Research article
Issue: № 8 (110), 2021


Научная статья

Итри Ханаа*

ORCID: 0000-0003-2042-7928,

Санкт-Петербургский политехнический университет Петра Великого (СПбПУ), Санкт-Петербург, Россия

* Корреспондирующий автор (hanaaitri1995[at]


Марокко заинтересована привлечением прямых иностранных инвестиций (ПИИ). Учитывая важность прямых иностранных инвестиций для экономического роста, правительство Марокко назвало привлечение прямых иностранных инвестиций главным приоритетом государства, что позволило разработать и развивать политику, направленную на привлечение транснациональных корпораций. В данной статье анализируется политика и действия, предпринятые Королевством Марокко для повышения привлекательности ПИИ в период 1970-2019 годов. В течение этого периода Марокко было одним из наиболее важных бенефициаров притока ПИИ в регион Ближнего Востока и Северной Африки, благодаря созданию системы протектората — первых фондов прямых иностранных инвестиций, созданных в начале двадцатого века.

Ключевые слова: ПИИ, Марокко, привлекательность, интеграционная политика, двусторонние соглашения, открытость.


Research article

Itri Hanaa*

ORCID: 0000-0003-2042-7928,

Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University (SPbPU), St. Petersburg, Russia

* Corresponding author (hanaaitri1995[at]


A country like Morocco is concerned about attracting foreign direct investment (FDI). Given the importance of foreign direct investment for economic growth, the Government of Morocco has made attracting foreign direct investment a top priority, which has allowed the development and development of policies aimed at attracting multinational corporations. This article analyzes the policies and actions taken by the Kingdom of Morocco to increase the attractiveness of FDI in the period 1970-2019. During this period, Morocco was one of the most important beneficiaries of FDI inflows to the Middle East and North Africa region, with the creation of the protectorate system, the first foreign direct investment funds established at the beginning of the twentieth century.

Keywords: FDI, Morocco, attractiveness, integration policy, bilateral agreements, openness.


Foreign Direct investment (FDI) is an important factor in increasing the development and growth of the economy for many countries. In Morocco, foreign investment remains discreet even if it puts the country on the top of African continent. Compared with international FDI flows of around USD 1,297 billion [6, P. 29–30] which is 54% go to developed countries, they represent only 0.3 %. But in Moroccan they are significantly far from marginal since they represent 11% of national investment and 3.1% of GDP [6, P. 32]. After the formation of the protectorate system in Morocco by the government the first foreign direct investment funds appeared at the beginning of the twentieth century. Since then, these flows have experienced ups and downs, depending on political and economic factors, and these investments have affected different areas of activity at different levels. Therefore, variety of policies and measures are carried out by the Moroccan government to reinforce the country's attractiveness regarding FDI.

Purpose and methodology

In this paper, we will describe the major policies and measures adopted by the Moroccan government to enhance FDI attractiveness strategy. For the analysis, we used text analysis from the reports on monitoring the economic situation in Morocco in the period 1970-2019. The main source of the research information base is the Ministry of Economy and Finance Kingdom of Morocco, the Office of the High Commissioner for Planning (HCP), and various articles, and journals.


Foreign direct investment in Morocco current form has existed since 1970s, but it was only at the beginning of 1990s the Moroccan Administration started the procedure of privatization and transition of external debts into investments, that their flow began to manifest itself. The graph below shows the dynamics of FDI in Morocco from 1970 to 2019 [3, P. 25–27].

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Fig. 1 – FDI in Morocco in the period 1970-2019


FDI in Morocco improved significantly only at the beginning of the privatization process and the conversion of external debt into investment in the early 1990s. Thus, the share of FDI in GDP increased from 0.61% in the 1970s and from 0.7% in the 1980s to 2.17% in the 1990s. If we look at the evolution of the share of FDI in gross fixed capital formation this time, we will see steady growth: 3.06% in the 1970s, 3.19% in the 1980s and 9.72% in 1990 [3, P. 28–31].

These unsustainable events are mainly associated with the beginning of the privatization process and the conversion of external debt into investment. The introduction finance law in 2002 of the privatizations 16% of the capital of Maroc Telecom and the sale of state blocks of shares such as the People's Central Bank, the Government of Tabakov and SOMAKA. In 2004, the inflow of FDI to Morocco was mostly noticeable by the sale on the stock exchange of 14.9% of the capital of Maroc Telecom, which is part of an agreement authorizing Vivendi Universal to obtain an additional 16% of this group to become the leading shareholder of the current operator of the Moroccan Kingdom with 51% shares [2].

In 2006, Arab countries accounted for less than 10% of the total number of EIS entering Morocco. Kuwait remains the 1st Arab investor in 2006 with 983.5 million dirhams of investments, or 3.86% of the total ID received this year, followed by the United Arab Emirates with 759 million dirhams (2.98%) and Saudi Arabia with 322.1 million dirhams (1.26%). According to the World Bank, Morocco attracted about 2.83 billion doll. in FDI in 2007, compared with 2.46 billion doll. in 2006. FDI flows to Morocco experienced a very significant drop for three consecutive years, between 2007 and 2010, from 2.83 billion doll.. In 2007, to 1.24 billion doll. in 2010, which is 56.2% less over these three years. This significant decline is mainly due to the financial crisis of 2007, which then turned into an economic crisis. In 2012, 2013 and 2014, FDI flows increased on an annualized basis by 13%, 18% and 5%, respectively, reaching US 3.53 billion doll. in 2014 [6, P. 20–24].

After reaching a high level in 2014, the FDI flows received by Morocco (domestic FDI) decreased by 8% in 2015 (to 3.26 billion US dollars) and by 34% in 2016 (to 2.16 billion US dollars), which (2016) is lower than the average for the last ten years (2.67 billion US dollars). In 2018, Morocco broke the 2014 record, reaching a peak of US 3.55 billion doll., followed by a marked decline in 2019 of 55% or more than US 1.94 billion doll., reaching US 1.6 billion doll., which was the lowest level since 2010 [7, P. 1–2].

Although they declined in 2015, 2016 and 2019, FDI inflows to Morocco increased after the financial crisis, increasing by an average of 6.4% per year since 2010, reaching a peak in 2018 of US 3.55 billion doll. and the lowest level in ten years of US 1.56 billion doll. in 2019 [7, P. 3–4].

Moroccan internal financing as a developing country is relevant to sustain sufficient growth for present and future generations. Consequently, the Moroccan Government are realizing several strategies and measures aimed to improve the country's attractiveness for foreign investment. This obligation was implemented in legislative, institutional, organizational, financial, and fiscal measures adopted in the period from 2002-2020.

Legislative and organizational measures

The restructuring of the legal and organizational services in business environment performs an essential role in enhancing the Moroccan image and boosting the Moroccan economy. The main Moroccan Administration strategies taken in this area were:

  • The adoption of an investment constitution, the substitution of industry laws with an indiscrete legislation and the regulation of significant tax benefits that encourage investment in Morocco.
  • Statement of the Decree on the execution of articles 17 and 19 of the Investment Charter. This decree ensure that the country carry out part of the costs of getting the necessary land, training, and infrastructure, provided that the total investment is at least 200 million dirhams that creates 250 or more jobs and provides technology transfer or if the project is carried out by the regions covered by the decree.
  • The adoption of the law on export free zones and offshore financial centers.

Financing and Tax measures

The Moroccan Government has ensured an interesting tax base and financing system to motivate international investors to invest in Morocco. These involve the implemented measures:

  • By the incessant of the active debt management program that permit to transform part of the public external debt into investments. The total amount converted into investments is 667 million doll..
  • Creating of several credit lines encouraging partnership between domestic and foreign companies.
  • Clarification from import and domestic value added tax introduced to capital goods, essential equipment, and tools for the execution of projects in the amount of at least 100 million dirhams.
  • Improving the maximum limit of assets for investments that can be utilized for research and development or realignment operations from 2% to 20% of profit before tax.

Multilateral and bilateral agreements

The Moroccan Government has chosen to engage in international competitions to accelerate its development and to accompany this strategy the Moroccan Government established an active policy pursues the goal to attract new investments, growth vectors and employment. This obligation has been accomplished via multilateral and bilateral measures:

  • The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA): The Agency goal is to protect foreign investors in Morocco against non-commercial risks such as the risk of non-transfer, the risk of damage because of a decision taken by Moroccan government that deprive the foreign investor of his rights or benefits, the contract termination concluded with the Moroccan government.
  • Inter-Arab Investment Guarantee Organization: This Organization established in 1971 to facilitate investment and trade between Arab countries that ensure to protect Arab investors from commercial and non-commercial risks related to foreign trade operations and non-commercial risks for the benefit of investors.
  • Free trade agreements "FTA" in the context of the strategy of openness and transparency to the outside world The Moroccan kingdom has realizes free trade agreements with number of countries to establish a solid structure conducive to strengthen relations, partnership, and cooperation in several fields with the countries.

Free trade agreements

As part of its strategy of external openness, Morocco has concluded free trade agreements with many countries to promote investment and trade development. These agreements create favorable conditions for the development of a genuine partnership so that to strengthen relations and cooperation in several areas with the countries concerned and, consequently, contribute to the integration of the Moroccan economy [3, P. 26–29].

Economic Groups:

  • European Union Association Agreement.
  • Free Trade Agreement Morocco-States of the European Free Trade Association.
Bilateral Free Trade Agreements:
  • Egypt
  • Jordan
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United States

The industrial acceleration plan 2014-2020

The strategy "Emergence 2009-2015" focused on stimulating industry, was concluded in a program contract that mobilizes and coordinates the actions of the state and economic operators to create a strong industrial sector. The new industrial strategy called "Industrial acceleration plan for 2014-2020", builds on the achievements and maintains leadership in the world professions of Morocco, as well as integrates other classic channels of the national industrial fabric, such as textiles and leather [5].

Energy Strategy 2030

The energy strategy is based on a long-term vision, the purpose of which is to ensure the country's energy security by diversifying national energy sources using alternative energy sources. It also aims to ensure broad access to energy at competitive prices and the appropriation of advanced technologies that contribute to the accumulation of experience, as well as to preserve the environment, safety, and health of citizens [9, P. 30–38].

Port Strategy 2030

The most important link in the supply chains of foreign trade, the ports of Morocco are an important lever of development, the effectiveness of which plays an important role. The new national Ports Strategy for the period up to 2030 aims to support economic changes by forecasting the demand for port infrastructure and further integrating Morocco into global competitiveness [9, P. 52–57].


The purpose of this article was to analyze the actions, measures and policies adopted to enhance the attractiveness of Morocco. The reorganization of the business regulatory environment has played an important role in ameliorating the foreign investment attractiveness policy in Morocco. Indeed, the services provided like the assumption by the Moroccan government of part of the costs of training, the establishment of infrastructure and the acquisition of the necessary land have improved the image of Morocco in relation to foreign investors.

Certainly, the establishment of such a regime can be a way to boost competitiveness and attract more foreign investment flows into the Kingdom of Morocco. In general, competitiveness is not just about the exchange rate regime, but it also relates on many structural factors, such as the quality of institutions, the development of infrastructure, the efficiency of the market in allocating factors of production (labor, capital) to their most efficient uses, the development of the quality of the education system and technological innovation.

The results of our work show the positive effect of the strategies and measures taken by the Moroccan government to attract foreign direct investment over the past 20 years which may be interesting for other authors. 

Конфликт интересов Не указан. Conflict of Interest None declared.

Список литературы / References

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