Discusses key economic indicators and trade statistics, which countries are dominant in the market, the U.S. market share, the political situation if relevant, the top reasons why U.S. companies should consider exporting to this country, and other issues that affect trade, e.g., terrorism, currency devaluations, trade agreements.
Last Published: 9/21/2016
Trade Statistics:                                                   Exports                            Imports                            Balance
TOTAL 2015 in USD billions1,608.41,010.5597.9
  • The U.S.A. had a $0.6 billion trade surplus with Morocco in 2015. 
  • Exports to Morocco from the U.S.A. totaled $1.6 billion, led by fuel oil; aircraft and aviation parts; and machinery, falling by 24 percent year on year from 2014. The decrease in large part is due to a reduction in the purchase cost of fuel oil (1 billion USD). 
  • In the same year, Moroccan exports to the U.S. totaled $1 billion, up 2 percent year-on-year, led by fertilizers; electric machinery; agricultural products; phosphates; and apparel (www.census.gov/foreign-trade/balance/c7140.html).
Over the last decade, the Kingdom of Morocco has invested billions of dollars in ports, airports, roads, railways and distribution centers to establish itself as a trade hub.  Its trade agreements with Gulf, Mediterranean and African nations, the United States of America, and the European Union facilitate the movement of goods to and from a variety of countries.  All of these agreements support Morocco’s overarching economic development plan to leverage its location along the Strait of Gibraltar between Spain and Africa to transform the country into a regional hub for North, West and Sub Saharan Africa for shipping, logistics, assembly, production and sales.
 
The commercial capital, Casablanca, is a popular location for regional headquarters, thanks to its strategic location and efficient and secure airport. Casablanca’s Mohammed V International Airport boasts 23 airlines with round the clock flight schedules.  Currently undergoing renovations, the airport is expected to reach more than 20 million passengers annually.  Royal Air Maroc (RAM), the Moroccan national carrier, is headquartered on the grounds of Mohammed V International Airport.  Majority owned by the Moroccan Government, RAM has contributed to the trade hub vision by establishing direct flights to more capital cities in Africa than any other airline, as well as having regular flights to the U.S. and Europe.  
 
The Tanger-Med port complex is strategically located on Africa’s northwest coast near the mouth of the Mediterranean Sea on the Strait of Gibraltar, where the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea meet. Tanger-Med is the second-busiest container port on the African continent after Port Said, Egypt. Major international shipping companies such as Maersk and CFM-CGM are building shipping capacity to take advantage of expected regional growth opportunities.
 
APM Terminals (owned by the Danish shipping group Maersk) will develop a new trans-shipment terminal in Tangier with an annual capacity of five million TEUs (twenty foot equivalent units). The new terminal will become operational in 2019, serving multiple trades and will be the first automated terminal in Africa.
 
The 30-year concession of APM Terminals MedPort Tangier will complement the current operations of the existing APM Terminals Tangier facility and will increase the port’s total annual throughput capacity to over nine million TEUs.
 
The new terminal will assist to further develop Morocco’s aspiration to become a hub for logistics, manufacturing and assembly, particularly in the automotive and aerospace industries which has grown steadily in recent years.
 
Moroccan businesspeople are increasingly developing a more international outlook on doing business, opting to expand their opportunities beyond the historically close relations with French business interests. There is growing recognition within the Government of Morocco (GOM) of the importance of English language training.  This is especially encouraged in the growing travel and tourism sector where more often than not English is the second language of travelers from all over the world.    
 
The U.S.-Moroccan Free Trade Agreement (FTA), signed in 2006, is the only U.S. FTA with an African nation.  The FTA eliminated tariffs on 95 percent of currently traded consumer and industrial goods. Duties on most remaining qualifying products were phased out in 2016.  The FTA provides enhanced protection for U.S. intellectual property, including trademarks and digital copyrights, expanded protection for patents and product approval information and tough penalties for piracy and counterfeiting.  (www.USTR.gov).
 
There are roughly 150 U.S. firms operating in Morocco. Multinationals such as Fruit of the Loom, Kraft, Kohler, DuPont, Lear, and International Paper, as well as smaller companies have established their presence in Morocco in order to export to the European Union. Significant non-U.S. multinationals, including Renault, Veolia, and Bombardier, also maintain operations in Morocco.  Consumer goods companies such as Procter & Gamble, Unilever, and Colgate and pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer, MSD, and Sanofi-Adventis manufacture some products locally and import others for onward distribution to North African nations.  Cargill, Danone, and European agro-industrial companies have also invested heavily in the country.  Chevron, Kosmos, and other oil companies are also exploring for oil off the coast of Morocco, while others pursue new energy opportunities in renewables and Liquid Natural Gas LNG.
 
The local American Chamber of Commerce has close to 300 members, (including Moroccan firms who do business in the US) and is active in developing the U.S. - Morocco bilateral commercial relationship.  AmCham often partners with the U.S. Commercial Service to offer networking functions, educational roundtables, market reports, and other business services.  AmCham is well known for assisting NGO’s and minority-owned businesses.  More information can be found on www.amcham-morocco.com.
 
Morocco has remained a pillar of stability in the region since the advent of the Arab Spring.  The 2011 Constitution laid out a roadmap for political and other reforms that the government has implemented and which are credited for the steady progress in economic and social concerns. 

Prepared by our U.S. Embassies abroad. With its network of 108 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the U.S. Commercial Service trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting http://export.gov/usoffices.



Morocco Trade Development and Promotion