Morocco Aims to Substitute $3.7 Billion in Imports With Local Products

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Rabat – Morocco is looking to substitute MAD 34 billion ($3.7 billion) worth of imports with local products, Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani said Monday. 

The plan is part of a larger goal to strengthen the national economic fabric, Morocco’s state media reported. 

While discussing policy in light of the pandemic’s evolution at the House of Representatives, El Othmani said his focus is to ensure Morocco’s markets prioritize local products. 

The substitution plan targets key sectors, he added. With increased local production, Morocco could also begin to export more of its products and consolidate its positioning in the international market.

El Othmani said the plan is set to target the textile, transport, mechanical, metal, plastics, electrical, electronic, food, and semi-chemical sectors, among others. As well, the Moroccan government intends to provide “the necessary support to entrepreneurs” to build on the “Made-in-Morocco” momentum the pandemic inspired. 

Read also: Minister: Morocco Must Prioritize Local Production Over Imports

Investing in renewable energies is a key component of the substitution plan. 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.

Renewable energy is also important in the short-term, 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. 

Morocco’s plans for COVID-19 recovery

El Othmani went on to present the measures of the national economic recovery plan.

The 2021 Finance Bill includes a series of fiscal, customs, financial, and other measures aimed at reviving the national economy and promoting employment, he said.

He emphasized that the 2021 budget allocated for public investment is set at an unprecedented level. It has increased by 26% from 2020 levels, reaching MAD 230 billion ($25.12 billion). 

The health sector budget in 2021 will amount to approximately MAD 23 billion ($2.5 billion), representing 7% of the overall state budget. 

Morocco is also set to expand its social protection system, particularly by generalizing compulsory health coverage for the benefit of an additional 22 million Moroccans. El Othmani said that the government agreed to create some 40,000 public employment posts.

Along with health and economic priorities, the Moroccan government is keen to support social sectors and meet the needs of all citizens. Similar to public investment, the education budget should also see an unprecedented increase between 2020 and 2021, El Othmani said.

The Moroccan government appears confident in its ability to heed King Mohammed VI’s Throne Day calls to prioritize the needs of the Moroccan people. With concrete plans to improve public investment, education, and health, and a renewed vigor for local industry, Morocco’s economic outlook post-COVID-19 looks positive. 

Read also: Morocco to Expand Local Industry, Save $4.5 Billion in Imports

Source: moroccoworldnews.com