SOURCE: Moroccan American Center for Policy

Moroccan American Center for Policy

October 27, 2016 11:25 ET

Morocco Rises Two Spots, Continues Leading North Africa in World Bank's Latest "Doing Business" Report

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - October 27, 2016) - Released on Tuesday, the World Bank's 2017 "Doing Business" report ranked Morocco 68 out of 190 countries in ease of doing business -- a two-spot gain since last year -- making it number one in North Africa and fourth overall in the greater Middle East/North Africa region.

The report praised a number of actions taken by Morocco over the past year, including: making "the process of starting a business easier by introducing an online platform to reserve a company name and reducing registration fees"; making "registering property easier by streamlining the property registration process"; strengthening "minority investor protections by clarifying ownership and control structures and by requiring greater corporate transparency"; and reducing "the time for border compliance for importing by further developing its single window system."

Morocco was also among the countries listed that "introduced or improved online procedures," "increased administrative efficiency," "introduced bureau or registry credit scores as a value added service," and "introduced or improved electronic submission and processing of documents for imports."

In a speech delivered to the opening session of the country's newly elected parliament earlier this month, Morocco's King Mohammed VI urged continued reform, saying, "I believe administrative efficiency contributes to promoting development and attracting domestic as well as foreign investment," and noting that "the single window [system] is but one mechanism to address hurdles to investment." In the same speech, the King commended the progress made thus far, "clearly evidenced by the major projects being implemented" in the country.

Just last month, the Kingdom of Morocco and Seattle-based aerospace company Boeing announced plans to establish a Boeing industrial ecosystem in Morocco that will bring 120 Boeing suppliers to the country, create 8,200 skilled jobs, and generate $1 billion in exports. In August, Canadian aerospace manufacturer Bombardier announced plans to move some of its production to Morocco, as well.

The World Bank results echo those of other related indices showing Morocco as a top business destination in the region. The 2016 Bloomberg Innovation Index named Morocco among the 50 most innovative economies in the world, and one of just two such in Africa; while KPMG International and Oxford Economics' 2015 Change Readiness Index (CRI) ranked Morocco as the most "change-ready" country in the Maghreb, with particularly positive results in the category of "enterprise capability."

"Administrative reform has been a cornerstone of Morocco's strategy to improving its business climate. These reports from leading economic analysts clearly demonstrate how successful that strategy has been in building a welcoming environment for investment and entrepreneurial achievement," said former US Ambassador to Morocco Edward M. Gabriel.

The Moroccan American Center for Policy (MACP) is a non-profit organization whose principal mission is to inform opinion makers, government officials, and interested publics in the United States about political and social developments in Morocco and the role being played by the Kingdom of Morocco in broader strategic developments in North Africa, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East.

This material is distributed by the Moroccan American Center for Policy on behalf of the Government of Morocco. Additional information is available at the Department of Justice in Washington, DC.

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