Morocco - Market Overview MOR - Market Overview
Morocco is a country of approximately 35 million people located on the north-west coast of Africa. Slightly larger than the state of California, its 2018 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was $111.4 billion, which grew approximately 3.3 % over 2018. The 2019 state budget is based around anticipated GDP growth of 3.2 %. The United States had a trade surplus with Morocco in 2018 of approximately $1.3 billion. Goods exported to Morocco from the United States in 2018 totaled $2.9 billion. In 2018, Moroccan exports to the United States totaled $1.5 billion, up 20 % (https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/balance/c7140.html).
The U.S.-Morocco Free Trade Agreement (FTA), signed in 2006, eliminated tariffs on 95 % of currently traded consumer and industrial goods. Duties on most qualifying products were phased out by 2016. The FTA stipulates enhanced protection for U.S. intellectual property, including trademarks and digital copyrights, expanded protection for patents and product approval information, as well as tough penalties for piracy and counterfeiting.
Moroccan businesses have historically strong ties to firms in France, Spain, and other European countries, but are increasingly developing a more international business outlook, creating potential opportunities for U.S. firms. There is growing recognition within the Government of Morocco (GOM) of the importance of English language training, and an increasing number of Moroccan business and government interlocutors speak English, in addition to French and Arabic.
There are roughly 150 U.S. firms operating in Morocco, including multinationals, as well as smaller companies. Consumer goods and pharmaceutical companies manufacture some products locally and import others for onward distribution. The aerospace sector has attracted U.S. investment, concentrated in the Casablanca Midparc economic zone. Agro-industrial companies have also invested heavily in the country. Oil and gas companies hold exploration concessions in Morocco and offshore, while other energy companies are pursuing new opportunities in renewables and liquified natural gas (LNG). The local American Chamber of Commerce has close to 300 members (about half are Moroccan firms who do business with U.S. firms) and is active in developing the U.S. - Morocco commercial relationship.