Youssef Amrani at the Africa Investment Forum- “Invest In Morocco”

Speech of Ambassador Youssef Amrani at the Africa Investment Forum- “Invest In Morocco”

Ladies and Gentlemen’s, Honorable Guest

I am delighted to chair this very important session ‘‘Invest in Morocco” and on behalf of the Moroccan delegation I wish to extend to all of you my warmest welcome.

I would also like to extend my sincere gratitude to The African Development Bank Group for the much appreciated opportunities given to my country to hold this session and for the amazing and outstanding work they have done to organize this African Investment Forum.

After the holding of the South Africa Investment Conference last week, I believe that our gathering today provides us, yet again, with an opportunity to reflect on ways and means to advance in our common ambition of a greater, more sustainable and more inclusive international frame of cooperation and trade.

There is no doubt that Africa and the African countries are certainly called upon to play major roles in this process, as we are advancing a long way in the path of our emergence.

It is to be emphasized that Morocco and South Africa make no exception. We have been growing converging views, similarities in the challenges we are facing and the same ambitions for the continent. Indeed All the ingredients are there for our two countries to work together and promote at the bilateral and continental level, principles of open economy, shared prosperity and solidarity.

In Fact, H.M. the King Mohammed VI and the President Cyril Ramaphosa have in common this defined ambitious vision for the Continent, which is based on the co-development principle and an unwavering commitment.

Ladies and Gentlemen’s, Honorable Guest

Today, Morocco is a leading destination for FDI in the Middle East and North Africa region due to its vibrant emerging market, exceptional geographical position, diversified economy, young and eager labor force, and excellent quality of life and much more.

I am sure that my colleagues will provide you with a deeper and larger understanding of all these aspects of our strategy.

What I want to emphasize on, is that all these exemplary results were certainly not achieved by accident. Indeed, Morocco has undertaken continuous efforts and reforms to setup a conductive and competitive business environment for foreign companies.

This relevant and global strategy is rooted in solid fundamentals and principles:

  • A clear vision: Morocco is resolutely committed in a policy that seeks to make domestic and foreign investment a strategic support for the economic and social growth through the implementation of institutional, economic, legislative and regulatory measures. Morocco was, and remains, fully compliant with international finance standards and has a highly developed legal framework that ensures investors and their investments are protected.
  • Institutional, political and macroeconomic stability: under the leadership of his Majesty the King, Morocco has indeed achieved significant democratic progress with a number of political and constitutional reforms strengthening the rule of law, expanding political pluralism, reinforcing the moralization of public life. All these combined offer a suitable environment for sustainable and socially engaged investments.
  • World-class infrastructure: Modern infrastructure development, such as ports, airports, and rail links, is a top government priority. Morocco has one of the best road systems on the continent. Its railway network includes 800 miles of track, with 120 stations serving passengers as well as freight. Many airport projects are underway and we have more than 27 commercial ports that handle 92.3 million tons annually in merchandise traffic.
  • Growing confidence: The significant jump in foreign direct investment in Morocco confirms the growing confidence of international corporations in the country’s business climate. Morocco is particularly appealing to foreign investment in finance, renewable energy, infrastructure and the automotive industry.

Finlay I would like to share with you example that carries great meaning. Last year largest investment made in Morocco came from an African country namely South Africa who bought Saham, Morocco’s largest insurer, for a $1.2 billion deal.

An interesting story, Sanlam started in Cape Town 101 years ago and started expanding outside of South Africa. SAHAM started in Casablanca and had a similar vision to expand south and today we have a combined company with a presence in 33 countries.

Sanlam started its partnership in 2016, and has since spent circa US$ 2.0 billion in acquiring 100% of SAHAM Finances making it the single biggest investment by Sanlam. In addition, it was the biggest transaction in Morocco and South Africa in the financial sector in 2018.

The transaction is an example that should be followed in terms of cooperation and development between SA and Morocco. The successful integration encourages us all to redouble our efforts in order to build economic cooperation between our nations that will result in sustainable progress for our two countries.

Today we are convinced that the economic cooperation between our countries can continue to and be extended to other sectors of the economy.

Thank You.