Morocco to substitute US$3.7B imported goods with local products

MOROCCO – Morocco’s Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani has revealed that the Kingdom is looking to substitute imported goods worth US$3.7 billion (about MAD34 billion) with locally produced products.

The plan according to El Othmani is part of a larger goal to strengthen the national economic fabric, expand local production capabilities, and create more jobs for the country’s population.

The substitution plan targets a number of key sectors where Morocco is believed to have a competitive advantage.

The target sectors according to El Othmani include, textile, transport, mechanical, metal, plastics, electrical, electronic, food, and semi-chemical sectors, among others.

As part of the initiative, Moroccan government intends to provide “the necessary support to entrepreneurs” to build on the “Made-in-Morocco” momentum the pandemic inspired.

In July this year, the Kingdom of Morocco’s moved with urgency and determination to protect the country’s domestic industry from cheap imports by slapping a 36% import tax on all textiles from Turkey.

Morocco’s Administration of Customs and Indirect Taxes, while releasing the new tax directives explained that the protectionist measure also hopes to limit imports of textile products, which have strongly competed with domestic products.

Following intense lobbying from the Turkish government the Moroccan Government Council in October approved an amended free trade agreement, normalizing trade although with new conditions.

The amendment for instance, imposed customs duties, for a five-year period, on certain Turkish industrial products listed in the agreement to reach 90% of the value of products from the most-favored-nation.

Investing in renewable energies is a key component of the substitution plan according to El Othmani.

He underlined the importance of making the country “a carbon-free industrial platform” by using a share of Morocco’s renewables to inexpensively power its industries.

Minister of Energy Aziz Rabbah recently said the country will invest MAD 52 billion ($5.65 billion) into the clean energy sector as part of its goal to produce 52% of its energy through renewable sources by 2030.

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