as Business report” ranking, from nearly all of which is imported by
decentralized one-stop shops. 115th to 94th out of 183 countries. India. The Moroccan phosphate
Other institutions are also This was the outcome of three organization, OCP, has invested
involved in the promotion of major reforms initiated in 2011 in Paradip Phosphates Ltd. in
investments, particularly the on building permits, protection India.
Private Sector Incentives Support of investors and tax payment
Among other business activities,
Funds (Fonds Hassan II and facilities. However, the challenges
TATA Motors has a plant in
Investment Promotion Fund). are still many, in particular the
Casablanca for manufacturing bus
modernization of the judicial
In addition to simplification bodies. Ranbaxy has a technical
system, ease of access by SMEs
of the corporate tax system, collaboration with Afric-Phar
to loans, and flexibility of the
other efforts have been made for distribution of their finished
labour market.
products. It has set up their

Morocco in focus 24
manufacturing plant for medicines
in Casablanca and commercial
production is expected to begin.
PepsiCo India has acquired the
beverage maker’s entire franchise
bottling operations in Morocco.
Tata Consultancy Services
(TCS) signed an agreement with
Moroccan Government to establish
an offshoring delivery centre and a
project to impart national training
and e-governance. TCS opened
its office in Casablanca in 2007.

FICCIs engagement with

• In its pursuit to catapult India’s
economic engagement with the
Maghreb region, Federation of
Indian Chambers of Commerce
and Industry (FICCI) took
strong business delegation to
Morocco in October 2010.
The FICCI initiative, supported
by Government of India,
was organised in association
with Casablanca Chamber
of Commerce & Industry in
Morocco. The objective of
the visit was to familiarise Mr. Goutam Ghosh, Head (Arab Division), FICCI, receiving memento
the Indian businessmen of from the President of Casablanca Chamber of Commerce
the business opportunities
available there.
Development Bank Annual African Development Bank,
Indian businesses, representing General Meeting in May 2013. Exim Bank & Department of
textiles, ICT, Packaging As Indian African Partnership Economic Affairs – Govt of
machinery, Agricultural day with focus on Morocco was India.
equipments including tractors, also organised on this occasion.
Spices, automobiles tyres and Senior industry members Conclusion
consumer products participated from Tata Motors, Escorts,
in this FICCI delegation. KEC International, IL&FS Morocco has achieved good
Transportation Networks, Jain economic performance
• FICCI signed a cooperation Irrigation, Jindal Power and over the past few years; this
agreement with Casablanca Steel, Apollo International, performance is the outcome
Chamber of Commerce & WAPCOS and State Bank of sound macroeconomic
Industry on 8th October, 2010. of India shared India’s management, backed by
The cooperation agreement experiences, knowledge, ideas, structural and sector reforms
would intensively engage India policy options and information geared towards strengthening
and Morocco economically to on facilitating and financing economic diversification. In order
explore new business other sectoral cooperation through to consolidate these achievements
than the existing ever growing mechanisms including the and create conditions for sustained
trade on phosphates between PPP model. The initiative was growth, the Government has
the two countries. formed on synergizing the embarked on an aggressive policy
priority area for engagement to strengthen the institutional
• Another noteworthy initiative framework through the promotion
is a recent visit of a FICCI between Indian private sector
and African countries including of governance and infrastructure
delegation to Marrakesh development.
on the occasion of African Morocco and supported by

25 Morocco in focus
Ibn Battuta: A Traveler Par Excellence
By Asif Javed

I have indeed -- praise be to God - attained my desire in this world, which

was to travel through the earth, and I have attained in this respect what no
other person has attained to my knowledge. - Ibn Battuta

the official Mamluk Hajj caravan.

About Meccans, he reports: “They are
elegant and clean in their dress -- use
perfume freely -- and the women are
of rare and surpassing beauty, pious
and chaste”.
His religious obligation over, Ibn
Battuta had a change of plans. Instead
of returning to Morocco, he decided
to move on to Persia. Indeed, he was
to be a relentless traveler for almost
thirty years that took him to the very
boundaries of the Islamic world and
well beyond. Since he was no longer
part of the Hajj caravans, he ended up
making his own travel arrangements.
He spent weeks in the camel litters
in the Middle East and Africa; horse
was used in the Indian subcontinent

bn Battuta dictated these lines to while ships of various kinds were
perform Hajj and he set out from used at sea.
Ibn Juzayy after he had returned Tangier with this purpose in mind
to his native Morocco having in1325. It took him eight months Reading Rihla, one is amazed at the
put behind him 73,000 miles in three to make it to Egypt, a distance young Moroccan’s ability to befriend
continents, an area equivalent to 40 of almost 2,000 miles. Egypt and gain favors from private citizens as
modern countries. He began his globe and Syria at the time were ruled well as high officials. During his time
tottering at 24 and did not return until by Mumluks who enjoyed great on the road, he stayed in all kinds of
he was 47. prestige among the Muslims for places including Sufi hospices, private
During this lengthy absence, both having inflicted a crushing defeat residences, colleges, madrassas and
his parents died while he himself on Mongols of Persia that saved survived on charity and gifts. Traveling
went through enormous hardships. Egypt from the catastrophe that in those days was far from safe but
But in doing so, he has left behind had befallen Abbasid khilafet and he continued his single-minded quest
a remarkably detailed record of the many other countries. to explore the world. In the process,
places that he visited and the people he came close to losing his life a few
The Cairo that Ibn Battuta visited times and lost all his possessions once
he met. The reading of Rihla -- the had a population of 500,000 and
book of his travels -- is a fascinating when he found himself on the south
thus was 15 times bigger than coast of India.
experience. London at the time. We also
Rihla provides very few details of his hear about the enormous size of There were also sicknesses including
personal life. All we know is that he caravansary’s in Cairo, some of one that made him so weak that he
was a Berber from a family of legal which could accommodate up to was tied to the horse saddle to prevent
scholars in Tangier and had some 4,000 guests. Having spent some from falling.
training in jurisprudence. It appears weeks in Cairo, he moved on to
From Hijaz, he went to Persia through
that his original intention was to Hijjaz through Syria, on joining

Morocco in focus 26
Iraq, both being part of the Ilkhanid Mehmat, the conqueror. Upon tall, robust, white-skinned man, his
Mongol empire founded by Halaku returning, Ibn Battuta turned legs tucked beneath him on a gold
Khan. At the time of Ibn Battuta’s visit, south and passed through the plated throne” and Delhi as “a vast
it was ruled by Abu Sa’id whose father kingdom of Chagatay. He paints and magnificent city, the largest in
had converted to Islam. Ibn Battuta a very depressing picture of the India, nay rather the largest of all
liked Abu Sa’id: “He is pious, tolerant, historic city of Bokhara which the cities of Islam in the east”. He
generous and a committed Sunni had been plundered by Gengis also reports on a severe famine
and is the most beautiful of God’s Khan a few decades earlier. “Its when “thousands upon thousands
creatures”. Shiraz got high praise too: mosques, colleges and bazaars of people perished of want”.
“Its inhabitants are handsome in figure are in ruin”. The great center of
and clean in their dress. There is no learning was not to recover from Ibn Battuta’s fall from grace in the
city except Shiraz that approaches the havoc caused by the Mongol court of Delhi was quite sudden and
Damascus in the beauty of its bazaars, hordes for a long time. unexpected. It was brought about
fruit-gardens and rivers”. On the by his Indian wife’s father who rose
contrary, his description of Baghdad Ibn Battuta continued his in rebellion against Mohammad
is quite depressing: “Her outward southward journey towards India Tughlaq. Being related to the rebel,
lineaments have departed and nothing and crossed into Afghanistan Ibn Battuta naturally came under
remains of her but name. There is no through the Hindukush Mountain. suspicion. As a result, he lost his
beauty in her that arrests the eye, or This route went through the job, remained under house arrest for
summons the busy passer-by to forget famous Punjsher Valley where a while and even feared for his life.
his business and to gaze”. Ahmad Shah Masud led a fierce After some time, the Sultan relented
resistance against the Soviets in and asked him to go to China as the
The next stop was Anatolia (Asian the 1980’s. His entourage went head of his delegation. Ibn Battuta,
Turkey of today). There he had the through the Khyber Pass and being a compulsive traveler, jumped
good fortune to meet and be a guest of eventually was led to Multan that at this opportunity. As the head of
Orkhan, son of legendary Usman, the was the western-most military post the delegation, he was to carry with
founder of the Ottoman Empire. His of the sultanate of Mohammad him some very precious presents for
kingdom was still in infancy. Here is Tughlaq. the emperor of China. As fate would
what Rihla says of Orkhan:”This sultan have it, there was a terrible storm in
is the greatest of the kings of Turkmens Ibn Battuta’s arrival in India was the Arabian Sea and the ship that
and the richest in wealth, lands and quite unlike his previous travels was bound for China sank off the
military forces. Of fortresses, he and needs some explanation. coast of Calicut with all the presents
possesses nearly a hundred - he fights Indeed it is believed that he on board. Ibn Battuta miraculously
with the infidels continually and keeps had heard about the prestige survived the disaster but decided not
them under siege”. Ibn Battuta may and glamour of the court of to return to Delhi being fully aware
not have realized he was witnessing Mohammad Tughlaq way back in of Mohammad Tughlaq’s wrath and
the historic rise of an empire that was Egypt. He may have been aware unpredictable nature.
to see a non-stop expansion - -in all of the attractive job opportunities
directions -- for almost 70 years and there, particularly to scholars Having spent some time on the
was to last more than five centuries. from the Middle East. Being a south coast of India, he sailed to the
faqih, fluent in Arabic and with Maldives Islands where he secured
From Anatolia, he went further north in a resume that included extended another judicial post but soon left
to Crimea on a boat through the Black stay in Hijjaz, Damascus and and ended up in Southern China
Sea. The next few months were spent Cairo, he may have hoped to having passed through Ceylon,
in the Caucasus region and Central impress the sovereign and he Java and Sumatra. The sea voyage
Asia. Ozbeg Khan, the Mongol ruler of was not to be disappointed. lasted many weeks. China under the
Golden Horde, was a new convert to Soon after his arrival in Delhi, Mongol rule impressed him: “ China
Islam. IBn Battuta noted with obvious he managed to get an audience is the safest and the most agreeable
surprise that Mongol and Turkish with Sultan Mohammad Tughlaq country in the world for the traveler.
women enjoyed freedom, respect and who was sufficiently impressed You can travel all alone across
near equality in that land. Ibn Battuta, and appointed the young scholar the land for nine months without
then turned west and traveled with as the qadi of Delhi. His annual fear, even if you are carrying much
Ozbeg Khan’s wife, who was to visit salary was to be 12,000 silver wealth”.
her family in Constantinople. He thus dinars.
traveled as part of the royal entourage, Being away from home for years and
did meet the emperor Adrionus III of Ibn Battuta spent almost ten years probably having grown homesick,
Byzantium and toured the historic city, in and around India and devotes he started the long trip back from
almost 130 years before it fell to Sultan a considerable part of his book to China in December 1346 and made
it. He describes the Sultan as “a

27 Morocco in focus
it to Morocco in November 1349, It is said that Musa’s entourage servants (He reports buying a
having seen the horrors of Black spent gold so freely in Cairo that very beautiful slave girl from
Death (plague) ravaging around him. its price depreciated. But this is Silhet). At one stage, he became
He reports up to 2000 deaths a day how Ibn Battuta describes the quite wealthy, having received
in Damascus. However, his traveling king of Mali in Rihla: ”Suleiman the most expensive gifts from
was not over yet. He was soon crossing is a miserly king from whom no various kings. He married and
the strait of Gibraltar and spent great donation is to be expected. divorced frequently and fathered
some time in the Islamic Kingdom of Mansa Musa, by contrast had quite a few children, some of who
Granada. These were difficult times been generous and virtuous”. may have survived. It is quite
for Muslims in the Iberian Peninsula. possible that his descendants are
The Islamic power in Spain had been Having returned to Fez in living among us. In one sense,
in decline for some time and the Morocco, Ibn Battuta was asked he was lucky too, since most of
Christian reconquista had already by Abu ‘Inan, the Marinid ruler his journeys took him through
begun. It was during his short stay in in his homeland to write his regions which were at peace
Granada that he met Ibn Juzayy who memoirs. Over the next two years, but that changed soon after his
would collaborate with him for his he dictated -- from memory alone departure. Some of the kingdoms
memoirs later. -- while Ibn Juzayy took notes and and dynasties he had visited
did the editing. His work finished vanished altogether ( Granada,
His last journey was to the South and presented to the king, he Mongol Persia and Yuan China)
in his own backyard in West Africa retired to a quiet life of a private while the rest experienced great
but this may have been the most citizen in a provincial town. Ibn turmoil.
disappointing of all. He went through Battuta died in 1368. Not much
enormous hardships to cross the is known of his later years. What is Ibn Battuta’s legacy?
vast and treacherous Sahara Desert Traditionally, he has been placed
where there was only one source of Ibn Battuta’s life was by any well below Marco Polo who
water in a stretch of 500 miles. This standards, an exiting one. died in Venice a year before
was undertaken to see the gold rich, He traveled far and wide and Ibn Battuta started his epic
Muslim kingdom of Mali. During interacted with extraordinary journey to the East. The Rihla
remained largely ignored and
was almost forgotten until the
last 150 years or so. In recent
times, however, it is being given
its well-deserved recognition. This
is how his biographer, Ross Dunn,
summarizes the famous traveler’s
place in history
For the history of certain regions,
Sudanic West Africa, Asia Minor,
or the Malabar Coast of India,
the Rihla stands out as the only
eye-witness report on political
events, human geography, and
social and economic conditions
for a period of a century or
more. Ibn Battuta has inevitably
been compared with Marco Polo
and usually taken second prize.
the course of his travels, Ibn Battuta people and saw extraordinary
Yet, Ibn Battuta travels to, and
had pretty much come to expect a events (He reports seeing the
reports on, a great many more
preferential treatment and expensive self-decapitation of a subject
places than Marco did, and his
gifts from the kings. But Mansa to impress a Hindu prince in
narrative offers details, sometimes
Suleiman, the king of Mali greatly the Far East). But during his
in incidental bits, sometimes in
disappointed him. His predecessor, extended time on the road, he
long disquisitions, on almost
Mansa Musa had become a legend in did not forget his own private
every conceivable aspect of
that part of the world, having spent a pleasures. Frequently, he traveled
human life in that age and his
fortune in Cairo on his way to Hajj, in great style and luxury, in
story is far more personal and
just a few years earlier. the company of his slaves and
humanly engaging than Marco’s.

Morocco in focus 28
India Strengthens Africa Ties
FICCI and Exim Bank recently hosted an ‘India-Africa
Partnership Day’ in Morocco.

ndia is continuing its efforts to billion, the Tata Group which and so on. In fact, India is now the
build closer ties with Africa as has investments in the continent biggest importer of oil from Nigeria,
the continent slowly becomes of nearly $2 billion and others beating the United States which is
the new frontier of development such as Videocon, Jindal Steel cutting its imports from abroad.
and diplomacy. With the African and Power Ltd (JSPL) etc. have
countries picking up steam and made strides in penetrating the However, not all news of India’s
economies showing signs of growth, African markets. However, Indian inroads in Africa has been positive.
Indian companies are looking to companies face tough competition Earlier in the year, a report by
gain the upper hand in areas such as from China, specifically Chinese a US based think tank blamed
minerals, oil and other such natural state companies which operate Indian companies operating in
resources. with massive budgets, in gaining Ethiopia of grabbing land away from
an upper hand in both natural indigenous people in order to use it
On the sidelines of the African resources and general business for industrial activities. The report
Development Bank’s 48th Annual in the continent. by think tank Oakland Institute
General Meeting in Marrakesh,
Morocco, the Federation of Indian
Chambers of Commerce and
Industry (FICCI) and Exim Bank
hosted the ‘India-Africa Partnership
Day’. New Delhi has re-affirmed its
commitments of developing Indian-
African trade which has increased
manifold from under $ 1 billion in
1991 to $ 68 billion in 2011-2012
and now accounts for 5.8% of
Africa’s global trade. India’s trade
in 2011-2012 registered a 28.2% rise
over the last year. Even in 2012-
2013 where India’s overall trade
declined by 1.28% in the 10 months, Meanwhile, India has continued said that over 600,000 hectares
its trade with Africa posted 8.32% to move forward in Africa’s much of land in Ethiopia’s Gambella
growth. Encouraged by the growth contested oil and gas sector. After and Afar provinces accessed by
in bilateral exports and imports in reports of India’s state owned Indian companies to grow palm
the current fiscal, target for India- ONGC being on the cusp of losing oil, commercial cultivation of roses
Africa trade has also been raised to a much contested oil & gas deal and so on.
$100 billion over the next two years. in Mozambique, latest reports
suggest that the company has Nonetheless, continuing the process,
“Africa is a resource-rich continent decided to split the $5-6 billion New Delhi is also getting ready
and has huge potential in coal, deal with British giant Shell. to host the ‘India-Africa Business
minerals, infrastructure, agriculture, Both companies will be buying Series’ which will be focussing on
pharmaceuticals and FMCG sectors,” the stakes from Videocon and energy security for both India and
said R.V. Kanoria, immediate Past Anadarko respectively. Along Africa as both face energy as a major
President, FICCI. with success in new areas such challenge in their development.
as Mozambique, India already Many government officials dealing
Companies such as Airtel, which with energy and mining along with
entered Africa in 2010 by acquiring enjoys significant presence in
countries such as Sudan, South businessmen from the region are
African operations of Zain for $10 expected to attend.
Sudan, Angola, Nigeria, Libya

29 Morocco in focus
Morocco Wants Ties with India to go
Beyond Food Security

orocco wants its relations Morocco, which shared bilateral According to the ambassador,
with India to expand trade worth USD 1.6 billion Morocco, which has 70 pristine
beyond trade and supply with India in 2011, accounts for tourist destinations, also seeks
of phosphates, a key ingredient some 60 percent of the country’s investments from India in the
for fertilizers of which it holds phosphatic needs, a mineral hospitality sector, particularly for
two-thirds of global reserves, primarily used in the manufacture construction and maintenance of
to investment in services and of di-ammonium phosphate, an hotels. He said help was at hand
manufacturing with a slew of tax important plant nutrient.”In many even for acquisition of land.
sops. ways, Morocco is contributing to
India’s food security.” The Tata group already runs
“India is the top trading partner a luxury hotel in Marrakech,
of Morocco in Asia and the India’s Aditya Birla Group and and hopes to open another in
third largest globally. This is the Tatas have an equal joint Casablanca by the end of this
an excellent example of South- venture with a state-run company year.
South cooperation. These ties of Morocco at Jorf Lasfar, some
now must expand. There is a 150 km from Casablanca, to Among the incentives given to
great scope for that as well,” said produce 4,30,000 tonnes of foreign investors in Morocco
Moroccan ambassador to India phosphoric acid, nearly all of include freehold land ownership
Larbi Reffouh. which is exported to India. This and financial support in
acquisition of land for factories,
modern infrastructure and liberal
taxation and other norms.
Under Moroccan law, local and
international investors are treated
equally. Whatever incentives are
available for national investors
are also available for overseas
Morocco is the largest recipient of
foreign investment in North Africa.
It received USD 18 billion such
capital between 2000 and 2009,
according to the UN Conference
on Trade and Development
(UNCTAD). The majority of it is
in fertilizer and minerals.
Ambassador of Morocco to India, Mr. Larbi Reffouh and
Mrs. Reffouh welcoming Chief Guest during 2012 National Day India and Morocco have set up
event, Mr. E. Ahamed, India’s Minister of State for External Affairs a joint commission to facilitate
two-way investments and trade.
“The next meeting of the joint
“There are already two major joint apart, Morocco has also invested commission will be held sometime
ventures between our two sides in in Paradeep Phosphates for a unit in the first quarter of 2013,” the
the broad area of fertilizers. But in Orissa with a capacity of over ambassador said.
scope exists in virtually every field 2 million tonnes per annum of
-- from automotives and textiles to phosphatic fertilisers. The Zuari Morocco and India share a
agro-processing and IT,” Reffouh Group and the Indian government common vision in a host of both
said. also hold stakes in the company. regional and multilateral forums,
notably in the UN where the

Morocco in focus 30
India-Morocco Bilateral Trade
As on 25th July 2013 Values in US $ Millions

S.No. \Year 2008-2009 2009-2010 2010-2011 2011-2012 2012-2013

1. EXPORT 242.85 250.47 318.57 372.10 426.38
2. %Growth 3.14 27.19 16.80 14.59
3. IMPORT 948.15 861.51 839.64 1,635.33 1,300.35
4. %Growth -9.14 -2.54 94.77 -20.48
TOTAL TRADE 1,191.00 1,111.98 1,158.21 2,007.44 1,726.72
%Growth -6.63 4.16 73.32 -13.98

Source : Department of Commerce, Government of India

two nations are currently non-permanent members of the Security Council. India was among the very first
countries to recognize Moroccan independence. It was also the first to establish diplomatic ties and open
an embassy in our country.
“India-Morocco ties, in fact, date back to the 14th century when the Moroccan explorer Ibn Butata travelled
to India.”
Courting India, Morocco-Style:
Bollywood, Business and Luxury Travel
Source: Hoihnu Hauzel,
India Writes Network (IWN)

n Morocco, “India”
immediately conjures up
pictures of “Bollywood”
stars to the locals. But that’s not
the only connection between
the two countries. In fact, ever
since the formal establishment
of diplomatic relations between
India and Morocco in 1957, the
ties between the two countries
have grown stronger to encompass
diverse areas. Morocco considers
India as its top trading partner in
Asia and the third largest globally.
Bilateral relations have expanded
beyond trade and supply of hospitality sector as it courts entry would be a host of brands
phosphates, a key ingredient for Indian travellers to come and like Banyan Tree, Mandarin
fertilizers of which Morocco holds explore its natural beauty. Oriental, among others, who
two-thirds of global reserves, to are literally making a beeline
investment in services and a slew The Tata group is perhaps the in Morocco. Now, home-grown
of other segments. Home to over only Indian chain to have opened brand like La Mamounia, an
70 pristine tourist destinations a luxury property, Taj Palace iconic property that seldom
Morocco, the North African Marrakech, a 130-acre resort that needed much marketing for its
country, is proactively seeking overlooks the Atlas Mountain, last sheer popularity, is left to venture
investments from India in the November. Following the Taj’s out of its comfort zone seeking
a new market. Considered a
destination in itself, La Mamounia
has been the favourite of people
like Winston Churchill, who stayed
there through many winters.
So did the legendary Franklin
D. Roosevelt. With a beautiful
landscaped garden dotted with
trees and plants, the resort has
never been large enough to satisfy
all the guests who wanted to be
accommodated. Until the end of
thirties, the hotel had only fifty
rooms. But it was expanded in
1946 to include 100 rooms, then
refurbished successively in 1950,
1953, 1986 and finally in 2006
for a reopening with 210 keys on
September 29, 009. Seeped in
Apeejay Surrendra Group has invested in luxury Hotel Taj Marrakesch history, the property which dates

Morocco in focus 32
back to the eighteenth century is
a true monument combining the
traditional Moroccan architecture
with the Art Deco style.
Didier Picquot, the affable
General Manager, La Mamounia,
who has played a pivotal role
in entrenching the hotel’s global
reputation, recently visited India,
wooing new clients to come and
experience his property. In this
interview with Hoihnu Hauzel,
Picquot speaks about cultural
connections between India and
Morocco and how Morocoo’s
hospitality industry is looking
at the growing market for luxury
travel anew.
Prince Moulay Rachid, brother of HM King Mohammed VI
(Excerpts from the interview) conferred Morocco’s prestigious Medal of Honour to Actor
Shahrukh Khan at the 2012 Marrakech International Film Festival
Y ou have a very negligible Film Festival during the last in Marrakech will also generate
percentage of guests from edition of 2012 when India was media focus on Marrakech as a
India, particularly in your the country being honoured, we lifestyle and leisure destination.
property. Now, what makes believe it is a great platform for us
you think that India is a to work on penetrating this market
potential market for your Would the opening of Taj
with high potential. The Indian
hotel/country? Palace Marrakech in some ways
market is becoming very mature
be considered a competition
Indeed, India is currently for the European destinations and
for your brand? In what way
considered a niche market for it will show a bigger interest for
will it impact your occupancy?
La Mamounia and Marrakech in Marrakech in the upcoming years.
general; we have ended in 2012 Taj is a landmark brand in
In addition, we thought that the
with less than 1 per cent. Being the India and La Mamounia is the
opening of a new Taj property
official partner of the Marrakech landmark hotel in Marrakech; the
future opening of Taj Marrakech
will definitely help us to stir an
interest toward the destination
and introduce our property to the
Indian high-end travellers. Taj will
be a competitor as it is a strong
luxury brand which has very high
quality standards. It will also
attract a new kind of travellers,
and thus further strengthen the
position of Marrakech as an
upscale luxury destination.

During your recent trip to

India (through Rajasthan),
what are the cultural affinities
between India and Morocco
that you noticed?
As in Morocco, there is in India
a very strong family bond. There
Amitabh Bachchan at Marrakech Film Festival is also the delight to display and

33 Morocco in focus
share the various food of the how film stars like Shahrukh
country as well as enjoyment Khan or Amitabh Bachchan
of music and dance. There is are adored and respected.
respect for ancestral rites and We sincerely believe that
legacies and concomitantly having welcomed them in
a great interest towards our hotel is a ‘plus’ for La
modernity. Tradition and Mamounia and will certainly
modernity — which is also play a big role in attracting
the equilibrium which La travellers who wish to visit
Mamounia straddles. Marrakech.

How would you make What are you specific

your property or the plans/strategies for
destination appealing for Indian market? How do
Indian customers? you plan to reach out?
La Mamounia is one of As we do in all our markets,
the most iconic hotels in we focus on direct contact
the world. This year, we with travel agents, the
are celebrating our 90th media and consortia. We do
anniversary. La Mamounia believe that a direct contact
is a lifestyle destination in and a close relationship with
itself, combining a unique our partners is the best way
sensory experience with to strengthen and reinforce
handcrafted architecture our presence in a market.
and decoration, gastronomy We will definitely return
from Morocco, France and next year and will keep in
Italy, Spa and Wellness, touch with our partners and
personalized service. We are Kaftan dress is made from new contacts we have met during
also a children-friendly hotel. The Indian fabric this visit.
location of La Mamounia is ideal
to discover Marrakech as we are
Would you at any time
located just five minutes away the customs you have in India consider introducing Indian
from the most famous square in as weddings, family celebrations cuisine as a part of the menu
Marrakech: The Jammaa El Fna or food, culture, familiar habits, in your coffee shop or any
square. In addition, our legendary food are the biggest connections restaurants in your property?
gardens of eight hectares are silent between us but they are also some
witness of our long and fabulous small similarities like the way Not for the moment….we do
history. women are dressed in Morocco believe that offering Moroccan
and in India: for instance, the food is a good way to introduce
What kind of tourists are you traditional Indian wear, sari, is the Moroccan culture. In addition,
targeting from India? very popular in Morocco and is we do offer two gastronomic
used to make traditional women restaurants “Le Français by Jean-
We are targeting all travellers who Moroccan dress: Kaftan. Pierre Vigato” and “L’ Italien
are luxury-sensitive and looking by Don Alfonso”; both are two
for a one of a kind experience. stars Michelin chefs. We propose
You (your hotel) has played
vegetarian recipes in all our
host to our top film stars
restaurants and room service.
How is Indian culture perceived during the recently-concluded
in Morocco? What do you international film festival. In HOIHNU HAUZEL has been a
think connects us? journalist for the past 13 years and
what manner can Bollywood
worked with various leading dailies
be used as a ticket to further like the Asian Age, The Indian
Indian culture is well known and
connect our cultural bond? Express, Hindustan Times, Times of
loved in Morocco! Moroccans are India and The Telegraph in Delhi.
big fans of Bollywood. Movies Celebrities are always a way She is now an Independent journalist
are the way to export culture so to attract people as they are who contributes for a broad spectrum
you will find lots of Moroccans, of publications in India. Apart from
considered as opinion leaders.
writing on travel and hospitality, she
who are very familiar with all When we were in India we realized also writes on various social issues.

Morocco in focus 34
International Tractors Limited Success Story
Sonalika’s presence felt in Global market
Sonalika is today India’s sales facilities at over 60 points in
South Africa. Sonalika had also received one of
Leading Agriculture Equipment
the largest order for agricultural
manufacturer making a wide
equipment from India under Govt.
range of tractors from 30 to 90
of India line of credit to
HP, Farm Equipment and
Cameroon for 1000 Tractors
Implements. It has an
and implements, valuing USD
international distribution
38 million.
network of over 1800 dealers in
over 74 countries currently.
Starting with small exports to
India’s neighboring markets
like Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri
Lanka, Sonalika has now taken LANDINI-SOLIS TRACTOR AT AN
major leaps forward by
exploring new markets like
USA, Australia, Serbia, ITL has been made the production
Suriname, Chile, Syria, Peru, hub for major sourcing of CAMEROON PRESIDENT ON SONALIKA
Argentina, and Iran. components an Agricultural
implements from Italy, Japan,
Working on its vision to
Turkey, Brazil, which shows the ITL’s USP like ISO Certification
become worlds leading tractor
depth confidence of leading brands 9001:2000 and ISO 14001, Zero
manufacturing company and
in ITL products and company defect policy, 3A’s Advantage –
major Player in automotive,
products, ITL has established ITL has further expanded its Affordable price, Adaptability
new Assembly line in Nigeria footprint in Europe with and Appropriate technology
along with a local partner to distribution network setup in provides ITL with truly an
cater to local market needs. Spain, Portugal, Croatia, Serbia outstanding platform of success
Currently Sonalika is India’s and Bulgaria. and competitive edge over other
largest exported tractor to tractor companies in India.
Africa. The zest of Sonalika to be known
as a Complete Agricultural
Solution Provider has made
Sonalika Engines and Tractors
Sonalika become a truly
also comply with tough
International Agricultural
American EPA norms as well
Equipment manufacturer.
as Euro Homologation for
several models has been done For more information on Sonalika
to enable enter the European Visit:

range has been successfully
introduced in Southern African
countries with several key
government orders and after

35 Morocco in focus
India - Morocco Food Legumes Initiative
Increasing food legumes production by small farmers
to strengthen food and nutrition security through
adoption of improved technologies and governance
within South-South Cooperation

Background and justification • Low yield potential of existing resource base for sustainable
varieties, production systems in India and
Food legumes play an important
• Poor seed multiplication Morocco.
role in food and nutrition security
in a sustainable way:
• Susceptibility of cultivars to Initiative objective
• Role in human nutrition environmental stresses and
depredation by diseases, insect Dissemination and adoption
• Improving soil health pests and parasites, of improved technologies
• Limited use of inputs and governance to increase
• Income growth productivity of food legumes
• Access to market,
• Employment generation • Labor cost and availability and through participatory knowledge
low degree of mechanization management systems and South-
In recent years, overall production South collaboration
• Weak farmer organization
areas of food legumes have
steadily fallen and certainly not Major outcomes
in accordance with their potential. Goal
1. Value chains, add value,
Productivity of food legumes The initiative aims to improve
marketing and pro-food
has remained low and variable food and nutritional security,
legumes policy interventions;
because of: livelihood of resource poor
farmers, and conserve natural 2. Eco-technology options for
sustainable food legumes
productivity, profitability and
product quality;

3. Farmer/producer aggregation
and empowerment (CBO) to
improve technology adoption
and market access;

4. Knowledge connectivity system

using different ICT tools for
rural communities and project

5. Capacity building/farmer
empowerment and networking
of all stakeholders, and South-
South collaboration;

6. M & E s y s t e m f o r
implementation, management
and social cost benefit.

Target food legume crops

Raising productivity: Delegates at the India-Morocco Review and
Planning meeting in New Delhi • In India: Black Gram, Green
Gram, Groundnut, Pigeon pea,

Morocco in focus 36
Chickpea (Desi and Kabuli), Ouardigha, Abda-Doukkala, Expected impacts
Lentil, Faba bean, Grass pea. Tadla-Azilal.
• 15-20% increase in production
• In Morocco: Faba bean,
in project areas
Chickpea, Lentil, Peas Methodology • 15 % increase in the household
• On-farm participatory testing income
Target areas and • 20% increase in cropping
and demonstration with target
communities intensity
• Countries: India and Morocco • Farmer field schools, travelling • 100 Village Based Seed
• Watersheds in arid and semi- workshops and training Enterprises established
arid areas • Value chain analysis and • 10 agri-business associations
• Vulnerable socio-economic farmers organization for agri- initiated in Morocco;
groups with poor access to business initiatives • Up to 2500 jobs created in
market • ICT tools for knowledge project areas of Morocco
• 15000 farmers reached in India dissemination and sharing • 10% Increase food legumes
• 10000 farmers reached in • S t a k e h o l d e r s c o n c e r t e d consumption per capita in
Morocco. action for sustainability and project areas
influencing policy. • Improve soil fertility in cereal
based cropping system
Target areas Consortium Partners • Enhanced food and nutrition
• In India: Tamilnadu, Orissa, • From India: ICAR/Universities, security.
Bihar, Karnataka, Rajasthan, MSSRF, ICARDA, ICRISAT, Source: International Center for
Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal. AGRIWATCH Agricultural Research in the Dry
• In Morocco: Sais-Taounate, • From Morocco: INRA/IAV, Areas (ICARDA)
Zemmour-Zaers, Chaouia- CRP2, ICARDA, OCPF.

Krest Publications extends

its best wishes to the

Embassy of
the Kingdom of Morocco in New Delhi
for the 2013 National Day
Offshoring Success
The country aims to maintain its lead in outsourced services

ith European industry and a subsidiary of emphasis on making its offshoring
businesses bent on the state-run Caisse de Dépôt industry cost-efficient.
reducing expenses in et de Gestion. Supported by
cost-sensitive sectors, Morocco the National Pact for Industrial RESTRUCTURING: However,
is becoming a leading provider Emergence, offshoring, which while the kingdom has successfully
of offshoring services, especially earned Dh800m (€71.1m) in 2004, attracted a high volume of clients,
for the French- and Spanish- generated Dh7bn (€622.3m) in it is now looking to capture
speaking markets. The kingdom 2011. The industry created eight more of the value added market,
has now begun emphasising times more positions in 2010 particularly as more cost-
nearshoring – the relocation than in 2004, reaching 46,000 competitive rivals in the region
of customer-oriented services jobs in 2010, up from 5500 six look to increase their share of
to neighbouring countries – to years earlier, according to the the business. Until now Morocco
spur growth and job creation. Ministry of Economy and Finance. mostly focused on call centres,
ON TOP: Morocco was named Regulators believe the sector can which bring in less profit than
2012 “Offshoring Destination create 70,000 jobs and earn over other, more sophisticated services.
of the Year” by the European Dh20bn (€1.8bn) by 2015. New segments that will help
Outsourcing Association, differentiate the kingdom include
validating the efforts expended Currently, Morocco is said to
account for up to half of all business processes, such as
in recent years to develop the finance, human resources (HR)
industry. Its strategy, dubbed the Francophone offshoring services.
Its appeal includes wages up to and information technology (IT).
“Moroccan offer”, aims to sharpen Offshoring services are typically
its comparative advantage in this half those in France, a relatively
high proportion of university grouped in three categories:
sector by providing infrastructure, call centres, business process
training and similar incentives, graduates and many French-
speaking citizens. The cost of outsourcing (BPO), where profit
falling in line with initiatives like is higher, and knowledge process
those of MedZ Sourcing, created telecommunications infrastructure
is brought down by the fact that outsourcing (KPO), which is even
to support the local offshoring more profitable and requires more
early on Morocco placed an

Morocco in focus 38
skill. In BPO, the biggest potential
is in customer relationship
services, followed by HR and The local offshoring industry has
financial accounting. A ministry dedicated sites: Technopolis in Rabat
report predicted that HR could
rake in Dh1.1bn (€97.8m) in
housing a mix of BPOs; Fez Shore in
2013, while financial accounting Fez which is to become a value-added
could earn Dh300m (€26.7m). location for customer relationship
Call centres are common, but management and call centres;
bring little added value. Rachid
Alaoui, director-general of
Casanearshore that is mainly IT-related
CasaNearshore and Technopolis, in Casablanca; and Oudja Shore in Oudja
told OBG that he envisioned
basic call centre jobs moving
south to Francophone West
African countries after Morocco MUTUAL BENEFIT: In a global the lower prices that result from
develops more sophisticated context of job shortages and outsourcing certain operations.
services. “A focus on value- economic uncertainty in the EU, “Offshoring should be seen as a
added services will allow Morocco however, there has been political form of co-development, whereby
to stay competitive, even if it pressure in EU countries not both countries benefit from the
faces pressure from lower-cost to “export” jobs. Those who activity,” said Alaoui. “What is
countries.” The local offshoring support offshoring usually say more, offshoring can even lead
industry has dedicated sites: that protectionist sentiments to adding jobs on the side of the
Technopolis in Rabat housing a are misplaced and that, far country that saw operations move
mix of BPOs; Fez Shore in Fez, from reducing home-country abroad.”
which is to become a value-added employment, offshoring may Source: The Report: Morocco 2013,
location for customer relationship stimulate economic growth at Oxford Business Group
management and call centres; home as the country will then be
Casanearshore that is mainly IT- able to concentrate on activities
related in Casablanca; and Oudja where it has comparative
Shore in Oudja. advantage. Additionally, home-
country consumers benefit from

39 Morocco in focus
A Regional Role
Flagship project aims to attract a growing share of investment in Africa

orking to position its confident about putting their are strong selling points for the
commercial capital, money into Africa. Johannesburg CFC, which promotes trade
Casablanca, as at present serves as the main with Africa as well as within it.
financial centre for investors conduit for inflows, making it the Naturally, the larger body of the
eyeing the African continent, kingdom’s key competition for MFB also offers a platform for
Morocco has been drawing investment. foreign investors wishing to start
support from the City in London, or grow their operations in Africa.
Singapore and Luxembourg. BEGINNINGS: The Moroccan
Casablanca is now using its Financial Board (MFB) was SUPPORT: The project enjoys
strategic location, near Europe created in 2010 to build the CFC. strong backing from the Moroccan
and at the tip of Africa, to try The seed capital was brought government, which has offered
to become a regional financial equally by six institutions: Bank a range of support, including
centre at a time when investors Al Maghrib, Caisse de Dépôt et providing the mandate for the
are looking to Africa for new de Gestion and the Casablanca project under Law 44-10 in 2010,
opportunities. Stock Exchange (CSE), as well building infrastructure for the
as three banks, Attijariwafa Bank, CFC, developing services such
As Morocco’s ambition continues Banque Centrale Populaire and as a planned court of arbitration,
to take shape, 11 multinationals BMCE Bank. and awarding tax breaks to
had secured Casablanca Finance attract investors. It has also fast-

City (CFC) status as of end-2012, Besides its location, Morocco is tracked immigration processes for
granting them special privileges, depending on its sophisticated companies obtaining CFC status.
such as exemption from corporate banking sector to carry the project
taxes for five years and a reduced along. Moroccan banks, many The financial sector has also
rate thereafter. of which are partly European- rallied behind CFC, even though
owned, have operations in more at the moment its ambitions may
According to professional services than two dozen African countries, seem somewhat out of reach
firm Ernst & Young, foreign direct as well as a handful of European given the low volume and rate
investment projects in Africa states, where they specialise in of activity on the CSE over the
grew from 339 in 2003 to 857 services to the large Moroccan last two years. “It is urgent for
in 2011. This growth shows that diaspora. Those bridges and us to reform our capital markets
foreign investors are getting more proven cross-cultural expertise and more specifically for the

Morocco in focus 40
CSE to be able to live up to
the expectations of CFC,” said
Youssef Benkirane, president of
the Professional Association of
Stockbroking Firms.
A deal signed in early October
2012 between CFC and the
TheCityUK, which promotes UK
financial and professional services
abroad, to increase cooperation
between the two bodies should
help. The objectives of this
partnership include facilitating
the roll-out of a derivatives
market in Morocco, improving
the competitiveness of domestic
insurers, and expanding training
and educational programmes.
“CFC seeks to position Casablanca
as a financial hub at the forefront
of business in the region and
facilitate deal-flow into Africa,” regulator has been meeting with “Connectivity and the movement
Said Ibrahimi, the chief executive its counterparts in other African of people and of capital are
of MFB, told OBG. countries to lure companies among the things we are looking
from within the region to list on into,” said Hicham Zegrary, the
NEXT STEPS: Drawing regional
its exchange. One obstacle to acting director of operations and
capital would help the stock
that, however, is the kingdom’s institutional affairs of the MFB.
exchange to further diversify,
stringent exchange controls.
hedging its position vis-à-vis Source: The Report: Morocco 2013,
local macroeconomic downturns Oxford Business Group
Meanwhile, although the physical
and reducing its exposure to site of the CFC is still under
the troubled economies of the construction, marketing efforts
eurozone. Morocco’s market are already well under way.

Varun Beverages Limited

extends its best wishes to
the Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco
in New Delhi

41 Morocco in focus
Shop ‘Til You Drop’
The growth of the middle class is changing spending habits

ncreased exposure to from $36.5bn in 2010 to $41.13bn contribution to national GDP to
international retailers, in 2011, with a rise in net retail 15%, up from 11% in 2006, and
rising purchasing power sales per capita from $1146 to triple the sector’s GDP while also
and continuing urbanisation $1278 between 2010 and 2011. increasing the contribution of
has led to a rapid evolution domestic trade to GDP to Dh98bn
in Moroccan urban consumer A VISION FOR THE FUTURE: (€8.17bn).
habits. Multinational retailers are In 2007 the Ministry of Trade,
increasingly investing in brand Industry and New Technologies Other more specific objectives
development, contemporary retail launched a national plan to include: the establishment of 15
spaces and more developed encourage the development of the malls to house 3000 franchise
supply chains to tap into a kingdom’s retail sector, known as stores, creating an estimated
burgeoning middle class and a Rawaj Vision 2020. The strategy 21,000 jobs; the development
growing interest in high-quality outlines a number of general of 600 hypermarkets and
products. sectorial objectives that include supermarkets by 2020, of which
the modernisation of current 50 hypermarkets will account for
In 2012 Morocco was named as stores, the promotion of major 80,000 jobs; and the launch of
one of 10 new major markets most national brands through the 15 factory outlets and discount
likely to attract multinational store establishment of commercial stores, generating 5000 jobs. In
groups in the next several years networks and the attainment total, this ambitious programme
by consultants Deloitte and Planet of 8% annual growth in the seeks to create more than 450,000
Retail. According to their report, sector. Rawaj Vision 2020 also new employment opportunities to
net retail sales have increased aims to increase the retail sector combat national unemployment,
adding to the estimated 1.2m
Moroccans employed in the
sector, which would constitute
12.8% of the national labour
force. The state also invested
approximately Dh200m (€17.7m)
annually between 2009 and
2012 to fund local community
projects that provide development
sites and commercial space
for informal traders, notably
wholesale markets, fish markets
and slaughterhouses.
The stable performance of the
country’s economy in 2011

Morocco in focus 42
against the backdrop of global Breakdown of food retail stores by type, 2011
uncertainty helped underwrite a
sense of optimism both on the Store Type Estimated number
supply and demand side, to such Large supermarkets 48
an extent that Morocco climbed to Small supermarket & convenience stores 70
a rank of 17th on the AT Kearney
Global Retail Development Index Small self-service grocery stores 200
for 2011, a measure that ranks Hanouty small convenience stores chain/ 150
the top 30 developing nations for franchise
retail development in the context Mom & pop stores (305+ metres) 550
of global investment.
Mom & pop stores (69-305 metres) 5000
Consumer optimism was partly Mom & pop stores (less than 69 metres) 285,000
encouraged by a rise in disposable Small convenience gas-marts 33
incomes that led to increased
Source: USDs, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Agricultural Affairs Office
spending on basic foodstuffs
and non-essential products like supermarkets (over 3716 sq through a $142m investment in
electronics and clothing. Major metres), 70 small supermarkets the opening of 40 new stores by
investments by largescale retailers and convenience stores (over 2015. “We believe in the potential
in 2010 and 2011 also encouraged 1115 sq metres) and 200 small of the Moroccan market. If we
sector development. However, self-service grocery stores (over 93 follow the example of Turkey,
by the fourth quarter of 2011, sq metres). Approximately 5000 which is more advanced than we
consumer confidence began to fall stores between 21-93 sq metres are, the turnover for the sector
again, due to delayed effects of and around 285,000 stores of less could double in five or six years.
the global economic crisis, a trend than 21 sq metres were recorded For that to happen, we would have
that continued through to the the end of 2011. to make our presence denser in
second quarter of 2012, according the big cities and target medium-
to Morocco’s High Planning Though 80% of Morocco’s retail sized cities. There is little supply
Commission (HCP). From April food sector is accounted for by and big expectations to meet in
to June 2012, the consumer traditional small grocery stores, the provinces,” said Mohamed
confidence index measured a fall the entry of large retail food outlets, Lamrani, the CEO of Marjane.
of 5.1 points from the same period national and international, has The company is represented
in 2011 and 2.2 points from the steadily increased, representing in the sector by 23 Marjane
first three months of 2012. around 13% of food retail sales hypermarkets (129,000 sq metres)
in Morocco, according to a 2011 and 32 Acima supermarkets
An HCP study attributed the study conducted by marketing
decline to expectations of rising (35,000 sq metres).
company Nielsen.
food prices in the next year ELECTRICAL GOODS: With
accompanied by a declining The contributions of large-scale predictions that consumption of
standard of living. Growing distribution outlets are expected electronic goods will increase
unemployment and rising to grow due to a number of major producers such as South
consumer and energy prices, reasons, namely competitive Korea’s Samsung and LG have
among other economic woes, promotions, prices and discounts begun investing in the market. The
have lead 57.9% of Moroccans that smaller stores are unable market’s current value is estimated
to reduce their spending, while to match, the expansion of to be about $1.5bn. Mobile phone
36.6% of the population said they consumers pursuing Western sales and television sales were tied
were taking on debt or relying on lifestyles, a rising middle class at $300m. While LG, Samsung,
their savings and only 5.5% were with less time to shop for food, Sony and Panasonic lead the
reportedly saving their money. and the growing acceptance of domestic market, Chinese firms
packaged and processed products offering cheaper products have
FOOD & BEVERAGE by Moroccan shoppers.
RETAILERS: The development entered in recent years. The
of the grocery sector has evolved As of 2012, the leading grocery market for consumer electronics
significantly in recent years. retailer was the Société Nationale is steadily growing, but has seen
According to the Ministry of d’Investissement’s subsidiary the arrival of various Chinese
Commerce and Industry and Groupe Marjane with 65% of companies that make competition
the Agricultural Affairs Office, the market in terms of turnover for the lower segments of
at the end of 2011 Morocco estimated at $1bn in 2011, a sum consumer electronics particularly
had an estimated 48 large that the firm hopes to increase fierce, according to Yong Geun

43 Morocco in focus
Choi, the former director of LG’s market, the sale of smart TVs and the relative underdevelopment
operations in Morocco, and has risen, though currently TV and fragmentation of the retail
Soufiane Benabadji, the firm’s sets are equipped with digital sector.
corporate marketing manager. video broadcasting technology.
“In general, the key to developing The Moroccan franchise sector
Expectations for rising consumer the consumer electronics market has demonstrated a potential for
demand for highend products is to change people’s mindsets to impressive growth, posting an
have encouraged LG to move into make them want the products on average annual growth of around
the supply of more expensive, offer and not remain too price- 18% between 2000 and 2010. As
higher-end goods despite the price conscious,” said Chris Chung, of 2010, there were 3653 outlets
sensitivity present in the kingdom, president of Samsung Electronics and 407 franchise networks in the
demonstrating optimism for future Morocco. kingdom, the Ministry of Industry
sectorial growth. Samsung also Trade and New Technologies
sees the growth of the market in DOMESTIC VS. FOREIGN told local media. The number of
coming years being especially RETAILERS: In terms of value outlets and franchise networks has
fuelled by the development of sales, local firms continue to continued to rise since 2008, posting
business-to-business areas. dominate the retail sector, with 8% growth in networks from 342 in
the top three revenue generators 2008 to 370 networks in 2009 and
Once dominated by mobile in 2011 Moroccan brands: 12% growth in outlets from 2290 in
network operators, the retail Marjane Holding, Hyper SA and 2008 to 2560 in 2009.
Franchise development has been
particularly strong in the equipment
sector, which comprises 39% of
total franchise growth, followed by
a sector share of 16% for the food
industry and 7% for furniture stores.
Franchise operators in Morocco are
approximately 45% French, with
major contributions from Spanish,
Italian and American franchise firms
as well, while 15% of the market is
comprised by Moroccan companies
like Hanouty Group, which oversees
networks of convenience stores
through franchisees. Around 27% of
franchises are located in Casablanca,
with another 11% in Rabat and 8% in
telecoms market has now fallen Groupe Chaabi. All three are Marrakech. Franchising operations
under the direct control of mobile in grocery retailing and benefit are dominated by distribution
phone manufacturers and retail from large budgets that facilitate activities, at 55% of total activity,
stores, with Samsung maintaining considerable investments in while 45% of activity is devoted to
approximately 70% of the market, opening new outlets, expanding service. In general, home furnishing,
a feat facilitated by its coordination current stores and offering regular shoe retail, clothing and food
with major Moroccan retailers promotional schemes. services account for around 45%
such as Electroplanet, Marjane of the market.
and Carrefour. LG has also However, these stores are
withstanding rising competition MALLS: Rabat’s Mega Mall, built in
announced plans to enter the 2005, was one of the country’s first
mobile phone market in 2013 in from global companies like BIM
that are investing in additional large-scale contemporary spaces
partnership with Meditel, Maroc and has helped to foster a burgeoning
Telecom and Inwi. stores and providing new
services to entice customers. mall culture. More recently, after
Room remains for growth in the Despite a decline in consumer four years of construction and an
TV market, with Samsung holding confidence over the past year, investment of $250m, Casablanca’s
a 50% market share, which it some multinational brands Morocco Mall, was inaugurated in
aspires to increase towards 70%, are becoming attracted to the December 2011. With a total retail
and LG maintaining around Moroccan market due to its floor area of 250,000 sq metres
30% of the market. Within the sustained economic growth, its spread out over 10 ha, 30,000 sq
rapidly growing youth population, metres of outdoor space and 14,000

Morocco in focus 44
sq metres of landscaped gardens, Key players in the retail sector, 2011
the shopping centre houses over 350
stores, including Galeries Lafayette Retailer Ownership
and an IMAX cinema. The mall Marjane 100% Moroccan as of August 2007
anticipates 12m annual visitors, of (Marjane Holding)
which 20% are expected to be tourists, Carrefour Cash & Carry* Managed by HLV SAS; 95% owned by
particularly from Africa and Europe, Label'Vie SA, 5% owned by Carrefour
Jenane Laghrar, the mall’s secretary Carrefour hypermarkets Managed by HLV SAS; 95% owned by
general, told the media in 2012. Label'Vie SA, 5% owned by Carrefour
Anfaplace, a mixed-use project Aswak Assalam 100% Moroccan
on the Casablanca waterfront that Source: Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Agricultural Affairs Office, USDA
was developed by Spanish firm *formerly Germany’s Metro Cash and Carry
Inveravante, has been open since
February 2013. It includes a 234- However, tourists from Africa while online purchases and sales
room hotel and 36,000 sq metres of comprise less than 5% of the increased by 2.4% from 115,000
retail space. kingdom’s visitors, while the euro to 277,000 transactions over the
crisis has added to a decline in same period of time.
“The construction of new malls is always European tourists acutely felt
a good thing for us. Though we cannot in the retail industry, casting Although the number of
properly speak of competitiveness in uncertainty over the potential for transactions has grown, average
its natural form in Morocco because sustained increases in growth over spending amounts per order
the sector is still developing, new the next several years. Morocco have fallen, with the cost of
shopping centres bring a dynamism Mall also stands in stark contrast e-commerce purchases averaging
to the sector,” said Malik El Harim, with the abject poverty of much of at approximately Dh800 (€71.12)
the general manager of Mega Mall. Morocco’s population. Designed in 2011 in comparison with
Growing competition has ensured a and built by International Concept Dh2000 (€177.80) in 2010. The
steady source of retailers for Mega Management, the $255m project change in order size has been
Mall, which has around 80 stores and was undertaken by Groupes attributed to an increase in the
20 restaurants and cafes. Though it Aksal, Nes Investment and the number of online shopping sites
contains several Moroccan stores, Akhnouch family, of which half and changes to supply with the
including the popular brand Marwa, of the funding was supplied by entrance of new players, Samira
the majority of Mega Mall’s shops the Saudi Al Jedaie Group. The Gourrom, the development
are European stores that tailor to the mall is expected to create 5000 director at Maroc Telecommerce,
preferences of a major consumer base direct employment posts and up told local media in September
of professionals. The global economic to 20,000 indirect jobs. 2011. By the end of 2011 more
downturn and the eurozone crisis have than 120 retail websites utilised
led to changes in purchasing power for ONLINE SHOPPING: With over Maroc Telecommerce’s online
both tourists and domestic shoppers 13m internet users and a steady payment system.
alike, leading to a decline in turnover increase in the number of debit
and credit cards to over 7.3m, OUTLOOK: Important challenges
for the retail sector. Mega Mall, for
e-commerce is steadily growing. remain in the local market,
example, saw a decline of 10-15%
According to the National notably consumer uncertainty
between 2011 and 2012.
Federation of Ecommerce in over food prices and the lack of
Nevertheless, optimism remains for Morocco, total online transactions affordable real estate (see Real
future growth in the mall sector. “Due enjoyed a turnover of over Estate chapter). Nevertheless,
to its geographic location, Morocco Dh504.2m (€44.8m) in 2011, up the rapid expansion of foreign
has always served as an economic, 72% from 2010. participation in the market
commercial and tourist platform for demonstrates the impressive
Europe and it will increasingly do so Growth has also been facilitated potential of the retail sector,
with its growing number of economic by technological improvements highlighting the opportunities for
agreements with the EU. Morocco will in online security for internet continued growth.
also become an important platform for transactions. The first six months Source: The Report: Morocco 2013,
those in sub-Saharan Africa looking of 2011 saw an increase in Oxford Business Group
abroad, allowing for the country’s revenues from Dh120m (€10.66m)
malls to continue to grow and diversify during the same period in 2010
themselves to satisfy the maximum to over Dh230m (€20.44m) in
customers possible,” El Harim told 2011, according to the Centre
OBG. for Interbank Payment Systems,

45 Morocco in focus
Facts for Visitors
Useful information for travelers

ANGUAGE :While classical
Arabic is Morocco’s official
language, its local dialect,
Darija, is the most commonly
spoken. In business, government
circles, schools and universities,
French is also widely spoken. In
fact, most people mix Arabic and
French when speaking. Tamazight,
the Berber language is also an
official language and can also
be heard in the Rif region and in
major cities. In the north, Spanish
is widely understood, in particular
around Tetouan. English is
becoming more common, and is
spoken by senior businessmen
and government officials, and can
be spoken in major hotels and
tourist accommodations across
the country.
a greeting between a man and a 9am to 6pm, although public
ETIQUETTE: During greetings it woman, the woman must extend sector institutions typically close
is generally appreciated to inquire her hand first. If she does not, at 5pm. These hours are likely to
about the family. In business a man should bow his head in change during Ramadan.
settings, a handshake is usually greeting. Items should never be
the first introduction. Once a offered with the left hand. DRESS: Being a Muslim country,
relationship has been established, it is generally advisable for visitors
it becomes more common to kiss BUSINESS HOURS: Morocco to dress modestly. However, in
on both cheeks starting with the is located in the UTC zone and major urban centres and tourist
left and shaking hands, men with business hours are similar to those areas, people dress more liberally.
men and women with women. In in Western countries, going from When entering a mosque, shoes

Morocco in focus 46
should be removed and women
should cover their heads. As a
rule, non-Muslims are not allowed
to enter mosques.
VISA: Most visitors to Morocco
do not need a visa and are
allowed to remain in the country
for 90 days on entry. Some
exceptions do exist, however, so
it is advisable to check the most
updated visa requirements prior
to travel. A three-month, single-
entry tourist visa costs about $26.
To enter the country, the passport
must be valid for at least six
months beyond the date of entry.
CURRENCY: The dirham (Dh)
is the local currency. In February
2013, Dh100 was approximately
€9. ATMs can be used to withdraw bill. For taxis and other services, main urban centres and beyond.
cash using internationally accepted it is common to round up to the It also has a good motorway
cards. As a rule, people use coins nearest Dh5. network, all of which require
and bills with denominations up paying tolls. Domestic flights are
to Dh200. However, for small ELECTRICITY: The electrical also available, and recommended
transactions, change is sometimes outlets are standard 220V/50 for destinations south of Agadir.
not available for bills of Dh200. Hz AC type C or F, the same Within cities, trams are available
Due to exchange controls, foreign as in most European countries. (Rabat and Casablanca) as well
credit cards cannot always be Bringing an adaptor is advisable as buses and taxis.
used. as they are not readily available
outside the major cities. Drivers drive on the right side
TIPPING: Hotels add a 10% of the road and the initial fee
service charge on top of the T R A N S P O R T : In general, for taxis is typically Dh2. The
10% tax. Some restaurants add Morocco is equipped with a very standard fee for taking a taxi
a service charge of 5-15%. If a good public transport system from Mohammed V airport to
service charge is not applied, it is made up of modern trains and downtown Casablanca is Dh250,
advisable to add 10-15% to the intercity coaches connecting the or Dh300 during night hours.
HEALTH: High-quality health
care is available in private facilities
and pharmacies are widespread,
often with extended opening
hours. No specific vaccinations are
required, unless one travels from,
or transited through, countries
that are cholera-infected. Typhoid
and Hepatitis A vaccinations are
phone use is widespread and
it is advisable to buy a local
SIM card upon arrival, which
typically costs approximately
Dh20 (€2). Wireless internet is
widely available, although the
connection may not always be
Casablanca Tramway optimal, even in urban areas.

47 Morocco in focus
A Slice of Morocco on India’s Plate

any of us would initially The dishes which were Mint tea as a refreshing precursor
be a little stunned exhibited in the festival: to an elaborate spread to follow
upon hearing about a soon. The pouring of tea aroused
Moroccan Food Festival in town. A warm welcome with Moroccan
the quiet mint leaves inside the
There could be two reasons tea: Maghreb mint tea is a drink
glass with life while they watched
behind the surprise, first we don’t of hospitality in North Africa and
the magic unfold. What ensued
find Moroccan dishes to be often tradition has it that it is prepared
was a series of sumptuous dishes
featuring on menus at food joints by the head of the family, yes,
that couldn’t get enough of. A
and second is our ignorance in the man and not the woman of
short walk through the buffet
general hold us back from getting the house unlike most Indian
stations with the chef made us
into the nitty-gritty’s of African households. Here at the festival,
marvel at the array of delicious
food culture. Indians sipped on the Moroccan
African food we couldn’t resist
any longer digging in. The tiny
lamb samosas with a thin crust
and stuffed with minced meat
was the hands down winner in
entree. Who wouldn’t go for
a second helping of that? The
Seafood Pastilla that we gorged
on was a pie with crispy layers
and a delicious filling of shrimps
and rice noodles.
Friday is ‘Couscous Day’: There
is a unique blend of food and
religion in Morocco that unites
people in a heartwarming manner.
“Friday in Morocco is known as
the ‘Couscous Day’, also a holy
day when Muslims offer prayers
in mosques and connect to the
divine power. On their return,
the meal that they are served
comprises couscous (a North
African Berber dish that resembles
rice, only its grains are tinier and
is cooked with steam) as one
Moroccan Tagine of the main dishes traditionally

The 10-day long food festival

North African cuisine was
celebrated at The Cafe in The
“Friday in Morocco is known as the
Hyatt Regency, New Delhi which ‘Couscous Day’, also a holy day when
was a boon for Indians to explore Muslims offer prayers in mosques and
and experience a culinary culture
that is not only in many ways connect to the divine power. On their
than one similar to Indian cooking return, the meal that they are served
style but also something our food
consciousness is unaware of.
comprises couscous

Morocco in focus 48
India. The geographical ties
The geographical ties that India shares that India shares with Morocco
for centuries on pretext of trade
with Morocco for centuries on pretext of exchange are “The business
trade exchange are “The business route route from the Indian Ocean to
Marrakesh (former imperial city
from the Indian Ocean to Marrakesh in Morocco) helped develop a
(former imperial city in Morocco) helped relationship and one could guess
develop a relationship and one could that India and Morocco found
their common ground in food.”
guess that India and Morocco found their
Desserts all the way... We were
common ground in food.” quite full to the brim but excuses

savoured with almost seven kinds

of vegetables and assortments of
soups,”. That evening no one was
on way back from a spiritual tour
but could not miss the opportunity
to relish the dish with a similar
community feeling that binds
people together in the spice-rich
country of Morocco.
Slurpy, soupy and silky: To
keep partially informed about
the soups on offer at this festival
would be unfair and with every
slurp, the taste gets even better.
Among the many options that
included Harira soupe, lintel,
vegetable, shourba and pumpkin;
what followed was absolutely
delightful. For those who are not
big fans of this vegetable can
dispel all myths with this sweet, Moroccan Couscous
pleasant and subtle soup. You can
fish that beckoned while they were are always in place for desserts.
pair it with slices of bread which
readied their plates to be served ‘Oum Ali’ also ‘Omali’ made with
is considered the base food in the
portions of the same. Needless to puff pastry (similar to bread and
say, a cracker of a dish! butter pudding), this sweet is an
Chicken Tagine, the star dish: explosion of dried fruits, lots of
The ‘Moroccan’ spice route: cream and nuts. Moroccan rice
Lemon, as we know that it is one
Subtle on the palate, yet textured pudding with pistachios and
of the most used and preserved
and spice-coated, a Moroccan rose essence, Kataif, Orange &
ingredients in Moroccan cuisine.
meal shows mercy to its diners Cinnamon tart, Mohalabi and
The juice lends a zesty flavour
who are not really warriors on the Baklava were some of the other
otherwise missing from the dish.
spice front. Slow cooking (some show stopping desserts.
The Spring Chicken Tagine with
preparations take upto 3 hours);
Lemon Confit gave a spectacular
olive oil and the coming together Must-try dishes: Spring Chicken
display as the fresh green olives
of spices like saffron, cumin Tagine with Lemon Confit, Kefta
dressed the dish quite well. Beef
and powdered ginger are the Lamb (Lamb samosa in spring
is the preferred choice there that,
strengths of Moroccan delicacies. roll), Couscous with 7 vegetables
however, could not make its way
It is super healthy because the and Fish Tagine with vegetables.
into the Indian kitchen here.
culinary process involves fresh
Moving ahead with the course Source: Times of India
vegetables straight out of the
you simply could not take your
farms and spices imported from
eyes off the gorgeous Red Snapper

49 Morocco in focus
Morocco Signs Protocol with India
for Effective Exchange of Information
with Respect to Taxes

bilateral cooperation between the two countries in the

area of capital and investment flows.
In this regard, apart from providing effective exchange of
information on tax issues in conformity with international
transparency standards, this Protocol will not only
encourage the Indian investments in Morocco and the
Moroccan investments in India, but also will give existing
and potential investors more confidence and reassurance
to explore new opportunities and hereby establish new
It is worth mentioning that investment flows from both
countries have recorded an upward growth in the recent
years, particularly through the joint ventures in the field
of phosphate and fertilizers either in Jorf Lasfer (Morocco)
or Orissa (India), which reflects one of the best examples
“It is a great honor for me to sign, on behalf of the Government of real south-south cooperation.
of the Kingdom of Morocco, the Protocol amending the
Convention between Morocco and India for the avoidance To conclude, with the signing of this protocol and our
of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with mutual commitment to the promotion and consolidation
respect to taxes on income. of investments, we are expressing the strong political will
of our two governments to take the bilateral relationship
I would like to express my sincere gratitude to everyone whose to a new level in different areas of common interest, and
dedication and efforts have contributed to the finalization of to continue to develop even stronger rapprochement and
this Protocol. In particular, I would like to thank Dr. Sudha friendship between the people of Morocco and India, and
Sharma, Chairperson of the Central Board of Direct Taxes, between two nations among of the oldest and brilliant
and her colleagues from the Ministry of Finance and the civilizations in the world.”
Ministry of External Affairs.
(Speech of H.E. Mr. Larbi Reffouh, Ambassador of the
As a matter of fact, this Protocol marks a step forward to Kingdom of Morocco to India, on the occasion of the signing
strengthen and enrich the already varied legal framework of the protocol amending Morocco-India Double Taxation
between Morocco and India, and will contribute in enhancing Avoindance Convention on August 8, 2013 in New Delhi.)

Morocco in focus 50