Compared to its oil-exporting allies in the Middle East and North Africa region, in Morocco the economy is far less beholden to the oil price – the ebb and flow of its output being far more closely attuned to its rainfall and agriculture. With the exception of a drought-linked blip in 2016, the country's GDP growth has remained at about 3-4 per cent.
Rabat has launched two flagship policy programmes - the Green Morocco Plan, introduced in 2008, and the National Pact for Industrial Emergence, launched in 2009 - that were both aimed at, on the one hand, safeguarding the agricultural sector in Morocco from climatic fluctuations, and on the other, fostering industry and manufacturing.
The latter plan is also heavily geared towards leveraging Morocco’s strategic location on the Strait of Gibraltar. By aligning its port infrastructure with associated free trade zones and industrial parks, the country will be able to capitalise on global logistics traffic flow, in much the same way as Dubai’s setup at Jebel Ali.
Morocco also has a region-leading renewable energy target that would see 52 per cent of the country’s electricity generated sustainably by 2030.
Rabat’s good fortune is that the stable political environment that is provided by its royal head of state and its pluralistic assembly make it not unlikely that the country will ultimately succeed in its long-term ambitions.
Recent significant oil and gas discoveries in the country also raise a genuine prospect of Morocco one day becoming a future gas exporter.
MORE FROM THIS MONTH'S MOROCCO REPORT
Government & economy: Morocco must perform an economic balancing act
Data bank: September 2018
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