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flag Morocco Morocco: Economic and Political Outline

In this page: Economic Indicators | Foreign Trade in Figures | Sources of General Economic Information | Political Outline


Economic Indicators

During the last few years, the Moroccan economy was been characterized by its macro-economic stability, along with low inflation and the booming of its economic growth. However, due to a decline in demand from the Euro-zone, the main market for Moroccan exports, together with the drought which affected its cereal production, the country's economic growth slowed down in 2012. In 2013, Morocco's economic growth rebounded (5.1%). Its economy profited from a good harvest and the increase of its domestic demand by 5%.

Morocco was strongly affected by the Euro-zone crisis since Europe is its main trading partner, the country has turned to the Arabic Gulf countries to attract investments. In March 2013, Morocco began negotiations to increase its economic integration in the European Union. In 2013, inflation increased (2.3%) due to an unpopular decision of indexing some petro-products in the global market. The recent reform on subsidizing daily consumption products was considered reticent. The IMF, which allocated a financial aid to Morocco in August 2013, appeals for improvement in the control of salaries and grants. These compensations had a cost of EUR 5 billion to the state in 2012 and they created a strain on the budgetary deficit. In 2013, the allocated budget for the compensation was not enough since prices had increased. Morocco has also engaged itself to invest into renewable energies in order to reduce its dependence on oil (95% of its current energy consumption). Oil and gas explorations have also been launched, many oil companies have invested in the drilling of these. The budget for 2014 aims to control its budgetary deficit and external accounts which have been downgraded. Exports are mostly driven by the aeronautic and automobile sectors (the automobile sector in particular, experienced an important progress in 2013). The budget for 2014 also plans a reform of the VAT, put an end to the exemptions on large agricultural operations and reforms on the retirement plan system.

Unemployment (9.1%) has been rising in the recent years and affecting particularly the young (15-24 years of age) and young graduates. The rate of poverty remains one of the highest in the Mediterranean region, with 15% of the population living under the poverty line. There are also great differences in the levels of development of the different regions.

Main Indicators 20112012201320142015 (e)
GDP (billions USD) 99.2195.90103.82e112.55121.89
GDP (Constant Prices, Annual % Change)
GDP per Capita (USD) 3,0822,9493e3,3923,638
General Government Balance (in % of GDP) -6.8-7.4-5.7e-6.2-5.3
General Government Gross Debt (in % of GDP) 54.460.464.666.0e66.2
Inflation Rate (%)
Unemployment Rate (% of the Labor Force)
Current Account (billions USD) -7.99-9.35-7.87e-7.69e-7.11
Current Account (in % of GDP) -8.0-9.7-7.6e-6.8-5.8

Source: IMF - World Economic Outlook Database , Last Available Data

Note: (e) Estimated Data

Main Sectors of Industry

Considering the richness of Morocco's soil, the agricultural sector is dominant, employing 40% of the active population and contributing around 15% to the GDP. Cereals, fruits and vegetables are the country's main crops. Economic growth relies excessively on this sector.

Morocco has a relatively small amount of mineral resources, being phosphates its main wealth. Industry contributes to almost 30% of the GDP, thanks to the textiles, leather goods, food processing, oil refining and electronic assembling sectors. Nevertheless, new industry areas are also booming, thus trying to diminish the kingdom's dependence on its agricultural sector. These sectors are: chemical, automobile, computer, electronics and aeronautic industry.

The tertiary sector contributes around 55% to the GDP and depends exclusively on tourism, which remains very dynamic despite the slowdown produced by the attacks of September 11, 2001, those in Casablanca in 2003 and in Marrakesh in April 2011. Other than granting concessions for a lot of public services in the major towns, the country recently liberalized oil and gas exploration regulations. Calls for tender procedures have become increasingly more transparent.

Breakdown of Economic Activity By Sector Agriculture Industry Services
Employment By Sector (in % of Total Employment) 39.2 21.4 39.3
Value Added (in % of GDP) 16.6 28.5 54.9
Value Added (Annual % Change) 19.0 0.3 2.7

Source: World Bank - Last Available Data.

Monetary Indicators 20092010201120122013
Moroccan Dirham (MAD) - Average Annual Exchange Rate For 1 USD 8.068.428.098.638.41

Source: World Bank - Last Available Data.


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Indicator of Economic Freedom


The Economic freedom index measure ten components of economic freedom, grouped into four broad categories or pillars of economic freedom: Rule of Law (property rights, freedom from corruption); Limited Government (fiscal freedom, government spending); Regulatory Efficiency (business freedom, labor freedom, monetary freedom); and Open Markets (trade freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom). Each of the freedoms within these four broad categories is individually scored on a scale of 0 to 100. A country’s overall economic freedom score is a simple average of its scores on the 10 individual freedoms.

Mostly Unfree
World Rank:
Regional Rank:

Distribution of Economic freedom in the world
Source: 2014 Index of Economic freedom, Heritage Foundation


Business environment ranking


The business rankings model measures the quality or attractiveness of the business environment in the 82 countries covered by The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Country Forecast reports. It examines ten separate criteria or categories, covering the political environment, the macroeconomic environment, market opportunities, policy towards free enterprise and competition, policy towards foreign investment, foreign trade and exchange controls, taxes, financing, the labour market and infrastructure.

World Rank:

Source: The Economist - Business Environment Rankings 2014-2018


Country Risk

See the country risk analysis provided by Coface.


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Foreign Trade in Figures

Morocco has an open economy, trade represents more than three-fourths of the GDP (average 2008-2010). Morocco's main trading partners are France and Spain. The country mainly imports crude oil, telecommunications equipment, wheat, gas and electricity. It mainly exports textiles, electrical components, fertilizers, citrus fruits and vegetables.

Morocco has a structural negative trade balance, which continues to deplete the kingdom's foreign exchange reserves. According to the Morocco's Foreign Exchange Office, the balance of goods and services showed a deficit of EUR 13 billion during the first three quarters of 2013, which represents 20% of the GDP. In 2013, imports were lower than in 2012 while the revenue from exports had a slight decrease.

The authorities are trying to address the trade deficit through a series of sectoral plans: "Emergence" for the industry, "Green Morocco (in French)" for agriculture and Morocco Export Plus, which aims to triple the volume of exported goods and services over the next ten years. It should be noted that free trade agreements have been signed with the United States, Turkey, Tunisia, Egypt and Jordan. In 2013, Morocco began its pursuit to increase its commercial integration with the European Union.

Foreign Trade Indicators 20092010201120122013
Imports of Goods (million USD) 32,88135,38144,29544,87245,090
Exports of Goods (million USD) 14,05417,77121,51921,41721,822
Imports of Services (million USD) 5,3025,7246,7136,5786,508
Exports of Services (million USD) 11,89212,13813,55013,06613,160
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) -
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) -14.816.
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 39.743.148.750.346.9
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 28.733.235.635.933.6
Trade Balance (million USD) -18,861-17,318-21,387-21,885-21,592
Trade Balance (Including Service) (million USD) -10,927-9,953-14,063-14,675-14,810
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 68.476.384.386.280.5

Source: WTO - World Trade Organization ; World Bank , Last Available Data


Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
France 21.5%
Spain 18.9%
Brazil 6.0%
United States 4.2%
Italy 3.8%
See More Countries 45.7%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
Spain 13.5%
France 12.9%
United States 7.5%
China 6.9%
Saudi Arabia 6.2%
See More Countries 52.9%

Source: Comtrade, Last Available Data


Main Products

- bn USD of products exported in 2013
Insulated incl. enamelled or anodised wire, cable...Insulated incl. enamelled or anodised wire, cable incl. coaxial cable and other insulated electric conductors, whether or not fitted with connectors; optical fibre cables, made-up of individually sheathed fibres, whether or not assembled with electric conductors or fitted with connectors 9.5%
Mineral or chemical fertilizers containing two or...Mineral or chemical fertilizers containing two or three of the fertilizing elements nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium; other fertilizers (excl. pure animal or vegetable fertilizers or mineral or chemical nitrogenous, phosphatic or potassic fertilizers); animal, vegetable, mineral or chemical fertilizers in tablets or similar forms or in packages of a gross weight of <= 10 kg 6.8%
Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally...Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, incl. station wagons and racing cars (excl. motor vehicles of heading 8702) 6.8%
Diphosphorus pentaoxide; phosphoric acid;...Diphosphorus pentaoxide; phosphoric acid; polyphosphoric acids, whether or not chemically defined 6.5%
Natural calcium phosphates and natural aluminium...Natural calcium phosphates and natural aluminium calcium phosphates, natural and phosphatic chalk 4.9%
See More Products 65.4%
- bn USD of products imported in 2013
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 10.0%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals, crude 9.6%
Petroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbonsPetroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbons 5.0%
Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally...Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, incl. station wagons and racing cars (excl. motor vehicles of heading 8702) 3.3%
Wheat and meslinWheat and meslin 2.2%
See More Products 69.9%

Source: Comtrade, Last Available Data

See More Products
More imports (Intracen Data)
More exports (Intracen Data)

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Sources of General Economic Information

Department for Finances
Department for Equipment and Transport
Department of Trade and Industry and New Technologies
Department of Energy and Mines
Department of Tourism
Department of Governance and General Affairs (in French)
Overseas Trade Department
Statistical Office
High Commissioner for Planning
Central Bank
Stock Exchange
Casablanca stock exchange
Search Engines
Marweb Maroc
Economic Portals
1st Maroc

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Political Outline

Executive Power
The executive power is shared between the government and the king. The Prime Minister is promoted to head of government and as such presides over the Governing Council but the Council of Ministers continues to be chaired by the king. The Government Council consists of all the ministers, deputy ministers and other Secretaries of State. It discusses public and sectoral policies, the commitment of the government's responsibility to the House of Representatives, current issues related to human rights and public order, bills, decrees, draft regulatory decrees and the appointment of secretaries and central directors of the public administration, university presidents, deans and directors of schools and higher institutes. The Governing Council only has deliberative power in terms of general policy of the State, international conventions, the finance bill. The Council of Ministers, where only the head of government and the ministers sit, is responsible for the strategic direction of the state policy, the revision of the Constitution, draft organic laws, general guidance of the finance bill, amnesty, draft texts related to the military, the declaration of a state of siege, the declaration of war.
Legislative Power
The Parliament comprises the Chamber of Representatives (325 deputies elected by universal direct suffrage for 5 years) and the Chamber of Counselors (270 members elected by indirect universal suffrage for 9 years).
The Parliament votes the law; any bill must be successively examined by the 2 Houses. It moreover shares the initiative of the laws with the Prime Minister.
Main Political Parties
Multi-party system, consisting of numerous parties. Parties work with each other to form coalition governments.
- Justice and Development Party (PJD): moderate Islamist, heads the ruling coalition
- "Istiqlal" Independence Party (PI): conservative nationalist
- National Rally of Independents (RNI): centrist, relatively inclined towards social liberalism
- Authenticity and Modernity Party (PAM): modernist and reform-oriented, formed by an advisor to the King and former Interior Minister
- Forces of the Popular Socialist Union (USFP): left-wing socialist
- People's Movement (MP): centrist, dominated by Berber (Tamazight) speakers, but without a distinct Berber agenda
- Constitutional Union (UC): economically liberal, conservative on societal matters
- Party of Progress and Socialism (PPS): socialist, formerly communist
Current Political Leaders
King: MOHAMED VI (since July 1999) - hereditary
Prime Minister: Abdelilah BENKIRANE - Justice and Development Party (since 29 November 2011)
Next Election Dates
Chamber of Representatives: in 2016

Indicator of Freedom of the Press


The world rankings, published annually, measures the violations of press freedom worldwide. It reflects the degree of freedom enjoyed by journalists, the media and digital citizens of each country and the means used by states to respect and uphold this freedom. Finally, a note and a position are assigned to each country. To compile this index, Reporters Without Borders (RWB) prepared a questionnaire sent to partner organizations,150 RWB correspondents, journalists, researchers, jurists and activists of human rights, including the main criteria - 44 in total - to assess the situation of press freedom in a given country. It includes every kind of direct attacks against journalists and digital citizens (murders, imprisonment, assault, threats, etc.) or against the media (censorship, confiscation, searches and harassment etc.).

World Rank:
same place compared to 2013

Source: Worldwide Press Freedom Index 2014, Reporters Without Borders


Indicator of Political Freedom


The Indicator of Political Freedom provides an annual evaluation of the state of freedom in a country as experienced by individuals. The survey measures freedom according to two broad categories: political rights and civil liberties. The ratings process is based on a checklist of 10 political rights questions (on Electoral Process, Political Pluralism and Participation, Functioning of Government) and 15 civil liberties questions (on Freedom of Expression, Belief, Associational and Organizational Rights, Rule of Law, Personal Autonomy and Individual Rights). Scores are awarded to each of these questions on a scale of 0 to 4, where a score of 0 represents the smallest degree and 4 the greatest degree of rights or liberties present. The total score awarded to the political rights and civil liberties checklist determines the political rights and civil liberties rating. Each rating of 1 through 7, with 1 representing the highest and 7 the lowest level of freedom, corresponds to a range of total scores.

Partly Free
Political Freedom:

Map of freedom 2014
Source: Freedom House


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Last Updates: February 2015