Morocco enjoys macroeconomic stability with low inflation, a large reserve of
foreign exchange and a diminishing foreign debt. The country's economic
performance for the past few years has been good. Nevertheless, Morocco
faces some structural problems. It has a high unemployment rate, a heavy
reliance on agriculture and a budgetary deficit. Morocco is highly
accommodating to both foreign and domestic investment, and the
government is making continuous efforts to improve the investment
climate by, for example, streamlining paperwork in connection with
investment. Public procurement amounts to 15% of the country's GDP and
is allegedly stained by corrupt practices with pernicious consequences
for both the cost and quality of public services, despite the fact that
government tender processes have been reformed to enhance transparency.
Positive developments in relation to corruption and investment:
- The legal framework concerning corruption, transparency and integrity seems to be in place, and the regulatory
system itself is becoming increasingly transparent.
- Morocco's problem with corruption has been well-publicised, and the fight against
corruption has been strongly advocated by the country's outspoken media,
civil society and the successive governments.
- The private sector in Morocco is increasingly aware of the need to fight corruption.
The General Confederation of Moroccan Entrepreneurs has taken several
initiatives to raise awareness about corruption and the necessity of
fighting it, for example by adopting the Moroccan Code of Good Practice
for Corporate Governance in a joint initiative with public authorities.
Risks of corruption:
- Prosecutions of corruption cases have been accused of targeting only petty corruption. Also high profile cases and cases
where the misdeeds were shown to result from the government's style of
governance have been promptly halted in order to avoid political
- Foreign as well as Moroccan entrepreneurs identify corruption as a large obstacle to investment in Morocco and
remain sceptical with regard to the effectiveness of the government’s
efforts to fight corruption.
- Allegations persist that companies owned by highly influential persons are rarely disciplined by
regulatory agencies if they contravene investment regulations and that
regulations shown to jeopardise the entrenched interests of the higher
circles of political and economic power are disregarded.