Remittances from Moroccan expatriates resilient in 2020 but only 10% invested

Remittances from Moroccan expatriates resilient in 2020 but only 10% invested

Remittances from Moroccans living abroad rose 5% to stand at 68 billion dirhams (7.5 billion dollars) despite the pandemic, but finance minister said only 10% of these transfers were invested.

Most of the investments of Moroccans abroad went to real estate, finance minister Mohamed Benchaaboun told Moroccan employers association (CGEM).

A part from 15% that goes to saving account, the bulk of remittances is transferred for family assistance purposes, noted the minister.

“Overall, we have noticed over the last decades, that remittances develop regularly unaffected by crises,” said Benchaaboun.

Remittances made up for some of the losses in the tourism sector. Together they are key for Morocco’s inflow of hard currency.

The minister recalled the recently taken measures to make Morocco a friendlier destination for investments, including by Moroccans abroad, citing the new regulation to speed up payments by state bodies to investors, reform of regional investment centers as well as a new law governing Crowdfunding.

To further encourage Moroccans around the world to invest in their country of origin, the “MDM Invest” system will be completely revised.

Reduction in equity capital, expansion of the target to new sectors, synergies with the Intelaka programs and the Innov Invest Fund are some of the main planned reforms.

In this vein, the Minister of Finance has planned to thoroughly review the operation of the “MDM Invest” fund to encourage the exptraites to invest in productive sectors.

Created ten years ago to encourage investments by Moroccans living abroad, this fund, which notably offers a subsidy of 10% of the amount of the investment, has never met the expected results.

“The conditions for accessing this fund are difficult. It will be completely reviewed,” admitted the Minister during the meeting with the CGEM.

The project to improve the “MDM Invest” system will focus on easing its current operating conditions. The objective being to improve its attractiveness, in particular by reducing the minimum equity contribution, which is currently set at 25% of the project cost, with the possibility to make this contribution in dirhams. So far, this contribution could only be made in foreign currency.

The improvement of the device will also cover the expansion of the target to other sectors such as energy, transport, logistics, green economy and new technologies.

In addition, to encourage MDMs wishing to carry out small projects in Morocco, they will also be able to benefit from a package associating the “MDM Invest” device with the offer of the Intelaka program.

Other specific packages, this time combining the “MDM Invest” mechanism with the Innov Invest Fund (FII) offer, will be put in place in favor of MDMs carrying innovative projects. This will, according to the Finance Ministry, allow Morocco to benefit from the expertise acquired by the Moroccan diaspora, in particular in terms of technology transfer and innovation.

This revision of the fund will be carried out in an open and concerted manner, specifies the ministry, with the objective of making it, in fine, a powerful tool to encourage MDM investment.

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