We have been asked by Deloitte, one of the leading global consultancies, to make sense of the challenges and opportunities faced by the Kingdom of Morocco in a post-COVID world. Here is an introduction to the report. A link is provided to download the full report co-authored by Alexandre Kateb, alongside Deloitte partners Emmanuel Gadret and Mehdi Serghini.
In the context of the Covid-19 global crisis, the Kingdom of Morocco demonstrated remarkable responsiveness on both the health front and at an economic and financial level. The Kingdom successfully reorganized the productive system to stop the wave of contaminations, while rolling-out major measures to provide an economic buffer to the significant social distress generated by lockdown measures. The country has also capitalized on this crisis to undertake fundamental reforms, such as the generalization of social protection measures launched in the spring of 2021 and the gradual digitization of public services.
In this context, and in the opinion of a vast majority of experts, Morocco has “more than resisted” the pandemic. The World Bank, for example, considered in its 2020 annual report on economic developments in the Kingdom that Morocco’s response to the brutality of the pandemic was both proportionate and appropriate: “The government’s response to date has been swift and decisive. The government’s proactive response enabled the country to avoid a massive outbreak, thus saving lives. In addition to rapidly closing borders and strengthening the health system, the State established a special fund to mitigate economic impacts. Response measures include compensation to households affected by the epidemic, including those in the informal sector (a real innovation), and the preparation of an amending Finance Act, the first in 30 years.”
A year later, when it came time to take stock, the multilateral institution went further in its analysis, estimating that “Morocco stands out as a country that has seized the COVID-19 crisis as an opportunity to launch an ambitious program of transformative reforms”, adding that “if successfully implemented, these reforms could lead to a stronger and more equitable growth path.”
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) also praised Morocco’s response to the crisis: “In terms of Morocco’s monetary policy and fiscal positioning, the country has made the right choices for its citizens,” said IMF Managing Director, Kristalina Georgieva. “ Morocco economy was one of the most dynamic and was able to adapt and adjust facing constraints and opportunities”, according to Jihad Azour, Director of the International Monetary Fund’s Middle East and Central Asia Department.
However, while the short-term response and the new structural reforms are credible drivers of medium- and long-term performance and appeal, the country has experienced, like a large number of other emerging economies. an economic and financial shock that may weigh heavily on future development prospects.
So what are the strengths on which the country can capitalize, the unfinished reform projects, and the disruptions that must be undertaken to achieve the stated ambition of stronger economic growth and more inclusive and less unequal development?
Can Morocco transform itself from a key regional economic power to a more global player?