Morocco Profile: Investment and Trade Trends
★ Foreign Investment and Foreign Trade ★ Morocco has ratified 72 investment treaties for the promotion and protection of investments and 62 economic agreements – including with the United States and most EU nations – that aim to eliminate the double taxation of income or gains. Morocco is the only country on the African continent with a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the United States, eliminating tariffs on more than 95 percent of qualifying consumer and industrial goods.
Morocco’s Investment and Export Development Agency (AMDIE) ★ is the national agency responsible for the development and promotion of investments and exports. Following the reform to the law governing the country’s Regional Investment Centers (CRIs) in 2019, each of the 12 regions is empowered to lead their own investment promotion efforts. The CRI websites aggregate relevant information for interested investors and include investment maps, procedures for creating a business, production costs, applicable laws and regulations, and general business climate information, among other investment services.
The International Finance Corporation recognizes Morocco as a top market reformer in the Middle East and North Africa. The nation has emerged as a commercial hub as a result of its economic reforms, investment incentives, competitive costs of production, modern banking processes, strong laws to protect intellectual property, and proximity to major markets. Morocco has a Free Trade Agreement with the United States and an Association Agreement with the European Union (EU).These agreements attract traders looking to enter Morocco, the world’s largest markets (such as the EU and the United States), and the world’s fastest growing markets (e.g., Africa). The U.S. – Morocco Free Trade Agreement entered into force in January 2006, eliminating duties on more than 95 percent of all goods and services, and U.S. exports have grown dramatically since then.
As the United States was struggling in its battle for independence from Great Britain, Sultan Mohammed III of Morocco was among the first heads of state in the world to grant American ships port access. By royal decree in 1777, Sultan Mohammed III provided the Americans with an economic ally and began what would become the longest unbroken diplomatic relationship in the history of the United States. With the more contemporary 2006 free trade agreement causing an increase in American and Moroccan exports from $481 million to $3.5 billion and $446 million to $1.6 billion
(Source: United States Department of State 2020 and Dylan Patrick: American Foreign Direct Investment in Morocco: How Can We Help? University of Nebraska – Lincoln
China ★ 1 Jan 2022
Said El Mansour Cherkaoui Articles on USA – Morocco Trade Relations 16 Nov 2021In “California”
The Investment Charter, Law 18-95 of October 1995, is the current foundational Moroccan text governing investment and applies to both domestic and foreign investment (direct and portfolio).
Morocco Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) increased by 1.2 USD bn in June 2022, compared with an increase of 416.3 USD mn in the previous quarter. Morocco Foreign Direct Investment: USD mn net flows data is updated quarterly, available from Mar 2014 to Jun 2022.
According to data from the country’s foreign trade watchdog, the Exchange Office (OE), Morocco welcomed MAD 6.3 billion ($578 million) in investments from the US in the first half of 2022, compared to MAD 5.6 billion ($513.7 million) from France.
For the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development’s (UNCTAD) World Investment Report 2020 , Morocco attracted the eighth most foreign direct investment (FDI) in Africa. Following a record year in 2018 where Morocco attracted $3.6 billion in FDI, inbound FDI dropped by 55 percent to $1.6 billion in 2019. Despite the global COVID-19 pandemic, FDI inflows to Morocco remained largely stable totaling $1.7 billion in 2020, according to the Moroccan Foreign Exchange Office, a slight increase of one percent from the previous year. France, the UAE, and Spain hold a majority of FDI stocks. Manufacturing has the highest share of FDI stocks, followed by real estate, trade, tourism, and transportation. Morocco continues to orient itself as the “gateway to Africa” for international investors following Morocco’s return to the African Union in January 2017 and the launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) in March 2018, which entered into force in 2021.
In June 2019, Morocco opened an extension of the Tangier-Med commercial shipping port, making it the largest in the Mediterranean and the largest in Africa. Tangier is connected to Morocco’s political capital in Rabat and commercial hub in Casablanca by Africa’s first high-speed train service. Morocco continues to climb in the World Bank’s Doing Business index, rising to 53rd place in 2020, rising on the list by 75 places over the last decade. Despite the significant improvements in its business environment and infrastructure, high rates of unemployment, weak intellectual property rights protections, inefficient government bureaucracy, and the slow pace of regulatory reform remain challenges.
Morocco has ratified 72 investment treaties for the promotion and protection of investments and 62 economic agreements, including with the United States and most EU nations, that aim to eliminate the double taxation of income or gains. Morocco is the only country on the African continent with a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the United States, eliminating tariffs on more than 95 percent of qualifying consumer and industrial goods.
The Government of Morocco plans to phase out tariffs for some products through 2030. The FTA supports Morocco’s goals to develop as a regional financial and trade hub, providing opportunities for the localization of services and the finishing and re-export of goods to markets in Africa, Europe, and the Middle East.
Since the U.S.-Morocco FTA came into effect bilateral trade in goods has grown nearly five-fold. The U.S. and Moroccan governments work closely to increase trade and investment through high-level consultations, bilateral dialogue, and other forums to inform U.S. businesses of investment opportunities and strengthen business-to-business ties.
Trade of United States, California with Morocco
The Moroccan-American friendship up-to-this date  has lasted
USA and Morocco: Trade Profile
Dr. Said El Mansour Cherkaoui has organized several trade missions in California, North and Sub Saharan Africa, China, France and Spain. Similarly, he has contributed in the setting of trade relations within the scope of the US – Morocco Free Trade Agreement (MAFTA). Dr. Cherkaoui’s profile can be accessed at this link: https://www.linkedin.com/in/drsaidcherkaoui/ Morocco Background The… Read More USA and Morocco: Trade Profile
Morocco and United States Trade Relations
Morocco is located in Northwestern Africa and is slightly geographically larger than California. The capital of Morocco is Rabat, which is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean. Morocco has a population of 34.37 million people and a gross domestic product (GDP) of $100.6 billion. Due to its proximity to Europe along the strategic location as a gateway to Africa, Morocco has created strong trade relationships and promotes an open market economy. In 2015, the US had $304 million in foreign direct investment (FDI) in Morocco.
The United States is the fourth largest importer of Moroccan goods.
In 2016, the US imported roughly $1 billion worth of goods from Morocco. The largest category of imported goods was chemicals, which made up 36.8% or $375 million of the total. Other imports from Morocco included food manufactures, apparel manufacturing products, and transportation equipment. In the same year, the United States exported $1.86 billion worth of goods to Morocco, which was an increase from the previous year. In the same year, the United States exported $1.86 billion worth of goods to Morocco, which was an increase from the previous year .
The main exports to Morocco were transportation equipment (31.6%), agricultural products (15%), and petroleum and coal products (8.7%). Export data pulled from the International Trade Administration (ITA) shows that average US exports to Morocco have more than tripled since the US-Morocco Free Trade Agreement (FTA) went into effect just over a decade ago.
President George W. Bush signed the FTA, the first US free trade agreement with an African country, exactly twelve years ago today; and the agreement went into effect on January 1, 2006.
In the three years before the FTA (2003-2005), US exports to Morocco averaged $482 million; in the past three years (2013-2015), they increased 328 percent to $2.1 billion.
At the state level, Texas claims the spot as the top exporter to Morocco, both in 2015 and on average over the past three years, exporting $510 and $710 million worth of goods, respectively. Other top state exporters when looking at three-year averages include Louisiana, West Virginia, Washington, and California in descending order; considering only 2015, Washington, Louisiana, Virginia and California rounded out the top five following Texas.
When looking at sheer growth in exports since before the FTA, other states emerge as winners. Nevada experienced the biggest boost in exports at a nearly 13,000% increase; Idaho’s exports increased by nearly 11,000%; Montana’s by just over 10,000%; New Mexico by nearly 4,500%; and West Virginia by just under 4,000%.
Morocco has been doing everything right to strengthen and diversify its economy,” said former US Ambassador to Morocco Edward M. Gabriel. “Choosing Morocco as the US’s first FTA beneficiary in Africa was a smart move, and I believe the US will continue benefiting from this strong relationship for years to come.
”Here below, you will found presentations on the California – Morocco Trade and the MAFTA – Morocco Free Trade Agreement with the United States including investment opportunities in Morocco.
With an annual Gross Domestic Product growth rate of nearly five percent over the past five years, Morocco’s recent economic history is one of macroeconomic stability and low inflation, despite the challenges of the Arab Spring. In the World Bank’s 2017 Doing Business report, Morocco’s rating improved to 69th in the world.Morocco is conveniently located for investors who are interested in exporting to Europe and Africa. Moreover, the availability of skilled and competitive labor at lower costs, relative to Europe, is a key factor in attracting automakers to Morocco. These automakers are also eligible for tax exemptions for 25 years, provided that most of the production is destined for export.“
The interests of Renault in Morocco remains the control of the Moroccan automobile market, the availability of very-affordable and relatively well-educated workforce and the bridge to Europe and the Gateway to Africa and Middle East that Morocco provide through its strategic geographical location. Additional benefits can be also the unique opportunities that are offered by the operation of Tangier. Renault is currently the dominant company in the Moroccan automotive market. The Dacia and Renault brands, owned and operated by Renault, represent respectively 20% and 17% of the market. Renault is already operating a plant in Casablanca and the increased production of this new plant will allow the company to maintain its market share as the Moroccan automotive industry grows.” (Said El Mansour Cherkaoui)
Morocco Tourism Investment Road Show to the U.S.
WHEN: January 25, 2018 – January 26, 2018 all-day – WHERE: Los Angeles, CA – USA
The Morocco Free Trade Agreement (MAFTA)
The Morocco Free Trade Agreement (MAFTA) went into effect on January 1, 2006. Under the agreement most Moroccan goods enter the United States duty free and virtually all will enter free by the time it is fully implemented on January 1, 2023. The Morocco FTA does NOT provide a merchandise processing fee (MPF) exemption.
Value proposition: Read more on the attractiveness of Morocco for Foreign Direct Investment
Morocco Free Trade Agreement (MAFTA)
Information for U.S. Exporters is available through the Department of Commerce at:
The Morocco Free Trade Agreement (MAFTA) went into effect on January 1, 2006. Under the agreement most Moroccan goods enter the United States duty free and virtually all will enter free by the time it is fully implemented on January 1, 2023. The Morocco FTA does NOT provide a merchandise processing fee (MPF) exemption. To learn more about how to claim preference on these goods, select the following:
Morocco Free Trade Agreement Implementation Instructions
This document provides the most relevant information in HTSUS General Notes 27 and 19 CFR Subpart M.
Data Elements for the Morocco FTA Certificate of Origin – Attachment A
This certification can be used by Moroccan producers and exporters, and US importers, when attesting that their goods meet the requirements of the Morocco FTA.
Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) – Morocco FTA General Notes 27
General note, including the General Rules of Origin, Definitions, Value (including Regional Value Content and De Minimis), Sets, Packing and Packaging Materials, Indirect Materials, Record keeping and the all-important Product Specific Rules of Origin
NOTE: On the USITC link, select the “General Notes; General rules of Interpretation; General Statistical Notes,” link, followed by “General Notes 27”.
The following Morocco FTA goods may be subject to a reduced tariff rate quota (TRQ): beef; dairy; dried onions; dried garlic; peanuts; tomato paste, puree and sauce; tobacco; cotton; fabric and apparel.
Click here for an overview of quota. Go to the Commodity Graph Report for current fill levels. Go to the TPL Threshold to Fill List to see almost closed and closed quotas.
The Reconciliation Prototype is unavailable for post-importation Morocco FTA claims because they are not administered under 19 USC 1520(d) but as Post Entry Amendments (PEAs), Post Summary Corrections (PSCs) or Protests (19 USC 1514, 19 CFR 174).
Morocco is also pursuing its own opening economic strategy, developing its trade relations with regional economic communities in Africa .. More to read at this link: Integration of Africa with Morocco
Additional Resources and Regulations:
Trade in Goods with Morocco
U.S.-Morocco Free Trade Agreement Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
- Morocco FTA Text – Complete text of the agreement.
UNITED STATES – MOROCCO FREE TRADE AGREEMENT
- Morocco FTA Regulations
- e-CFR website including: Import Requirements, Filing a Claim, Regional Value Content (RVC) Certification, Post-Importation Refunds, Rules of Origin, Origin Verifications, Transshipment, and Penalties.
- USITC Publication 3721
- Includes the modifications to the HTSUS, the Duty Phase-Out Schedule and other important information.
- Morocco FTA Implementation Act—House Report
- House Report 108-627, United States-Morocco Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, 108th Congress, 2nd Session
- Presidential Proclamation 7971
- Enacts the Morocco FTA; Published in the Federal Register on December 27, 2005.
- Morocco FTA Summaries and Reports
- Made available by the United States Trade Representative (USTR).
Last published: November 16, 2017
Additional information is available at the US Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration and the Department of Justice in Washington, DC., Marketwired (August 17, 2016) and World Bank, BEA.
Editor: Said El Mansour Cherkaoui, Ph.D.
US Aid to Morocco: Olive and Agricultural Products
In 2004, Congress created the Millennium Challenge Corp., a foreign aid agency headed by the secretary of state, to help developing countries reduce poverty. Since its inception, the agency has authorized grants totaling more than $7 billion to help 23 African and Latin American countries.
In 2007 the agency agreed to give Morocco $697.5 million over five years to improve the country’s employment rate and salaries by investing in its fruit-tree farms, small-scale fisheries and artisan crafts, according to Millennium. Nearly half of that money – $320 million – is earmarked for the Fruit Tree Productivity Project, with 80 percent of the cash going to olives and the rest to improve date, fig and almond production. Dates, figs and almonds are also key California crops.
U.S. aid to Morocco worries California olive farmers
September 18, 2011 | Stacy Finz
Patrick Fine, who oversees such agreements as Millennium’s vice president of compact operations, said he does not believe that the investment in Morocco will harm California producers. … Not meeting demand “I …
Patrick Fine, who oversees such agreements as Millennium’s vice president of compact operations, said he does not believe that the investment in Morocco will harm California producers. The project, he said, is designed to help poor rural families increase their incomes and to help develop a strong ally in an important region in the world.