France continued to be Morocco’s biggest trading partner in 2012, with trade between the two countries running at €8.0 billion.
France is Morocco’s biggest customer, accounting for 22.6% of Morocco’s exports in 2012, despite a steady decline in recent years. Moroccan exports to France consist primarily of textiles, electrical and electronic components and agrifood products.
France lost ground in its exports to Morocco in 2012, slipping to second biggest supplier to the Kingdom (with a 12.5% share of the market) and conceding first place to Spain (12.9%). Despite steady growth in export volumes, France’s share of the Moroccan market has been declining since 2000 as a result of the opening up of the country’s markets, a move that has proved of considerable benefit to emerging nations (China became Morocco’s third biggest supplier in 2009).
The growth of tourism and the scale of capital transfers from France proved to be the key factors characterising economic relations between France and Morocco in the first decade of the new millennium.
France is the leading source of capital transfers by Moroccans living abroad (MLA), originating transfers of €2.1 billion to Morocco in 2011, 40% of all MLA transfers. France also represents the biggest single source of tourists to Morocco (3.3 million visitors in 2011, 35% of all arrivals), generating estimated revenue of €1.7 billion. Capital transfers from France thus have a crucial impact on Morocco’s balance of trade, partially offsetting the country’s growing trade deficit.
France also continues to be the leading foreign investor in Morocco.
France’s direct investment in Morocco in 2012 amounted to €919 million and France holds 51% of the total stock of FDI in Morocco. Morocco, China and India are the three biggest recipients of France’s FDI. The new Renault-Nissan plant in Tangiers is likely to generate a substantial flow of French FDI over the next few years, in the light of the direct investment plans announced by the company (between €600 million and €1 billion) and the likely investment by subcontractors.
Some 750 subsidiaries of French companies in Morocco employ a workforce of over 80,000. There are also countless Moroccan companies run by French entrepreneurs or financed by French capital. Most of France’s leading multinational groups have a presence in Morocco (36 of the CAC 40 companies, including Total, Vivendi Universal, Suez, EDF, Renault, Saint Gobain, Veolia, Casino, Alcatel, Alstom, Aventis, Bouygues, EADS, Vinci, BNP Paribas, Société Générale, Crédit Agricole, Axa, etc.), but SMEs are also becoming increasingly active.
AFD commitments to Morocco over the 2010-2012 period totalled €1 billion and concessional funding (soft loans) was increased to at least €600 million.
Updated on : 11.04.13