The Land of Tolerance, Dialogue and Openness – Morocco
Features

The Land of Tolerance, Dialogue and Openness – Morocco

By His Excellency Mr. Abdelilah EL HOUSNI, Ambassador of His Majesty the King of Morocco to Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar

At a crossroads of the African and the European continents, the Kingdom of Morocco has been, for centuries, a meeting point for the arabo-islamic culture and civilisation as well as a land of tolerance, dialogue and openness

With an area of 710,850 square kms, bordered by 3,500 kilometres of coastline and crossed by various mountain ranges, Morocco is characterised by an incredible diversity of people and landscapes. Situated between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea in North Africa, Morocco is cut by the various fingers of the Atlas Mountains and the lone range of the Rif Mountains in the North and the Sahara desert in the South.

ONE OF THE TOP 20 TOURIST DESTINATIONS IN THE WORLD

The landscapes in Morocco are magnificent. Morocco features both sea and mountain and is home to the full range of Mediterranean climates, which surrender to the sands of the Sahara. The country serves up marvellous vistas that you will enjoy soaking in and discovering for yourself. With its mix of diverse, captivating panoramas and a rich kaleidoscope of culture, Morocco is an unbeatable destination. These characteristics give Morocco an aerial fingerprint unlike any other in Africa.

Morocco has become one of the preferred destinations for Tourists, thanks to the 2020 Tourism Vision initiated by His Majesty King Mohammed VI, may God assist Him, which set, amongst others, an objective of making Morocco one of the top 20 tourist destinations in the world.

Though rooted in its traditions, Morocco offers all the conveniences of modern times. Morocco is a firmly future-focused country that has succeeded in preserving its traditions and promoting its cultural heritage by harnessing them to drive development. The city of Marrakesh is a perfect example: the Medina district and its souks have an unmatched old-fashioned charm, while Guéliz and Hivernage are decked out with the most modern infrastructure and facilities.

Morocco is striving to avoid the pitfalls of modern life, especially when it comes to the environment, by favouring tourism practices that are respectful of the Earth and local communities. As the author of a sustainable tourism charter and host of COP22, Morocco is on the front lines to preserve our planet.

The visitor will enjoy every modern convenience and pleasure. For the accommodations, Morocco is full of hotels in every price range from the major international chains. Plus it also has the biggest international ready-to-wear shops, which are taking advantage of the ideal opportunity for positioning in a fast developing country.

The best approach is to walk through the cities and villages and experience the narrow alleys of ancient neighbourhoods. This brings the visitor close to the people: talk to them! They are certain to invite you to have a cup of Moroccan tea, a time-honored ritual of hospitality and ceremony.

Hospitality in Morocco is legendary and people are more open-minded than ever, besides the Kingdom of Morocco is a safe place to visit characterised by its coexistence, openness and tolerance.

Morocco and its inhabitants espouse an enviable Mediterranean lifestyle that has been recognized by UNESCO. This lifestyle comprises practices, foods and symbols that bring pleasure to every day and are sure to captivate you as well.

The kingdom loves its celebrations, which punctuate the calendar. One of the types of events that bring Moroccans together are its famous moussems, festive events. Do not miss the TanTan moussem, which is especially well known and has been listed on the Intangible Cultural Heritage register since 2008. The Essaouira Gnaouas festival is also highly recommended. These gatherings are opportunities for you to interact with and immerse yourself in the different cultures that make Morocco such a rich, diverse country.

This is but a glimpse of the myriad cultures that still thrive in Morocco. Work your way across the country and get to know these treasures of Morocco’s intangible cultural heritage. A handful of regions that make Morocco such an attractive destination we can mention: Marrakech, Fez, Tangier, Chefchaouen, Rabat, Dakhla, Laayoune, Merzouga, Agadir, Ifrane, Oujda, Casablanca etc.

6 TOP REASONS TO INVEST IN MOROCCO:

Some of the top reasons to invest in Morocco are as follows:

A COMPLETE PACKAGE FOR INVESTORS The kingdom of Morocco is a stable country both economically and politically. The GDP grows continuously and the rate of inflation is very low, hence unlikely to affect the growth of the economy, job creation or consumption. In addition, Morocco has been continuously investing in its infrastructures, such as the high speed train (the first one in Africa), highways, and maritime and airline connections. Furthermore, the kingdom has several sectoral development strategies that provide investors with clarity and are testament to the government’s push for improved efficiency and profitability in key sectors such as industry, tourism and energy, to name a few. For example, the Industrial Acceleration Plan offers investors tailor-made incentives depending on their activity, the size of their investment and job creation. These measures have helped Morocco develop many competitive industries, in particular the automotive sector, which now gathers some 230 international companies employing approximately 92,000 people, with a total export turnover of $3.4 billion in 2017.

Ideally located 14 km from Spain, Morocco has used this advantage to be the regional manufacturing and export base for many international companies. It is also a gateway to Africa and many of its leading companies are operating in the continent in various sectors such as banking, insurance, airlines, and phosphates.

Morocco is an open economy and companies established here can benefit from 55 free trade agreements giving them access to over 1.6 billion consumers worldwide.

Finally, one of the kingdom’s main assets lies in its youth, which is educated and trained in our various universities and specialised training centres established through publicprivate partnerships. Actually, there are six top reasons to invest in Morocco:

  1. The most attractive African country for foreign investors: Morocco benefits from solid macroeconomic fundamentals, continuous growth in GDP drivenby internal demand and public investment, plus a modern legal and regulatory framework. By lightening tax, financial and administrative burdens for investors, as well as increasing protections for their investments, it now offers an exceptionally competitive and business-friendly environment.
  2. The regional hub for exports: The Kingdom of Morocco is at the geographical crossroads of Europe, the US, Africa and the MiddleEast, and has agreements with diverse countries and regional bodies (including the European Union and the US) that provide exporters based in Morocco with free-trade access to over one billion consumers.
  3. Advanced infrastructure that is unmatched in Africa World-class infrastructure ensures optimal connections within Morocco and internationally. Morocco’s telecommunications, road, rail, airport and seaport networks are constantly being expanded, and it already boasts Africa’s biggest port and largest airport hub. This focus on high-quality infrastructure extends to its numerous general and sector-specific industrial parks and special economic zones.
  4. A highly skilled, young and competitively costed workforce: Over 64% of Moroccan citizens are under 34 and they are well educated. More than 124 universities and public schools generate at least 40,000 graduates every year, while 356 vocational institutions train over 410,000 students. In addition to being qualified, the competitively costed workforce has language skills, cultural openness, and a commitment to innovation and entrepreneurship.
  5. An attractive set of tailor-made incentives for investors: Strategic sector-based plans have been launched to attract the private sector. These envisage significant investments in mining, liquefied natural gas, modern farming, tourism, digital technology and renewable energy. In addition, an industrial acceleration plan backed by a $2-billion public fund aims to boost industry in the country.
  6. One of the best places in the world to visit: Morocco combines its modernity with a rich cultural heritage. It is home to many internationally-renowned arts and music festivals, as well as one of the world’s most popular cuisines. The country also provides the opportunity to indulge in a wide range of experiences, from sports, mountain hiking and camel safaris, to shopping in bustling bazaars and relaxing on stunning beaches.

DEEPLY ROOTED IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

Morocco plays, thanks to its geostrategic position, the role of a trade and investment hub for Africa. It serves as a bridge between the Maghreb, West Africa and the rest of the continent.

The economic strategy developed under the leadership of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, towards the African continent, makes Morocco as a regional hub in other various key areas, including food security, infrastructure and renewable energy.

Moreover, Morocco is the largest investor in the West African region, in key sectors such as infrastructure, housing, electricity, fisheries, health, transport, banking and insurance, among others.

Morocco is contributing effectively to “green revolution” in Africa. In terms of food security, the Office Chérifien des Phosphates (OCP), the world’s largest phosphate exporter, launched several major projects in Africa.