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: 11/9/2017
Since the advent of the Arab Spring, in comparison to its neighbors, Morocco has remained stable, introducing a reform framework to address the concerns of Moroccan demonstrators.  This culminated in the 2011 Constitution, which the Moroccan Government has continued to implement in 2016.  The Constitution, combined with Morocco’s emphasis on developing industrial clusters, are credited in assessing the country’s economic and social concerns.
Trade Statistics:Exports to MoroccoImports from MoroccoBalance
TOTAL 2016 in USD billions1.9321.0210,911
The United States had a $0.9 billion trade surplus with Morocco in 2016 up 48% from the previous year.  Morocco is the 26th largest trading partner for the United States. Exports to Morocco from the United States totaled $1.9 billion, led by aircraft and aviation parts; fuel oil; cereals and animal feed.  This is up 19 percent since 2015.  The increase is due in large part to the delivery of three dreamliners to Royal Air Maroc (RAM) and an increase in the purchase price of fuel oil. 

In 2016, Moroccan exports to the United States totaled USD 1 billion, up 1 percent year-on-year, led by fertilizers; electric machinery; apparel; agricultural products; other mined products; and fish.

To meet the domestic demand for infrastructure, during 2010 to 2015 Morocco invested more than USD 15 billion in its transportation infrastructure, building roads, highways, ports, and other transportation services.  This infrastructure development supports 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.  Morocco’s status as a trade hub is bolstered by its trade agreements with Persian Gulf, Mediterranean and African nations, the United States of America, and the European Union. Morocco currently has duty free access to a market of 55 countries representing more than one billion consumers and 60 percent of world GDP.
Morocco’s 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 welcome more than 20 million passengers annually when complete.  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 United States 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 increasing 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 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 support Morocco’s aspiration to become a regional hub for logistics, manufacturing and assembly, particularly in the automotive and aerospace industries which have 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.

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 Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. 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 exploring for oil off the coast of Morocco, while others pursue new energy 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 bilateral commercial relationship.  The 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 NGOs and minority-owned businesses.

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