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Moroccan companies recover 100% after the effects of the pandemic

Ryad Mezzour, Minister of Industry and Trade, says that industry has fully recovered the jobs lost by workers
Ryad Mezzour, Minister of Industry of Morocco

PHOTO/ARCHIVE  -   Ryad Mezzour, Minister of Industry of Morocco

The Minister of Industry and Trade, Ryad Mezzour, gave an interview to the American journalist Dennis Wholey, who was visiting the Ministry, in which the Minister affirmed that Morocco is in a very good economic situation and that workers in the industrial sector have been able to recover their jobs. This is because the coronavirus pandemic hit the sector hard, but they have now started to recover and are now at 100%.

The coronavirus pandemic devastated the labour market almost entirely, forcing companies to close down and look for other ways of working. Sectors such as industry require a level of presence that is very difficult to sustain in times of confinement, and workers take risks when it comes to future infections. Antonio Guterres, the UN Secretary General, went so far as to say of this situation that "COVID-19 could set us back years, even decades, leaving countries with massive and growing fiscal challenges". Fortunately, Morocco has been able to find stability in the industrial sector, increasingly regaining the normality lost almost two years ago.

Mezzour also spoke of the characteristics of the Kingdom's industry and stressed how important it is for the national economy. According to the minister, the economy is based on consumption and investment, the former accounting for 60% of GDP (Gross Domestic Product). Investment, on the other hand, accounts for 30 per cent of GDP, and Morocco is considered to have one of the highest rates in the world. 

Línea de montaje de automóviles en la planta de montaje de automóviles Renault-Nissan Tánger en Melloussa
AFP/FADEL SENNA - Automobile assembly line at the Renault-Nissan Tangier car assembly plant in Melloussa

Turning to the subject of industry, the minister said that Morocco's main activity in the industrial sector is production and subcontracting, in addition to outsourcing to foreign companies that come to Morocco. 

In the Alawi kingdom, the main industry that tops the ranking of those that export the most products is the automotive industry, which has an annual production capacity of 700,000 vehicles and, in turn, an integration rate of 60 per cent.

According to Mezzour, the Alawi country mainly imports energy. The minister spoke of the importance of the energy transition policies that the country is undergoing with the new government, which has become one of the leading nations in these matters. "We also import some equipment, industrial semi-products and some consumer goods," the minister said. On the other hand, the main exports are in the vehicle sector, followed by fertilisers, agri-food products and processed and textile products. 

Un empleado de la moda de Still Nua trabaja en una fábrica textil en un parque industrial conectado a una zona de libre comercio en la ciudad marroquí de Tánger
AFP/FADEL SENNA - A Still Nua fashion employee works in a textile factory in an industrial park connected to a free trade zone in the Moroccan city of Tangier.

It should be noted that Morocco has excellent international relations with various countries to which it imports and exports, such as the European Union and the United States, one of its main partners. The Kingdom is the only country in Africa that has had free trade agreements with the United States for 16 years, which has allowed the two countries to trade and enter into sales and import agreements. Moreover, this situation is very strategic for the American power, which, by dealing with the Maghreb country, can access the other countries on the African continent to expand its business and power. 

Wholey, in view of this fact, asked the minister what the main advantages for American investors would be wishing to make business deals with Morocco, to which the minister replied that "the main advantage is that production costs are relatively low, the decarbonisation of Moroccan industries will be completed within 3 to 4 years, and it allows access to the two largest markets in the world, the European and American markets". "Being based in Morocco gives you a three-fold growth potential. Morocco is a hub for the European, American and African markets," the minister responded. 

Empleados de la moda de Still Nua trabajan en una fábrica textil en un parque industrial conectado a una zona de libre comercio en la ciudad marroquí de Tánger
AFP/FADEL SENNA - Still Nua fashion employees work in a textile factory in an industrial park connected to a free trade zone in the Moroccan city of Tangier.

This factor is very good for the region and, above all, for African countries that want to invest in the Kingdom and thus open the door to the world. Morocco offers a political, social, and economic stability that is envied by its African neighbours and that gives a formal character to the Maghreb, which is very important when it comes to doing business in the continent. As of 2019, Morocco is the 4th most attractive country in the MENA region for foreign investment, with very good strategies that encourage investment and grow the nation's economy.