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Investment Opportunities and Business Climate in Morocco

Why Morocco

Despite the many instabilities that are affecting the majority of its neighbours, Morocco is fast becoming one of the best emerging markets for investment. Over the last decade, Morocco has witnessed an accelerated process of political, economic and social reforms, and its steady economic growth and strategic geographic position make it an investment opportunity well worth considering.

Cost Competitiveness

  • Low wages – the average monthly wage is US$400
  • Export incentives.

 World Class Infrastructure

 According to the Global Competitiveness Report 2015-2016 by World Economic Forum, Morocco has the best infrastructure in North Africa, ranked 3rd on the African continent and 6th in the Arab world.

  • Highways: Morocco has made major steps forward in extending its highway network. It has already reached 1800 km, and is expected to reach 3000 km by 2020.
  • Ports: Casablanca is the largest port in the country, followed by Tanger-Med, which is the largest on the Mediterranean coast of Africa in terms of capacity. With a capacity of 8 million containers in 2017, it acts as a trans-shipment hub, offering an ideal platform for serving Europe and the countries of West Africa.
  • Airports: There are 18 international airports, including Casablanca airport – one of the largest in Africa.
  • Airlines: Royal Air Maroc group, the most important Moroccan airline, is the second largest in Africa.
  • Railway: Morocco is a leader in Africa in terms of rail infrastructure, ranked 1st on the African continent and 33rd globally, according to World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2015-2016.
  • Trains: Morocco is the first African country to adopt a high-speed train (TGV). Proven returns on investment.

Proven returns on Investment

Morocco is an attractive country for foreign investors. The country has demonstrated excellent performance over the past few years and was ranked the second most FDI-attractive destination in 2016, when 12% of FDI projects were initiated in Africa due to its mature market and investor-oriented strategies. France, the second largest investor in Africa, considers Morocco its ‘favorite destination for FDI’: in 2016, 27% of French projects launched in Africa were located in Morocco

Strong Economic Growth

Morocco has witnessed a fast- growing economy and an accelerated process of political, economic and social reforms. Its steady economic growth makes it an investment opportunity well worth considering and the target of several foreign investors.

Stable Government

Morocco is the safest and most stable country in the MENA region for investors, having escaped the impact of the so-called ‘Arab spring’ which has seen a sharp rise in political instability, security problems and social unrest among Morocco’s North African neighbours and other Arab countries over the past 6years. Unaffected by this turmoil, Morocco has clearly maintained its economic and political stability, giving it a competitive advantage. Morocco has also distinguished itself through its proactive focus and communication policy that works to integrate and involve the public in the fight against terrorism

Linguistic diversity

Morocco’s strategic position at the crossroads of Greater Maghreb Europe and the rest of the African continent has contributed to its complex multilingual profile:

  • Arabic is the country’s official language, widely used in formal settings.
  • French is still widely spoken in Morocco. It is used as the second prominent official language behind Arabic (10 million speakers) – mainly for business, education, economy and many official and government purposes.
  • English is now being taught in schools from Year 4. It has become increasingly important and popular in all domains of life in Morocco, including economics, politics, tourism, education and employment.
  • Spanish is commonly spoken in northern Morocco, which is close to Spain.

Fishing

With two seafronts – on the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean – Morocco has the largest fish market in Africa. Its western coastline is exceptionally rich in sardines, bonito and tuna; Morocco is the largest canned sardine exporter in the world.

Tourism

One of the main economic drivers in Morocco, tourism represents the third leading sector after agriculture and industry.

The Moroccan government has implemented two strategic plans, ‘Vision 2010’ and ‘Vision 2020’, to boost the sector. Vision 2020 plans to double the size of the sector to reach 20 million visitors and establish Morocco as one of the top destinations worldwide.

What are the Government measures to motivate or restrict investment in Morocco?

The new investment charter which was introduced in July 2016 as part of Law 60-16, and replacing a previous charter implemented in 1995, creates free-trade zones in each of the 12 regions of the country, recognizes indirect exporter status and creates incentives for export-oriented and industrial companies.

WHO CAN BUY PROPERTY IN MOROCCO?

  • Investors, Residents, Foreigners…The real estate market is fluid and open. Everyone can own property in Morocco, no need for a local sponsor.

Where to buy property in Morocco is probably a question you’ve asked yourself if you’ve visited or seen pictures of this beautiful country. Its proximity to Europe and its good climate all year round, along with a diverse culture, rich history and world famous cuisine, make Morocco an ideal place to buy property. Whether as personal retreat or for investment purpose often the big question is: where to buy property in Morocco?

If you are looking to buy property as an investment either as a guesthouse, hotel or rental income it would be wise to consider properties in cities like Marrakech, Fes, Chefchaouen, Essaouira or Ouarzazate. Although geographically apart, they are all nearly mandatory in any decent tour of the country assuring a constant stream of clients if you play your cards right.

If, however, you are looking to have your own private home for settling or enjoying your holidays in Morocco the choices are wider. If you require sea breeze and a climate with little variations all year round, then definitely you should consider buying in Tangiers, Rabat, Casablanca, El Jadida, Essaouira or Agadir.

Rabat and Casablanca are also major cities with plenty of cultural offer, restaurants and night life if that is a requirement of yours. And speaking of cities famous for their hustle and bustle, consider Marrakech, the tourism capital of the country, with a wonderful mix of ancient and modern.

WHAT IS THE PROCEDURE I SHOULD FOLLOW  TO BUY A PROPERTY

First of all, you should open a banking account in Dirham convertible. This procedure will allow you to transfer money from a foreign account to Morocco and to guarantee you can export the proceeds in case of resale.

  • Sales in Morocco must be executed before a public notary to ensure your rights are protected.
  • By law, the purchase fees will be paid by the buyer; they include registration and notary fees

 Tax system

A simple and modern tax system for your projects, the Moroccan tax system through its simplification, rationalization and modernization, was the main subject in the framework of the General Code of taxes (CGI). Its main tax components are:

  • Revenues tax (IR) which concerns revenues and benefits of people or legal persons.
  • Corporate taxes (IS) which concerns revenues and benefits realized by the companies and other legal persons.
  • Value added tax (TVA) which applies on the consuming expenditure.
  • Registration fees and stamp.

Also, and in order to encourage investments and promote certain sectors, the actual legislative proposal concerning tax incentives provides tax exemptions concerning common law and policy matters. Download General Code of taxes.

Revenues tax (IR)

IR applies to revenues and profits of persons and legal persons who did not opt for the IS.
The concerned revenues are:

  • Income revenues;
  • Business revenues;
  • Estate income and profits;
  • Capital outflows;
  • Agricultural revenues (exempted from IR and IS until 31/12/2013)

Rates of IR

To count from 1 January 2010, the calculation method of IR is between 0% and 38%

Income ranges (in DH) Rates
0 – 30.000 0%
30.001 – 50.000 10%
50.001 – 60.000 20%
60.001 – 80.000 30%
80.001 – 180.000 34%
Beyond 180.000 38%

Also, certain rates and partial or total exemptions are intended for certain products and compensations.

Corporate tax (IS)

IS inevitably applies to revenues and profits of corporations of capitals, public institutions and other legal persons who execute lucrative transactions, and on irrevocable option to partnerships.

Rate of IS

  • 30%: Normal rate
  • 37%: Fixed rate for the credit institutions, BAM, CDG, insurance and reinsurance companies and credit-bail companies
  • Specific rates: Also, specific rates and partials or total exemptions are intended for certain products and compensations

Added Value tax (TVA)

  • TVA applies to industrial, artisanal and commercial activities, to liberal professions, as well as import operation.
  • Retailers are obligatory taxable when the turnover (CA) accomplished during the year exceeds or is equal to 2.000.000 DH.
  • Rate of TVA

There are three types put into force:

  1. A normal rate of 20%
  2. Reduced rates of 7% for certain products largely consumed, of 10% on certain alimentary products, drinks, hotel industry namely, and of 14% for other products
  3. Specific rates
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