- Basic data
- Public finances and the state budget
- Banking system
- Tax System
According to cheeroutdoor.com, the Moroccan economy has undergone significant changes in the last ten years. The economy, which was traditionally based on agricultural production, underwent significant structural reforms and increased its industrial capacity. Morocco is the 6th largest economy on the African continent. The coronavirus crisis has accelerated the digital transformation, and new challenges are looming for Morocco at the beginning of the 2020s.
The unexpectedly strong blow that hit the Moroccan economy in connection with the Covid-19 pandemic caused the first recession since 1995. Economic production decreased by even 15.1% in the second quarter of 2020. The reasons that pushed the Moroccan economy down were several in total, especially the drop in income from tourism, the disruption of global value chains and the drop in agricultural production associated with extreme drought. Morocco’s economy shrank by 4.7% in 2020 and unemployment rose to 11.5%.
The war in Ukraine has increased the price of imported agricultural commodities. 24% of the total grain imports were imported from the Black Sea. An extremely dry agricultural year will also have a negative impact on the Moroccan economy, as food exports represent a significant item in the composition of Morocco’s GDP. This loss should be offset by a number of government measures aimed at the support and efficiency of the local agricultural sector.
The Moroccan economy is almost 57% made up of the service sector, 31% is industry and the remaining 12% is agriculture. Morocco has a long-term negative trade balance, which it has been trying to improve in recent years through a number of government strategies in individual sectors. In recent years, the automotive industry has played a very important role. Morocco produces the most passenger cars in all of Africa. Morocco is also the world’s largest exporter of phosphates. An important part of Morocco’s exports are agricultural products. Mainly oil, natural gas and coal are imported. Morocco is trying to reduce its energy dependence on fossil fuel imports through renewable sources. Other important import items are automotive parts, electronics, electro-technological products and others.
|GDP growth (%)||2.5||-7||6||3.5||3.3|
|Export of goods (billion USD)||29.6||27.7||36.4||39.1||41.1|
|Import of goods (billion USD)||51||44.4||58.6||61.1||61.9|
|Trade Balance (Billion USD)||-20||-15.5||-22.6||-23||-22.4|
|Industrial production (% change)||ON||ON||ON||ON||ON|
|OECD export risk||03.VII||03.VII||03.VII||ON||ON|
Source: EIU, OECD, IMD
Public finance and state budget
|State budget balance (% of GDP)||-3.6|
|Public debt (% of GDP)||91.9|
|Current account balance (billion USD)||-8.9|
In the coming years, Morocco will face a sharp increase in the prices of oil and other raw commodities, which can significantly affect public finances. Morocco imports approximately 90% of its energy consumption. Domestic production of electricity from renewable sources has been increasing in recent years, but it is still unable to cover the total demand. Higher prices of imported energy can thus cause greater inflationary pressures and weaken the government’s fiscal position. Modernization of the army also requires high costs.
Foreign exchange reserves reach around CZK 695 billion. This represents a reduction of approximately CZK 50 billion compared to the previous year. The balance of payments of the foreign account has been negative for a long time in Morocco. The administration is trying to reverse this trend through a series of government strategies with an emphasis on the export of goods. The state budget deficit in 2020 reached 7.6% of GDP. It is expected to decrease in the following years and in 2025 it should amount to 3.6% of GDP. The public debt reaches almost 90% and the task of the future government will be to consolidate public finances, maintain the rating at BB+ and collect taxes efficiently.
Morocco’s banking sector is one of the largest in Africa. This is a sector that is undergoing a series of modernizations and Moroccan banks are increasingly focusing on other African markets.
The central bank in Morocco is Bank-Al-Maghrib, founded in 1959. Since 2008, the central bank has enjoyed greater independence from other institutions. Since 2008, it is the central bank that holds foreign exchange reserves.
The five largest Moroccan banks include: Attijariwafa Bank, Banque Populaire du Maroc, bmce bank, Société Générale Maroc, BMCI.
Attijariwafa Bank is Morocco’s largest bank. The bank’s headquarters are located in Rabat. It provides financial services in a number of African countries and also has a number of branches in EU countries and Great Britain. Attijariwafa Bank shares have been traded on the Casablanca Stock Exchange since 1993. Attijariwafa Bank belongs to SNI holding, which is largely owned by the royal family.
Banque Centrale Populaire is a commercial Moroccan bank headquartered in Casablanca. It occupies around 25% of the banking market in Morocco. It was founded in 1925. Since 2004, it has been possible to trade its shares on the Casablanca Stock Exchange.
BMCE Banke or Bank of Africa is one of the three largest Moroccan banks. It was founded in 1959. It has 700 branches in the Kingdom of Morocco. it has another 560 branches in other African countries. Its shares are also tradable on the Casablanca Stock Exchange.
Société Générale Maroc is a bank belonging to the Société Générale SA group, which is a French international investment bank. In the Czech Republic, it provides its services through Komerční banka.
BMCI is the last of the five most important Moroccan banks. It is a bank within the French BNP Paribas group.
The central bank is still keeping interest rates at 1.5%. There are no plans to change in the coming months.
The Moroccan tax system is similarly divided into four main parts, like ours: direct taxes, value added taxes, registration fees and stamps. It is a fairly clear system. A problem can be the frequent change of tax regulations, which often complicates life for foreign investors and companies that establish their branches in Morocco. The last significant tax reform took place in 2020. It was a reform of the so-called free trade zones. The reason for the change was the long-term inclusion of Morocco on the so-called gray list of tax havens of the European Union. The Moroccan administration thus decided to approach European standards. As part of the implemented reform, Morocco was definitively removed from the so-called gray list by the European Union.
In Morocco, a progressive tax is introduced for both individuals and legal entities.
Individuals with income from 30 thousand MADs per year have a zero rate. From 30 thousand up to 50 thousand is a rate of 10%. Income between 50 thousand and 60 thousand is taxed at 20%. From 60 thousand up to 80 thousand tax is 30%. Over 80 thousand up to 180 thousand is taxed at 34%. The highest tax is for income above 180 thousand. after that the tax reaches 38%.
The situation is similar with corporate tax. Company income up to 300,000 MAD per year is taxed at 10%. Between 300 thousand and 1 million is 20%. Above 1 million MAD, the tax is 31%. Leasing and credit companies pay a tax of 37%. Different tax rates applied in the so-called free trade zones and in the Casablanca Finance City zone. Tax breaks were also provided to export companies. These different tax regimes were reformed last year to bring them closer to international tax standards.
The tax system in Morocco is quite complicated and has undergone frequent changes in the past. The Kingdom of Morocco realizes that in order to attract foreign investors, it must create a stable tax environment that is clear and transparent.