The kingdom of Morocco offers numerous advantages to foreign investors and companies eyeing expansion in Africa, the Middle East as well as Europe. Political stability, robust infrastructure, and an unbeatable strategic location have contributed to its emergence as a regional manufacturing and export hub for international companies.
“Thanks to our extensive network of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), Morocco can provide manufacturers access to 1.3 billion consumers in 56 countries” highlighted Mr Hicham Boudraa, Acting CEO of the Moroccan Investment and Export Development Agency (AMDIE). “The Tanger Med Industrial Platform which ranks the 2nd Special Economic Zone in the world, 19 international airports, the first fast railway train in Africa launched in 2018, and its several highly-specialized and fully-equipped industrial zones across the country, are giving us a competitive edge against other countries in attracting foreign investment” he explained.
The country’s return to the African Union in 2017 and its participation to the establishment of the new African Free Trade Zone (AfFTZ) in 2019 are two major events that allowed the kingdom of Morocco to further strengthen its leadership position in the continent.
These advantages and the continued development of the nation, drew more attention from the United States, a traditional and close ally of Morocco. This great relationship between the two countries, which extends into all levels – economic, cultural and social – has been established in 1787 with the signing of the Treaty of Peace and Friendship which is until now the longest unbroken treaty in the history of the USA. Interestingly, Morocco also hosts the Tangier American Legation Institute, built in 1821, which was listed in the US National Register of Historic Places as the first and only US historical monument built in a foreign country.
On the economic level the US is one of the largest sources of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Morocco. In fact, between 2014-2018 the US represented 8,4% of Morocco’s inward FDI.
“Following the very successful Morocco-USA FTA which came into effect in 2006, bilateral trade between the two countries has more than tripled, raising from USD 1.17 billion in 2006 to USD 3.97 billion in 2017” said Boudraa. In particular, Moroccan exports to the USA increased from USD 230 million in 2006 to USD 980 million in 2017.
This bilateral agreement attracted more than 120 American companies – both MNCs and SMEs – to set-up bases or to establish their subsidiaries in Morocco. “These investments provide more than 100,000 direct and indirect jobs in Morocco and this reflects the Kingdom’s great potential to attract companies in a wide array of sectors – from service providers to the most sophisticated manufacturers” Boudraa said.
“Our relationship is strong and will continue to grow as more companies are expected to follow the likes of Boeing, Delphi, Lear, IBM, Microsoft, Dell, Eaton Corporation, Citi Bank and many more US global corporations and innovative SMEs, to invest and enjoy all the advantages of doing business in the Kingdom of Morocco” Boudraa concluded.