Morocco experienced strong growth from 2015 to 2019, reaching almost a GDP of 17 billion, but, due to the COVID-19 health crisis, this economic development was affected. Gradually the North African country is recovering, as is the rest of the international community, as the Moroccan government continues with the vaccination campaign, as well as developing trade agreements with other countries, most recently with Israel. Morocco is the second most attractive country in Africa for foreign investors, with the EU as its main trading partner.
According to statistical figures from the Casa de Cambio, Moroccan exports have reached a peak of approximately 327 billion dirhams, or the equivalent of almost 30.1 billion euros over the year 2021, showing a growth of 24.3% compared to 2020 and 14.9% compared to 2019, reported Apanews. Very remarkable numbers after the Moroccan government's restrictions.
The main driver of exports is not surprising as it was the phosphates and derivatives sector, with an increase of 57.1%. The Ministry of Agriculture, Maritime Fisheries, Rural Development, Water and Forestry was responsible for this record, for the value of exports of marine products. Exports of marine products recorded a total of Dh24.2 billion, a total of 778,000 tonnes in 2021, the ministry reported.
The marine resources sector is so fruitful, thanks to the pioneering projects created by King Mohammed VI in 2009, under the framework of the "Aleutis" strategy with the aim of developing and competing in this sector, as explained by the Ministry. The increase in value lies in the number of transactions of frozen molluscs, which accounted for 40% of the export turnover for the whole of last year, as well as frozen octopus, which accounted for 66%.
This was followed by the aeronautical sector, registering an increase of 21.9%. Likewise, the automotive sector saw its exports increase by 15.9 per cent to more than Dh83.78 billion in 2021, thanks to external demand from the construction sector, which accounted for more than 35.2 per cent. "Under the leadership of King Mohamed VI, Morocco is poised to become the most competitive automotive hub in the world. We plan to continue on this path by improving the deep integration of our ecosystems and decarbonising industrial production," said the Minister of Industry, Trade and Green and Digital Economy. The automotive industry is one of the most remarkable sectors of foreign direct investment, being the leader of all North African countries, "it ranks third worldwide in terms of competitiveness in the automotive industry, after India and China," the minister added.
On the other hand, exports of textiles and leather grew by more than 36.38 billion dirhams, or 21.6 per cent, while exports in agriculture and agri-food accounted for 9.2 per cent, exceeding 68.37 billion dirhams.
Despite the harsh restrictions imposed by the Moroccan administration as a result of the global pandemic crisis, Moroccan exports have proved to be a success story due to continuous improvements and the rise of "Made in Morocco". Morocco's economic expansion is undeniable and will continue to grow. It is also the fifth largest economy in Africa and the third largest economy among the northern nations of the continent.