“Emergence” Programme For a go-ahead, targeted industrial policy working towards expansion in the national economy. Summary document. MOROCCO ON THE MOVE. The choice of movement and openness – a clear-cut acceleration over the past 3 years
Azur Plan: Tourism Centrepiece – clear objectives: 10 million tourists
Emergence: Sector-based targeting strategy aimed at exports(6 sectors)
Human development and closeness to the people
Drafted in 1999, the Azur Plan is based on a coherent sector-based view taken over a 10-year period, with a clear objective
to go from 2.5 million to 10 million tourists, while still abiding by the distinctive and harmonious character of Morocco as a
destination. Beyond the traditional bastions (imperial towns, culture) of tourism in Morocco, The Azur plan repositions
Morocco in new high-demand segments (particularly “intelligent seaside”), as well as certain “coming” niches areas, such as
ecotourism or residential tourism (e.g. for retirees).
This plan is already substantially underway, with positive achievements that in part explain why tourism has taken off in
Morocco on a number of fronts. Today, Morocco hosts almost 4 million tourists (including ~1 million French) and as a
destination, Morocco has many practical projects in motion based on 5 main lines (capacity, development, air travel,
training, distribution /promotion), including in particular:
Europe remains the main source market for people going to Morocco (by a long way). But development prospects are
Even greater: forecast growth exceeds ~2 million additional European tourists. This market will be the subject of an all
out effort to consolidate Morocco’s position as a preferred destination for Europeans going to the Mediterranean.
This opens up significant scope for investment and cooperation right across the value chain and in particular on 3 fronts:
Using this as a base, the Moroccan government is undertaking an aggressive development policy for French-language
nearshore activity. It is doing so in order to be able to offer investors the best possible terms for setting up businesses. This
sector-based policy is targeting 10 to 12 priority areas that are suited to the strengths that Morocco has to offer (e.g. back-
office for Banking and Insurance, accounting services, customer services, IT services) – on which it is aligning all of the key
factors (administrative training, system engineer training, property and technical infrastructures, incentive sector).
A number of special zones will be launched shortly, beginning with ”Casablanca Nearshore Park” (or “Casa Shore”), which
will be operational by mid-2007.
Businesses using the French language can develop an attractive strategic base base in Morocco:
Morocco has a very significant potential in original equipment for assembly plants in southern Europe with a competitive geographic
position, located less than 3 days by truck from 27 assembly plants in Europe (representing an accessible market of 6-7 million vehicles
per year). Morocco has become established over time as very competitive in 250-300 categories of specific equipment for which the
production and logistics factors are suited. The “Automotive Maquiladoras” will only strengthen this state of affairs. Also, longer-term
prospects are enhanced by Morocco’s capacity to develop automotive assembly for the national and regional market (South/South) or in
certain specialist areas.
So Morocco represents a strategically attractive back base for business in the sector – either by setting up operations directly or by
subcontracting. These possibilities are the case both for leading major equipment manufacturers, as well as for the fabric of 2nd and 3rd-
ranked equipment manufacturers.
Unlike mass-market electronics, where the movement offshore is already largely committed to Asia,
specialist electronics (on-board, industrial, etc.) offers numerous niches where short and medium production runs do not justify
such movements. Faced with the increase in competitive pressure and taking account of the extent to which the manufacturing fabric
is dispersed (97% of SMEs), Morocco represents an attractive back base that offers an interesting solution from the point of view of
the factors involved, but in particular because it is manageable from the point of view of geographic proximity and linguistic closeness.
The “Electronics Maquiladoras” are enhancing the terms on which outsiders are welcomed in order to provide satisfaction over the
lifetime of the specific requirements of the industry, including for SMEs (direct setting up of business or subcontracting). The target
potentially interested by this alternative is extremely large – particularly with 5000 companies in France.
The major success of the aviation industry at Casablanca Nouacer has not only to do with its intrinsically very attractive factors in terms
of competitiveness (engineers, Bac+2), but also with the “network effect” specific to this sector (e.g. training). Businesses that
enjoy success breed others – guaranteeing set-up terms for new investors that are even more attractive. In a sector where
subcontracting is developing very rapidly, over time this particular area represents a highly complementary back base to the regional
industry areas that exist in France. It also provides a proximity based on a cooperative model that has already been tried and tested.
The upturn in the sector is based on a development plan targeting 8 to 10 food-processing areas: a) existing industry (fruit/
vegetables), b) new industries (organic, ready-made food); c) key industries requiring the results of a recovery upstream (olive
oil, citrus). The plan is to have this deployment of integrated projects take place round dedicated regional poles of excellence in
agriculture (Agadir, Gharb, Meknès).
In these agro-industrial areas, the Moroccan market offers interesting prospects for French companies in the industry – either as a
competitive processor for quality products, or as an outlet to the fast-growing markets of the South. The target fabric potentially
interested by this alternative is extremely large – flagship players, but also SMEs from the agro-industry of the main producing areas.
Processing of products from the sea: a strategic position midway between the extraction areas and the consumer
In addition to its natural assets, Morocco already has other assets and commercial/industrial savoir-faire that are already very solid
(canning factories). Development potential is focused in 2 main areas: a) the accelerated development of channels linked to
sardines and their derivatives; b) the positioning of Morocco, or more specifically of Agadir, as a regional “processing hub”, both to
consolidate its position on canned goods and food with a limited shelf-life, as well as for ready-meal channels (“heat and eat”), or for
marketing top-of-the-range fresh produce. This opens up attractive opportunities for the players in the industry regarding Agadir:
operator businesses (canners, packers, ready meals, etc.) aimed at export (Europe) and/or institutional partnerships between
the regions / areas of excellence in order to play the Complementarity card.