Arab World

 

01. Morocco > Banking and Finance


The financial centre is Casablanca.

Currency:       The Moroccan unit of currency is the dirham (DH), created on 1 July 1959 and
composed of 100 Moroccan centimes.

GDP/GNP, INFLATION, NATIONAL DEBT

Morocco's economy relies largely on the performance of its agricultural sector. The industry is prey to natural forces; three years of drought culminating in 2000 had a major impact on agriculture, and severe flooding following the three years of drought caused serious damage to the infrastructure in 2002. The service sector is the largest contributor to GDP, at 55.5 per cent, followed by the industrial sector, which contributes some 29 per cent. Although 50 per cent of the workforce are employed in agriculture, its contribution to GDP has declined and in 2008 contributed an estimated 12 per cent.

The government is modernising and diversifying its economy, with the development of tourism and manufacturing. GDP grew by 7.6 per cent in 2001, by 2.2 per cent in 2002 and by around 4.0 per cent in 2003. In 2006, GDP was estimated at US$ 56.72 billion, giving a per capita figure of over US$4,400 and indicating a growth rate of around 6.7 per cent over the year. In 2008, GDP was estimated at US$88.3 billion with a growth rate of 5.8 per cent. Per capita GDP was put at approximately US$4,300. The inflation rate stayed low between 1999 and 2004, not exceeding 1.5 per cent. In 2005, it was further reduced, to 1 per cent. Morocco's external debt was around US$18.8 billion in 2008.

Morocco has adopted tighter monetary and fiscal policies, liberalised foreign trade, deregulated sectors of the economy and privatised state enterprises. Between 1993 and 2005, approximately 66 Moroccan state-owned enterprises were privatised. The rules for oil and gas exploration have been liberalised and concessions for public services in major cities have been granted.

FOREIGN INVESTMENT

Direct foreign investment (FDI) has been authorised in practically all sectors of the economy since 1990, but still represents only a small percentage of GDP. In January 2002 King Mohammed VI announced a series of measures aimed at encouraging foreign investment. The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) came into operation on 4 December 1999 and, in January 2006, the bilateral Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the United States and Morocco went into effect, the first such agreement in Africa. The US-Morocco FTA eliminates tariffs on 95 per cent of bilateral trade in consumer and industrial products with all remaining tariffs to be eliminated within nine years.

BALANCE OF PAYMENTS / IMPORTS AND EXPORTS

Export revenues have been rising steadily since 2000, and rose from US$9.78 billion in 2004 to an estimated US$11.72 billion in 2006. In 2008, they reached US$20.6 billion f.o.b. Morocco's main export markets were in the EU (over 70 per cent), and India (6.6 per cent).
Import costs rose slightly from US$17.5 billion in 2004 to an estimated US$21.22 billion in 2006. In 2008, they cost US$42 billion. Main import products include semi-processed goods, machinery and equipment, food and beverages, consumer goods, and fuel. Morocco's main suppliers are the EU (52 per cent), Saudi Arabia (6.8 per cent), China (5.7 per cent) and Russia (5.1 per cent).

As most of its trade is carried out with EU countries, Morocco has made a bid for EU membership.

CENTRAL BANK

Bank Al-Maghrib
PO Box 445
277, Avenue Mohammed V
Rabat Tel: +212 37 702626
Fax: +212 37 706677
E-mail: dai@bkam.gov.ma
URL: http://www.bkam.ma




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