Morocco sets eye on local industry expansion to save billions spent on imports

Morocco sets eye on local industry expansion

MOROCCO – The government of Morocco has announced plans to expand the manufacturing capacity of its local industry in order to save US$4.5 billion currently being spent on imports.

While revealing Morocco’s intentions, the Kingdom’s minister for Industry, Trade, and New Technologies, Mr. Moulay Hafid Elalamy explained that the country imports MAD 43 billion (US$4.5 billion) of products that could be made in Morocco in the upcoming years.

According to the minister of Industry and Trade, with an investment of MAD 22 billion ($2.28 billion), Moroccan industry can meet the domestic demand for some imported products, significantly reducing Morocco’s foreign expenses.

Elalamy further revealed that the country had already come up with business plans and will be soon launching projects that are in line with the county’s vision to reduce its reliance on imported goods.

Elalamy who was discussing his ministry’s post-COVID-19 strategy during a parliamentary session emphasized that while the industry sector is still recovering, it has many opportunities to grasp.

According to him, new opportunities have emerged thanks to the mutating international economic context amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

To drive his message home, Elalamy explained that the crisis made many countries across the globe aware of the particular trade relation they have with China.

Their reliance on one sole partner according to Elalamy made them vulnerable and this has forced many to think about diversifying their suppliers.

This according to the Moroccan minister for Trade and Industry was an opportunity that the Maghreb country would capitalise on for the benefit of its people.

A second mutation, according to the minister, is the increasing cost of labor in China, which would push businesses to look for workforce elsewhere, and this according to Elalamy presented an opportunity for Morocco as well.

Finally, the third mutation is the growing global awareness about climate change and the transition towards clean energies.

“Several countries in Europe have taken the decision to put in place a new tax on imported products—a carbon tax. It is applied to all products manufactured with energies that are not renewable,” Elalamy said.

Thankfully, the Elalamy noted that Morocco had renewable energies and could Marshall them to produce highly competitive products.

The Moroccan minister gave the example of the automotive industry to illustrate Morocco’s efforts to improve its international competitiveness.

Morocco’s automotive industry is only inferior to the Chinese and Indian industries in terms of competitiveness.

He revealed that the country was planning to match India’s competitiveness in the near future and was hoping to replicate such success in other industries so as to reduce its reliance on imports.

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