Arab World


01. Morocco > Manufacturing, Mining and Services

Casablanca Chamber of Commerce, URL:
American Chamber of Commerce in Morocco, URL:



Phosphates are the most important of the minerals produced in Morocco and 75 per cent of the world's known phosphate reserves originate there. Phosphates play an important role in the production of fertilizers and phosphoric acid. Manganese, lead, silver, and copper are mined in Morocco.

Morocco had proven oil reserves of 1.00 million barrels at the beginning of 2008. However, the country relies heavily on imports, largely from Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, and Nigeria. Oil production in 2008 was an estimated 430 barrels per day (down from 1,200 barrels per day in 2000). The kingdom has a crude oil refining capacity of 155,000 barrels per day (January 2008). The Moroccan Office of Hydrocarbons and Mining (ONHYM) is optimistic about finding offshore oil reserves, following discoveries in neighboring Mauritania.

The state oil company is the Office National de Recherches et d'Exploitation Petrolieres (ONAREP). In March 2000, Morocco modified its hydrocarbons law, offering a 10-year tax break to offshore production firms and reducing the government's stake in future oil concessions to a maximum of 25 per cent. The energy sector was due to be liberalized by 2007.

At 58 billion cubic feet, Morocco's natural gas reserves are relatively small. Most reserves are located in the Essaouira Basin, with smaller reserves in the Rharb and Pre-Rif basins. Natural gas production and consumption in 2006 was estimated at 2 billion cubic feet. (Source: Energy Information Administration, EIA)


Morocco is self-sufficient in electricity, some 75 per cent of which is supplied by thermal generators driven by coal, whilst 25 per cent is generated by hydroelectric plants. According to 2003 estimates, Morocco has an electricity generation capacity of 4.9 gigawatts, 70 per cent of which is thermal and 30 per cent of which is hydroelectric. Electricity generation rose to 21,800 million kWh in 2006. Despite Morocco's current self-sufficiency in electricity there is a need to build additional power plants as the demand is increasing at approximately 7 per cent per annum and only 55 per cent of the rural areas currently has access. The National Office of Electricity (ONE) recently announced a US$3.7 billion plan to increase electricity supply, including Morocco's rural areas, by 2010.

In 2005, total energy consumption in Morocco was estimated at 0.508 quadrillion Btu. The energy consumed was supplied by oil (72 per cent), coal (19.5 per cent), natural gas (5.2 per cent) and hydroelectricity (2 per cent).
Morocco is gradually integrating its electrical grid with those of its neighbors in Africa and Europe. In December 2005, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco signed a funding agreement with the EU which will pay for a study on North African-European electricity market integration. (Source: EIA)


Manufacturing is a growing sector of the Moroccan economy. In 2006, industry, including phosphate mining and the energy sector, contributed some 31.2 per cent of GDP. The most important sector is the food products industry. Other significant industries are the textile and paper industries, assembly plants for cars, lorries and tractors, and a number of light consumer goods industries.

The Government is keen to diversify from the traditional agricultural economy and is providing significant incentives to attract foreign investment that will enable Morocco to meet its domestic requirements and create significant export potential, including agricultural equipment and machinery, diesel engines, transport equipment, construction machinery and mining. Morocco has a highly-valued textile industry.


The tourist industry is of growing importance. Morocco's four major cities, Rabat, Meknes, Fes and Marrakesh, are rich in cultural attractions. Long-term plans include the construction of major winter resort areas in the mountains near Marrakesh, seaside resorts and marinas. There are also plans to construct more hotels aimed at business travellers as well as tourists and to increase recreational facilities such as golf courses and casinos.

The tourism industry was adversely affected by the terrorist attacks in the USA in September 2001 and the suicide bombings in Casablanca in May 2003. However, figures for 2004 indicated a recovery in visitor numbers, and in 2006 there were 6.56 million visitors, up 12 per cent on the previous year. The number of hotel beds has increased over the past three years, and occupancy rates have risen by 10 per cent over the same period.

National Office of Tourism, URL:


Morocco has traditionally relied on agriculture, despite insufficient rain. The sector accounts for between 12 and 20 per cent of the economy (depending on weather factors) and employs up to 50 per cent of the workforce. Produce is varied due to an almost European climate in the north, a very dry interior and almost tropical conditions in the south.

There is a lot of subsistence farming, but large mechanised farms are becoming more commonplace. Crops include wheat, barley, oats, maize, peas, lentils, potatoes, and other vegetables as well as cotton, flax and hemp. Morocco also produces essential oils, medicinal plants and forage for animals. In 2004, there were 22.4 million goats and sheep, and 2.7 million cattle. There were six tractors per 1000 hectares in 2003, and no harvesters or threshers.
Agricultural Production in 2007


Int. $'000





Indigenous chicken meat



Indigenous cattle meat



Cow milk, whole






Indigenous sheep meat









Hen eggs, in shell









Source: FAOSTAT, Statistics Division, Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN




Morocco's coast runs for some 3,500 km. It is the world's leading producer of sardines and its rich coastal waters also produce enormous quantities and varieties of other seafood, including lobster, swordfish and cephalopods.

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This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
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