Morocco's Business World

The country of Morocco is one of Northern Africa's powerhouse economies, and it has long-standing ties with both Spain and France. It is aiming to enter the regional economic community, and therefore its trade is open and its political environment is relatively stable. The government of Morocco has implemented the Plan Emergence, to diversify its business world so the country isn't so reliant on the agricultural sector. Industries set for expansion are the automotive, IT, aeronautics, electronics, garment, and business outsourcing.

Most Moroccan businesses are small in nature; they often lack the resources to source internationally and thus rely on imports for the things they need. The import sector in Morocco is very robust, with a very large group of importers sourcing goods from all over the world. Moroccan importers enjoy far greater profit margins than do the country's exporters. The country's economy has been dependent on mostly agriculture, but mining, tourism and the garment industry are important as well.

However, things are beginning to change. The government of Morocco realizes that depending too heavily on one sector of business will hamper the country's economic growth. For instance, about half of all working adults in Morocco are employed in the agricultural sector, and that sector comprised 12% of GDP in 2007.

In poor harvest years, the economy takes a very hard hit, as evidenced in 2007 when record low rainfall caused the country's GDP to drop from 7.8% to 2.7%. The garment district in Morocco also faces stiff competition from Asian sources.

Plan Emergence was devised in 2007, as a plan for the country to improve its industrial sectors in order to attain a sustainable level of economic growth. The plan's mission is to diversify the Moroccan economy, to strengthen competition in the country's main industries, and to improve the Moroccan business world.

Most Moroccans conduct business in French, and many living in the northern part of the country speak Spanish. The labor in the country is very low-cost, and the educational system is very French. Morocco is ready to outsource for Spain and France, and the outsourcing industry currently has over 40,000 employees.

The country also has a growing electronics industry; skilled but low-cost labor has induced some foreign companies to outsource the building of some parts such as cable and batteries to Morocco. Another industry making Moroccan inroads is the automotive industry- French car maker Renault has been convinced to set up plants in the Tanger-Med Free Zone, located at the country's northern tip near Spain.

With its cultural similarity and geographical proximity to both Spain and France, and its low-cost labor force and rapidly improving infrastructure, Morocco is taking its place in the international business community as an ideal outsourcing platform.

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