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Morocco confirms record remittance figures

The Council of the Moroccan Community Living Abroad affirms that 95 billion dirhams will be collected this past year
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Morocco once again confirms good economic news for the kingdom. Remittances from Moroccans living abroad have experienced an incredible increase this year and are expected to reach 95 billion dirhams by the end of this year. This represents a 38.9 % growth in these remittances compared to 2020, which means that the figures have been growing despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Over the quarters, these money movements have been progressively increasing. At the end of October, the competent authorities collected around 79.5 billion dirhams and an increase of 43.3 %, which, compared to the previous year, is more than 20 billion dirhams, as only 55.5 billion dirhams was collected in 2020.

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Abdallah Boussouf, secretary general of the Council of the Moroccan Community Living Abroad, was interviewed by the Moroccan daily Rue20 in which he stated that, in this last month, the remittances would reach 10 billion dollars only by the end of this year and in his own words, he considers a record for the Alawi country. The director took the opportunity to recall that remittances are a very important element for the Moroccan economy, adding that they are a fundamental value for Morocco. He also pointed out that the Kingdom had not reached for seven months the foreign exchange reserves that are a consequence of the effects and devastation caused by the pandemic.

At the same time, Boussouf dedicated a few kind words to the Moroccan people, since, according to him, despite the different crises that there are and have been in the nation, its citizens and especially those abroad have not ceased to contribute to the cause. In his words, "the secret lies in the fact that Moroccans are linked to their homeland in a metaphysical way and cannot abandon it because they carry it in their hearts".

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He also took the opportunity to address His Majesty King Mohammed VI, of whom the secretary said that, on the part of the monarch, Moroccans living abroad have always received special attention, to the point of thanking them for their commitment to the Kingdom in the Speech from the Throne despite being outside its borders. Boussouf also states that the king has always made it easier for them to travel, both by sea and air, on more than one occasion. 

Remittances are vital to the Moroccan economy. Bank Al-Maghrib has already confirmed that they are expected to grow, although it was expected that only 87 billion dirhams would be collected from this fund. Moreover, despite the problems being faced by the nations against the coronavirus, the high transaction costs have not been a problem. The bank says that right now, payment rates are between 10 and 12 %, which is an exorbitant price.

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Although this year will be a record-breaking year, the bank has predicted in its reports that remittances will see a significant drop over the next two years. According to Al-Maghrib, by 2022, remittances will be down by 23% compared to this year, and they will collect 72.8 billion dirhams. By 2023, the forecast continues to fall, and will collect 2 % less than the previous year, with a collection of 71.4 billion dirhams. 

On the other hand, the bank says travel revenues will also be affected later this year due to the border closures caused by the new variant of COVID-19, which has forced the authorities to take swift decisions to shield the Kingdom against this virus.  In economic terms this will mean a 9.2 % drop in revenue, with a collection of 33.1 billion dirhams alone compared to other years. The current account deficit was 1.5 % of GDP in 2020, so this year it is estimated at 2.5 %. For the coming years, it is expected to reach 5.3 % of GDP in 2022 and 4.9 % in 2023, respectively.