Morocco counts on domestic know-how for post-covid-19 economic recovery
Moulay Hafid Elalamy, minister of industry, trade and digital and green economy, who was presenting the plan to the Moroccan employers’ union, the CGEM, indicated that the global pandemic, which has decimated the North African country’s economy, has however revealed the Moroccan local expertise and industry to the world.
“This period has generated entrepreneurs who have confidence in themselves,” Elalamy said.
“We in Morocco, have the tendency of underrating our know-how. However, I realized that our entrepreneurs, in trying times, accomplish unbelievable things,” he stressed.
Morocco received global recognition for the domestic response to the crisis after local investors, companies, universities and the public sector, joined in the fight through production of masks and other medical equipment needed for the treatment and protection of patients.
“This pandemic taught us lessons: we can produce quality products, generate technology while being competitive,” Elalamy told the CGEM members.
The recovery plan, according to the minister, hinges on import substitution by industrialization with aim of cutting import by MAD34 billion ($3.6bn) and replace it by quality and affordable home-made products.
“We are going to produce almost same quality products or even better and cheaper than what we usually import,” the minister said.
Morocco’s import last year hit MAD138 billion. The country’s local industry according to Elalamy can cover half of the MAD34 billion target and is expected to generate 100,000 jobs including the creation of MAD51 billion in added value.
The plan also takes into account Morocco’s forward looking policy for a carbon-free industry and meeting the demand of its largest market: Europe. “We are able to decarbonize our industry, with cheap costs rather than fossil energy as Europe which represents 75 per cent of our exports, has voted the carbon tax,” the Moroccan official stressed.
The North African country, while rooting for the development of its local industry, also aims to position innovation as an integral part of its industrial approach.
Elalamy told the CGEM that the kingdom must leverage on its innovation ability and on industrial acceleration plan to seize opportunities of a global market witnessing a disturbance in the global supply chain.
The disturbance ignited by the impact of the pandemic, the ministry said, has forced world-leading industries to relocate their production units and plants.
The kingdom, given its strategic positioning, affordable and qualified manpower, logistic and infrastructural assets, industrial ecosystem, and free-trade agreements with various countries, has an opportunity to win new markets, the official said.