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U.S. Department of State  
Morocco Country Commercial Guide  
Office of the Coordinator for Business Affairs  
  
  
  
                                   MOROCCO  
  
                        FY 1996 COUNTRY COMMERCIAL GUIDE  
  
  
  
This Country Commercial Guide (CCG) presents a comprehensive look at  
Morocco's  
commercial environment through economic, political and market analysis.  
  
The CCGs were established by recommendation of the Trade Promotion  
Coordinating Committee (TPCC), a multi-agency task force, to consolidate  
various reporting documents prepared for the U.S. business community.  
Country Commercial Guides are prepared annually at U.S. Embassies  
through the combined efforts of several U.S. agencies.  
  
  
  
TABLE OF CONTENTS  
  
  
I.     EXECUTIVE SUMMARY  
  
II.    ECONOMIC TRENDS AND OUTLOOK  
  
       - Major Trends and  
Outlook........................................  
       - Principal Growth  
Sectors........................................  
       - Government Role in the  
Economy..................................  
       - Balance of Payments  
situation...................................  
       - Infrastructure  
Situation........................................  
  
III.   POLITICAL ENVIRONMENT  
  
       - Nature of Political Relationship with the United  
States.........  
       - Major Political issues Affecting Business  
Climate...............  
       - Brief Synopsis of Political  
System..............................  
  
IV.    MARKETING U.S. PRODUCTS AND SERVICES  
  
       - Distribution and Sales  
Channels.................................  
       - Use of Agents & Distributors; Finding a  
Partner.................  
       -  
Franchising.....................................................  
       - Direct  
Marketing................................................  
       - Joint  
Ventures/Licensing........................................  
       - Steps to Establishing an Office................................  
       - Selling Factors/Techniques.....................................  
       - Advertising and Trade Promotion................................  
       - Pricing Product................................................  
       - Sales Service/Customer Support.................................  
       - Selling to the Government......................................  
       - Protecting Your Product from IPR Infringement..................  
       - Need for a Local Attorney......................................  
  
V.     LEADING SECTORS FOR U.S.EXPORTS AND INVESTMENT  
  
       - Best Prospects for Non-Agricultural Goods and Services.........  
       - Best Prospects for Agricultural Products.......................  
       - Significant Investment Opportunities...........................  
  
VI.    TRADE REGULATIONS AND STANDARDS  
  
       - Trade Barriers, Tariffs, non-Tariff barriers and Import Taxes..  
       - Trade Liberalization for Key Agricultural Commodities..........  
       - Customs Valuation..............................................  
       - Import Licenses................................................  
       - Export Controls................................................  
       - Import/Export Documentation....................................  
       - Temporary Entry................................................  
       - Labeling, Marketing Requirements...............................  
       - Prohibited Imports.............................................  
       - Standards......................................................  
       - Free Trade Zones/Warehouses....................................  
       - Special Import Provisions......................................  
       - Membership in Free Trade Agreements............................  
  
  
  
  
  
VII.    INVESTMENT CLIMATE  
  
        - Openness to Foreign  
Investment.................................  
        - Conversion and Transfer  
Policies...............................  
        - Expropriation and  
Compensation.................................  
        - Dispute  
Settlement.............................................  
        - Political  
Violence.............................................  
        - Performance  
Requirements/Incentives............................  
        - Right to Private Ownership and  
Establishment...................  
        - Protection of Property  
Rights..................................  
        - Regulatory System: Laws and  
Procedures.........................  
        - Efficient Capital Markets and Portfolio  
Investment.............  
        - Bilateral Investment  
Agreements................................  
        - OPIC and Other Investment Insurance  
Programs...................  
        -  
Labor..........................................................  
        - Foreign Trade Zones/Free  
Ports.................................  
       - Capital Outflow Policy.........................................  
       - Major Foreign Investors........................................  
  
VIII.   TRADE AND PROJECT FINANCING  
  
        - Banking  
System.................................................  
        - Foreign Exchange Controls Affecting  
Trading....................  
        - General Financing  
Availability.................................  
        - How to Finance Exports/Methods of  
Payment......................  
        - Types of Available Export Financing and  
Insurance..............  
        - Project Financing  
Available....................................  
        - List of Banks with Correspondent U.S. Banking  
Arrangements.....  
        - Projects Scheduled for Financing by World Bank and  
AFDB........  
  
IX.     BUSINESS TRAVEL  
  
        - Business  
Customs...............................................  
        - Travel Advisory and  
Visas......................................  
        -  
Holidays.......................................................  
        - Business  
Infrastructure........................................  
  
X.      APPENDICES  
  
        APPENDIX A: Country  
Data.........................................  
        APPENDIX B: Domestic  
Economy.....................................  
        APPENDIX C:  
Trade................................................  
        APPENDIX D: Investment  
Statistics................................  
        APPENDIX E: US and Country  
Contacts..............................  
        APPENDIX F: Market  
Research......................................  
        APPENDIX G: Trade Event  
Schedule.................................  
  
  
  
I. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY  
  
Morocco, a country of 28 million people, the size of Oregon and  
Washington combined, enjoys a healthy commercial environment marked by a  
growing spirit of entrepreneurship and a pragmatic monarchy.  
  
The Moroccan government has pursued an economic reform program supported  
by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank since the  
early 1980's.   
A cautious but generally successful privatization program of over 100  
government entities, including the important energy sector, is helping  
to kick-start interest in financial services and the stock exchange.  
Mobile communications, franchising and even Internet are gaining favor.  
  
The steady, fruitful rains of 1993-1994 however, have surrendered to the  
critical drought of 1995. Wheat, corn, vegetable oil and animal feed  
imports are rising. Water projects, well digging and new irrigation  
technologies are being sought. While Morocco's textile and clothing  
industries bolster the country's other star export earners of phosphate  
and fish, the drought's impact is cutting consumer spending and  
confidence.  
  
Morocco's once healthy foreign exchange reserves seem headed for a fall  
in 1995 as food imports increase sharply. Despite the drought and a drop  
in tourism and workers remittances, many foreign investors view Morocco  
as a  profitable market as investment inflows continue to grow as they  
did in the early 1990's.  
  
Morocco continues to develop further an already market-oriented  
infrastructure. Telecommunications, roads, water distribution and  
private energy production lead the multilateral bank lending programs to  
Morocco. Along with creating more jobs and improving health delivery  
services the government also seems pledged to welding a business  
friendly network onto industrial growth and agrarian abundance. That  
determination is further punctuated by the absence of civil and  
religious unrest as currently seen in Morocco's eastern neighbor,  
Algeria.  
  
While five major Moroccan business groups appear to dominate the  
economy, all having some U.S. business interests, the market has ample  
room for U.S. marketers. Key government and business brokers realize  
Morocco's horizons will be brighter with a more liberal and open  
commercial sector. Over 130 Moroccan firms represent hundreds of U.S.  
products and services. Boeing dominates the government-owned Royal Air  
Maroc. A variety of consumer and industrial products are produced by  
U.S. firms in Morocco.  
  
Hassle factors including contraband and judicial corruption do exist and  
can present serious obstacles. Many of the hassles are really cultural  
glitches and misperceptions due to many U.S. firms failing to gear their  
operations to a smaller market. U.S. firms are advised to provide sales  
and technical documentation in French (modern business operates  
primarily in French), and employ patience, tenacity and personal  
engagement with their Moroccan counterparts. However, as one long time  
Moroccan-based American businessman recently reported, "U.S. products  
and services are quietly changing trade patterns away from the EU into  
direct trade contact with the U.S. parent company. It's slow to change,  
but the trend is there."  
  
  
NOTE:  
  
Country commercial guides are available on the National Trade Data Bank  
on CD-ROM or through the Internet. Please contact STAT-USA at 1-800- 
STAT-USA for more information. To locate country commercial guides via  
the Internet, please use the following world wide web address: WWW.STAT- 
USA.GOV.  CCGS can also be ordered in hard copy or on diskette from the  
National Technical Information Service (NTIS) at 1-800-553-NTIS.  
  
  
II. ECONOMIC TRENDS AND OUTLOOK  
  
  
Major Trends and Outlook  
  
Morocco boasts the largest phosphate reserves in the world, a diverse  
agricultural sector, rich fisheries, a sizeable tourist industry, a  
growing manufacturing sector (especially clothing), and considerable  
inflows of funds from Moroccans working abroad.  The production and  
export of cannabis also play a major role in the Moroccan economy,  
particularly in the north.  Most of Morocco's trade is with Europe, with  
France alone accounting for about a quarter of Morocco's imports and a  
third of its exports.  
  
The Moroccan government has pursued an economic reform program supported  
by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank since the  
early 1980s.  It has restrained government spending, revised the tax  
system, reformed the banking system, followed appropriate monetary  
policies, eased import restrictions, lowered tariffs, and liberalized  
the foreign exchange regime.    
  
The reforms have contributed to rising per capita incomes, lower  
inflation, and narrower fiscal and current account deficits.  While the  
overall trend has been positive, there have been wide year-to-year  
fluctuations in the economy due to exogenous factors such as rainfall  
and conditions in Morocco's export markets.  The economy is expected to  
contract in 1995 due to a sharp fall in cereals production caused by  
inadequate rainfall.  Inflation has been running at about five percent  
in recent years, although it appears to be accelerating.  
  
  
Principal Growth Sectors  
  
Agriculture: Agriculture accounts for between 15 and 20 percent of GDP  
(depending on the harvest) and employs about 40 percent of the  
workforce.  Morocco is a net exporter of fruits and vegetables, and a  
net importer of cereals.  Over 90 percent of agriculture is rain-fed.    
  
Fall cereals (wheat and barley) production is expected to decrease from  
a record 9.2 million metric tons in 1994 to 1.6 million metric tons in  
1995 due to a devastating drought. Production of most other crops was  
also down. Moroccan fruits and vegetables exports face increasing  
difficulties with EU trade barriers.  
  
Fishing: The fishing industry is a key sector of the Moroccan economy,  
employing abut 300,000 people directly and indirectly and accounting for  
nearly USD 500 million in export earnings.  Unlike the 1980s when  
catches, income, and job creation were rising rapidly, growth in the  
fishing sector in the past three years has been modest.  The industry is  
now occupied with two major issues: rising tension with the EU over  
Moroccan efforts to reduce the number of Spanish boats fishing Moroccan  
waters and Moroccan government efforts to strengthen an industry  
suffering from overfishing, diminished investment, lower prices in the  
key Japanese market, and heavy debt incurred in the 1980s.  
  
Industry:  Industrial output rebounded in 1994 thanks largely to strong  
agro-industrial growth attributable to good harvests and increased  
production of phosphate derivatives (e.g. phosphoric acid and  
fertilizer) as a result of increased world demand.  Electricity  
generation grew sharply as new thermal generating capacity came on line  
and hydroelectric production rebounded due to increased rainfall.    
  
Prospects for 1995 are diminished by lower domestic demand resulting  
from the poor harvests.  World market conditions will determine  
developments for Morocco's export industries, notably phosphate  
derivatives, processed agricultural products and clothing.  European  
demand for Moroccan clothing began to increase in 1994.  Most of the  
clothing production is done under subcontract with European companies  
who provide the inputs and receive the finished garments.  
  
Mining:  Morocco has the world's largest phosphate reserves.  The export  
of phosphates and its derivatives account for over a quarter of Moroccan  
exports.  Phosphate production and exports were up in 1994 in line with  
increased demand in world markets, but show signs of slowing in early  
1995.  
  
Morocco's other mineral resources include copper, fluorine, lead,  
barite, and iron.  Globally, Morocco is a significant producer and  
exporter of industrial minerals.  It is also a significant regional  
producer of base metals, primarily for Europe.  Production of zinc,  
lead, copper and silver increased in 1994.  
  
  
Government Role in the Economy  
  
The Moroccan government has reduced its role in the economy over the  
last decade.  In particular, it ceased direct credit and foreign  
exchange allocation, reduced trade barriers, restrained government  
spending and taxes, and embarked on a privatization program.  
  
Monetary Policy: The monetary authorities restrained monetary growth in  
1992 and 1993 through a series of increases in reserve requirements.  It  
eased its monetary policy beginning in late 1993 by lowering the reserve  
requirement.  The money supply accelerated in 1994, although monetary  
growth appears to be slowing in early 1995.  The system of linking bank  
lending rates to banks' cost of funds was changed in 1994 in order to  
lower lending rates, although they remain relatively high.  
  
  
Fiscal Policy: While the Moroccan government has reduced its budget  
deficit over the last decade, it has had increasing difficulty in recent  
years meeting budget targets.  The 1994 budget called for a deficit  
equal to 1.5 percent of GDP, but the actual deficit was over three  
percent of GDP, mainly because revenues were well below projections.   
The deficit would have been even higher were it not for lower-than- 
budgeted capital spending.  The 1995 budget calls for a fiscal deficit  
equal to 2.5 percent of GDP, but the actual deficit will likely be  
higher.    
  
Foreign Exchange: The Moroccan dirham is convertible for all current  
transactions (as defined by the IMF's Article VIII) as well as for some  
capital transactions, notably capital repatriation by foreign investors.   
Foreign exchange is available through the commercial banks on  
presentation of appropriate documents.  The Central Bank sets the  
exchange rate for the dirham against a basket of currencies of its  
principal trading partners.  The rate against the basket has been steady  
since a nine percent devaluation in May 1990, with changes in the rates  
of individual currencies reflecting changes in cross rates.  The dirham  
has therefore appreciated against the dollar during the first half of  
1995 as the dollar has depreciated against many of the other currencies  
in the basket.  
  
Foreign Trade: Morocco gradually reduced barriers to trade over the last  
decade, although the level of protection remains high.  In recent years  
the government replaced quantitative restrictions with tariffs for all  
but a few goods, notably foodstuffs and textiles.  It has postponed  
replacing non-tariff barriers with tariffs on cereals, vegetable oil and  
sugar to July 1, 1995.  In mid-1995 it backtracked on trade  
liberalization by reinstating the need to obtain government  
authorization to import bananas.  
  
Privatization: The 1989 privatization law calling for the privatization  
of 112 firms by the end of 1995 was amended in late 1994 to add two  
additional firms and extend the deadline to the end of 1998.  As of mid- 
1995, the government had sold some or all of its shares in about 30  
entities.    
  
European Union Trade Preference:  Moroccan industrial exports currently  
enjoy essentially free access to the European Union (EU), but many  
agricultural exports are limited by tariff and non-tariff barriers.   
Morocco hopes to obtain better access for its agricultural products in  
exchange for elimination of Moroccan customs duties on EU goods.   
Detailed negotiations are just beginning, and any resulting reduction in  
Moroccan tariffs would likely be phased in over a long transitional  
period.  
  
  
Balance of Payments Situation  
  
Morocco runs a chronic merchandise trade deficit which is generally  
offset by receipts from tourism, workers remittances and foreign  
investment.  Morocco's foreign exchange reserves grew steadily in recent  
years, reaching seven months' worth of merchandise imports by the end of  
1994.  A recent widening of the merchandise trade deficit and falling  
receipts from tourism, workers remittances and foreign investment have  
begun to put pressure on Morocco's foreign exchange reserves, which  
started to fall in early 1995.  Reserves are likely to continue to fall  
in 1995 as imports of cereals increase sharply.  
  
Merchandise Trade: The trade deficit widened in 1994 as both imports and  
exports grew by about seven percent.  The growth in exports was led by a  
ten percent increase in phosphates and phosphate derivatives.   
Agricultural exports also rose thanks to good harvests.  Prospects for  
1995 are for slower growth in exports of phosphates and agricultural  
products, but increased clothing exports.  Most categories of imports  
rose, reflecting the strong economy, but cereal and feed imports fell  
sharply due to increased domestic production.  The situation will likely  
be reversed in 1995, with a large growth in cereals and feed imports and  
little growth in imports of other goods.      
  
Tourism:  Tourism receipts fell slightly in both 1993 and 1994.  The  
decline in receipts accelerated in late 1994 when the Moroccan  
government closed its border with Algeria.    
  
Workers' remittances:  Remittances also fell in both 1993 and 1994,  
reflecting in part the tighter immigration policies in Europe and  
diminishing ties between Moroccans already in Europe and their homeland.  
  
Foreign investment: Foreign investment inflows fell in 1994 following  
several years of large increases, although U.S. investment continued to  
grow in 1994.  Foreign investment will likely grow again in 1995.  
  
Foreign Debt: Morocco's foreign debt burden has declined steadily in  
recent years.  Morocco last rescheduled its Paris Club debt in 1992.   
The current debt service ratio of 30-35 percent of exports of goods and  
non-factor services appears sustainable, and no further rescheduling is  
expected.  
  
  
Infrastructure Situation  
  
Morocco is making the development of its communication and  
transportation networks a top priority.  With many improvements already  
achieved and several projects underway in these two sectors, Morocco's  
infrastructure for the distribution of goods and services is good.  
  
Roads and Highways: Morocco's 50,000 kilometer (km) road network is  
among the best in Africa.  All parts of the country are readily  
accessible by well-surfaced roads.  Most agricultural and manufactured  
goods move by road.  Highways are under construction to relieve traffic   
congestion from Tangier in the North to the main economic and commercial  
city of Casablanca.  Eight hundred kilometers of existing roads are  
currently being improved with financial assistance from the World Bank.  
  
Airports: There are eleven major airports in the country.  The major  
airport "Mohammed V", located 35 km south of Casablanca, offers about  
fifty regular flights per day to Europe, the United States, Canada, The  
Middle East and several African cities.  Merchandise can be transported  
to and from the airport by truck or by train.  
  
The Rail Network: The rail company, the "Office National des Chemins de  
Fer" (ONCF), plays an important role in the Moroccan economy.  It  
employs 13,820 people and operates on some 2,000 km of track.  ONCF  
handles the transportation of phosphates, fertilizers, chemical products  
and other minerals.  Ambitious plans are scheduled (but not funded), to  
modernize and extend the network.  
  
Marine Transportation: There is frequent scheduled ferry service to and  
from Spain and France for tourists.  The port of Casablanca handles 50  
percent of the country's merchandise imports and exports.  There are  
ports throughout the country.  The National Port Authority the "Office  
de Développement et d'Exploitation des Ports" (ODEP) is the managing  
authority.  
  
Telecommunications: The telephone system has been greatly improved in  
the last five years.  It is now possible to call most countries by  
direct dialing.  Telex and telefax communications to most parts of the  
world are widely used.  The use of cellular phones is spreading.  
  
Major Infrastructure Projects Underway: The major infrastructure  
projects currently open to foreign investors include:  
  
1.  Telecommunications  
  
The post and telecommunications company, the "Office National des Postes  
et Télécommunications" (ONPT), is planning to expand and upgrade its  
telephone network.  Two tenders have already been issued to purchase  
fiber optic transmission equipment for urban networks in Rabat, Fez,  
Meknès, Taza, Oujda and Nador and for inter-urban networks.  The first  
project is financed by the European Investment Bank, while the second is  
financed by the World Bank.  There are numerous competitors in the  
telecommunication sector.  The major ones are Alcatel, Bell Canada,  
Northern-Telecom, Siemens, NEC, Nokia, and Ericsson.  
  
2.  Transportation  
  
The Moroccan government continues to extend and improve the 50,000 km  
national road network.  There are projects to construct four new  
highways:  Rabat-Fez (200 km); Casablanca-Marrakech via Settat (200 km);  
Casablanca-El Jadida (60 km) and Tétouan-Ceuta (55 km).  GOM is seeking  
foreign financing to implement these projects.  
  
3.  Power Generation  
  
To satisfy Morocco's growing demand for electricity, the Office National  
de l'Electricite (ONE), has issued tenders to construct two independent  
electric power plants, a 300/600 MW steam thermal power station using  
fuel and gas for the city of Mohammedia and a 300/500 MW combined-cycle  
power station using natural gas for the city of Kénitra.  The total  
value of these two projects is estimated at USD 1.2 billion.  Six U.S.- 
led groups and fifty other foreign companies have submitted preliminary  
bids to build and operate the plants.  
  
4.  Dams  
  
Dams in Morocco are used for hydro-electric power and irrigation of  
agricultural lands.  Morocco plans to construct one dam per year over  
the next several years.  Dam projects to be realized and for which  
studies have already been completed are:  
  
-   Dchar El Oued dam to irrigate 35,000 hectares and produce 220  
million of kwh per years.  
  
-   Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdallah dam improvement to increase storage   
    capacity to 1,300 cubic meters.  
  
-  Hydroelectric power and hydro-agricultural complexes of Haut Sebou  
river, including three dams and two galleries.  
  
-   Two compensating dams for Al Massira dam.  
  
-   Jbel Lakhal dam to irrigate 4,800 hectares.  
  
There are thirteen other large dam construction projects under study.  
  
  
  
III. POLITICAL ENVIRONMENT  
  
Morocco's bilateral ties with the United States date back to 1787 when  
the Sultan of Morocco and the fledgling American republic signed a  
treaty of peace and friendship and established diplomatic relations  
(placing Morocco among the first nations to recognize the independence  
of the United States.)  Since the end of French protectorate in 1956,  
Rabat and Washington have enjoyed close ties.  Morocco's early  
statesmanlike activism in the search of peace in the Middle East, and in  
other peacekeeping activities have made the Kingdom a valuable ally on  
the international stage.  King Hassan II, who ascended the throne in  
March 1961, has enjoyed a warm relationship with a succession of  
American Presidents, including President Clinton whom he visited in  
Washington in March 1995.  
  
Among the major political issues that could affect the business climate  
figures the yet unresolved Western Sahara dispute.  An armed national  
liberation force, the Polisario, based in Algeria, clashed with Moroccan  
troops in the region prior to a UN-brokered ceasefire in 1989.  While a  
UN peacekeeping presence remains in the region, hopes for a permanent  
settlement are pinned on a United Nations Security Council sponsored  
referendum planned for 1996.  Civil unrest and religious violence, which  
continue to plague Morocco's eastern neighbor Algeria, have not spread  
to Morocco.  Islamic extremism has not gained widespread support in  
Morocco, although recent economic strains caused by drought may lead to  
some growth in the Islamic movement.  Cannabis production in northern  
Morocco is a major source of regional income and is a concern to  
Morocco's European neighbors, but has not destabilized the region.  
  
Morocco is a monarchy under the strong leadership of King Hassan.  Its  
Parliament has 333 members, two-thirds of whom are elected directly.   
The remainder are elected by professional and trade organizations, labor  
councils, communal councils and chambers of commerce.  The King selects  
a Prime Minister, who then, in principle, chooses the remaining cabinet  
members.  Morocco's Prime Minister is currently not affiliated with any  
party, neither is the powerful Minister of Interior.  Most of the  
ministers, however, are members of a loyalist coalition of center-right  
political parties.  
  
Morocco is divided into provinces and prefectures, all of which are  
governed by non-elected officials from the Ministry of Interior.  Cities  
and rural communes elect communal councils headed by presidents chosen  
by the council members.  Several of Morocco's larger municipal councils  
elect a President of the Urban Commune, a sort of mayor.  These urban  
communes were recently granted greater budget authority by the Moroccan  
Parliament.  Most local authority, however, remains in the hands of the  
non-elected officials of the Ministry of Interior.  
  
  
  
IV.  MARKETING U.S. PRODUCTS AND SERVICES  
  
Distribution and Sales Channels  
  
Foreign goods are imported mainly through Casablanca by companies that  
distribute either directly to the public or to other wholesalers,  
distributors, or retailers.  Mark-ups can be substantial, although  
current price controls tend to keep them lower for many market staples.   
Goods may also be imported through commission agents for delivery to  
wholesale and retail warehouses or to end-users.  The agent's commission  
usually represents 3-5 percent of the cost, but it can be higher.  
Ordinarily, locally manufactured products are distributed by the  
manufacturer directly to wholesalers, distributors and retailers.  This  
system, driven by strong price competition, eliminates certain middlemen  
and helps to maintain competitive pricing.  Manufacturers' mark-ups  
range between 20 and 30 percent depending on the product; those of  
distributors from 10-25 percent.  
  
Most of the wholesale and retail commercial enterprises in Morocco are  
family-run businesses which perform a variety of commercial roles.  
  
  
Use of Agents/Distributors; Finding a Partner  
  
All foreign manufacturers and exporters are represented in the market  
either through their own affiliate branch office or through authorized  
agent/distributors who import, install and service the equipment. These  
distributors customarily provide total technical support to end users.   
Certain locally registered agent/distributors with long-term  
relationships with foreign manufacturers have contractual arrangements  
with their principals under which the local importers provide in-bond  
warehousing. New-to-market U.S. exporters are urged to consider similar  
agreements.  
  
  
Franchising  
  
In addition to McDonalds and four Pizza Huts, which have had successful  
openings in Morocco, Dairy Queen has also now opened a restaurant in  
Rabat.  A Moroccan franchisee recently signed a contract with Subway  
Sandwiches and intends to sign one with the fast food chain Brennans.   
There appears to be an ample market for additional fast food chains.  
  
Activities offering additional franchising opportunities in Morocco  
include hotels and motels, automotive parts and services, dry cleaning  
business equipment and services. A USAID program continues to be  
successful in helping arrange master franchise agreements between U.S.  
franchisers and local franchisees.    
  
  
Direct Marketing  
  
This selling method is allowed in Morocco. Avon and several other French  
companies employ Moroccans primarily for direct sales of cosmetics and  
household goods.    
  
  
Joint Ventures/Licensing  
  
Moroccans are increasingly interested in joint venture business. There  
are an estimated 1,500 joint ventures in manufacturing with French,  
Spanish and German partners. Licensing is a widely practiced form of  
doing business in Morocco.  Over 250 U.S. pharmaceuticals are produced  
under license in Morocco, in addition to popular U.S. beverages and some  
snack foods.  EU firms dominate the licensing market with vehicle  
assembly, clothing, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.  
  
  
  
Steps to Establishing an Office  
  
The Commercial Code freely permits the establishment, extension or  
merger of firms. The only formalities required to form a company consist  
of entering the statutes with the Secretariat of the Court of First  
Instance and in the Commercial Register kept by the Court.  As in the  
United States, a person may create or purchase a business without  
incorporating.  The  owner of such  proprietorship has responsibility  
for all operations, transactions, and debts.      
  
  
Selling Factors/Techniques  
  
Most local distributors of imported merchandise expect their suppliers  
to provide substantial advertising and promotional support, particularly  
when introducing a new product or brand name.  Sales promotion material  
and technical documentation should be in French.  Clear and simple  
French-language operating instructions, displays of the product in use,  
sample handouts and frequent personal visits are vital for successful  
sales in Morocco.  
  
  
Advertising and Trade Promotion  
  
While a number of advertising agencies operate in Morocco, most do not  
provide the number of services an American seller would come to expect.   
Media advertising is well developed.  Newspaper and magazine advertising  
is most commonly used and French language papers have the largest  
readership.  
  
Leading daily papers published in Casablanca in French include "Le  
Matin", "l'Opinion" and "Al Bayane". "La Vie Economique" and  
"l'Economiste" are widely-read business economic weeklies.  In addition,  
specialized trade and industry journals are published by several local  
industry groups. Commercial time is available on the government-owned  
and the lone private channel television service in 10 to 60 second  
"spots" usually repeated 2 or 3 times daily.  The most common  
advertisement is the 30 second spot.  Advertising is prohibited on the  
government-owned radio.  However, commercial time is available on  
Tangier-based French broadcasts which reach the entire Maghreb. Radio  
advertising has proven very effective and next to newspapers is the  
medium of choice for most consumer goods. Direct mail is also becoming  
more common and a new firm now offers aerial-banner advertising.  Street  
posters offer an important advertising medium for consumer goods in  
Morocco.  Fast moving consumer product companies sometimes use sound  
trucks to advertise, particularly in remote areas.  
  
  
Pricing product  
  
Price controls apply only to goods considered basic essential  
commodities, e.g., sugar, bread, milk, flour, oil and gasoline.  In most  
other cases, prices are freely determined and the government may only  
intervene under special circumstances.  
  
  
Sales Service/Customer Support    
  
U.S. firms are urged to provide the following services to their local  
agent/distributors:  
  
Readily available back-up service provided by manufacturer-trained local  
technicians and engineers and user oriented products suited for local  
conditions.  
  
Partnership agreements with local firms who provide expertise on local  
trading conditions and warehouse equipment and spares.  
  
Product information in French is vital in Morocco. The end users'  
support staff is often ill-trained and prone to mishandle equipment if  
they don't receive detailed instructions and are not provided with  
comprehensive manuals.  
  
Major competitors often have agreements with local  
importers/distributors to share costs for local and factory technical  
training programs.   
  
  
Selling to the Government  
  
Sales to the Government are made through direct negotiations or foreign  
government tenders.  The most common way is through tenders. The public  
sector has three categories of projects: Minor, Medium and Major. Medium  
and Major projects are open to international firms. Major projects are  
usually guaranteed by an international financial entity. There are many  
major projects for which studies have been made but cannot be  
implemented for lack of financing.      
  
There is no central purchasing bureau and no tendering authority.   
Ministries and state owned enterprises issue their own tenders and  
deadlines vary from 30 to 90 days depending on the complexity of the  
project. Government tenders are published in local newspapers and copies  
are sent to embassies for advertizing.  Copies of those tenders are sent  
by cable to the U.S. Department of Commerce. Tenders are printed each  
day in the Commerce Business Daily.     
  
All bidding documents are in French.  They provide the technical  
requirements and the administrative clauses common to all government  
projects.  A bidder's administrative package should include two copies  
of a statement of honor indicating the name, address, activity, current  
account number and bank guarantee. The technical package should include  
technical and human resources of the company and its references.  The  
proposal must be in French and use the metric system.  
  
  
Protecting your Product from IPR Infringement  
  
The legal system generally protects and facilitates acquisition and  
disposition of property rights, including intellectual property rights.  
Morocco has a relatively complete regulatory and legislative system for  
the protection of intellectual property. It is a member of the World  
Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and is a party to the Berne  
copyright, Paris industrial property, and universal copyright  
conventions, the Brussels Satellite Convention, and the Madrid, Nice,  
and Hague agreements for the protection of intellectual property.  
Computer software is not explicitly covered by Morocco's copyright law.  
A quirk dating from the era of French and Spanish protectorates requires  
patent and trademark applications to be filed in both Casablanca and  
Tangier for complete protection.  
  
While Moroccan laws are generally adequate, enforcement is lacking.  
Counterfeiting of clothing, luggage, and other consumer goods is not  
uncommon. Counterfeiting is primarily for local consumption rather than  
for export.  
  
  
Need for a Local Attorney  
  
New-to-market U.S. firms are strongly advised to obtain the services of  
one of the five major English speaking and U.S. business oriented law  
firms in Casablanca and Rabat. A complete list of recognized Moroccan  
law firms is available through the U.S. Commercial Service at the U.S.  
Embassy in Rabat or the Consulate General in Casablanca.  
  
  
  
V.  LEADING TRADE PROSPECTS FOR U.S. BUSINESS  
  
Best Prospects Products and Services for U.S. Exporters  
  
1.  WRE     WATER RESOURCES EQUIPMENT  
2.  ELP     ELECTRICAL POWER SYSTEMS  
3.  POL     POLLUTION CONTROL EQUIPMENT  
4.  TEL/TES TELECOMMUNICATIONS EQUIPMENT  
5.  MED     MEDICAL EQUIPMENT  
6   CPT/CSF COMPUTERS/PERIPHERALS & COMPUTER SOFTWARE  
7.  ACE     ARCHITEC/CONSTR/ENGINEERING SERV.  
8.  MIN     MINING INDUSTRY EQUIPMENT  
9.  FRA     FRANCHISING   
  
              (all figures in USD millions unless otherwise stated)  
  
1 - Water Resources Eq./Serv (WRE)  
  
The market for water distribution equipment in Morocco will reach around  
USD 1.5 billion in the next 20 years. Much needed investment in the  
distribution sector will stimulate this market to recover the idle  
production capacity and reduced output it is experiencing after another  
year of drought. The lower import duties imposed on water resources  
equipment will also cause imports to rise from USD 320 million in 1995  
to around USD 370 million in 1996.  
  
The largest foreign suppliers are France with 21%, Germany with 18% and  
Italy with 17%. The above number may change rapidly as Germany's market  
share is increasing rapidly due to readily available financing and  
aggressive marketing.  
  
                                  1994          1995(e)        1996(e)  
  
A. Total Market Size              300            320               370  
B. Total Local Production          25             35                42  
C. Total Exports                    0              0                 0  
D. Total Imports                  275            285               328  
E. Imports from the U.S.           70             78               100  
  
The above statistics are unofficial estimates.  
  
2 - Electrical Power Systems (ELP)  
  
Investment in electric power generation and distribution facilities has  
been significant over the last two decades; however, with the recent  
surge of industrial growth, much more investment is needed. In general,  
U.S. private investment in Morocco is very small in comparison with EU,  
particularly French, investment. In the past several years, the U.S.  
share of total imports has fluctuated between 0.5 and 12.5% depending on  
changes in demand for U.S. origin products.  Morocco's demand for  
electricity is growing fast.  The National Office of Electricity is  
committed to satisfy this demand from both urban and rural areas.  A  
1200 MW power plant is scheduled to be build in Jorf Lasfer and two  
other projects are scheduled for bid resumption later this year: a  
300/600 MW steam thermal power station and a 300/500 MW combined-cycle  
power station.    
  
                                  1994        1995(E)           1996(E)  
  
A. Total Market Size               200         210                 240  
B. Total Local Production            0           0                   0  
C. Total Exports                     0           0                   0  
D. Total Imports                   200         210                 240  
E. Imports from the U.S.            30          32                  38  
  
The above statistics are unofficial estimates.  
  
3 - Pollution Control Eq.(POL)  
  
The current environmental market in Morocco is estimated at USD 150  
million annually.  Due to increased environmental awareness, future  
national market assessments predicts a cumulative USD 5.2 billion, most  
of which will be spent on municipal wastewater collection and treatment  
by the year 2011.  American companies interested in entering this market  
must strategize carefully.  French and other European firms have  
significant advantages.  They have developed local marketing  
organizations, and their governments provide soft loans.  However U.S.  
firms can still find many attractive opportunities for several reasons.   
First, the market is growing rapidly, creating opportunity for  firms  
with improved technologies.  This will be particularly important in  
sectors such as pollution prevention, where U.S. firms have leading edge  
technologies.  The following subsectors seem to be the most promising  
for U.S. suppliers: Municipal Water and Wastewater; Waste recycling;  
Industrial wastewater; Air pollution; Water purification; Municipal  
solid waste; Mobile source air pollution; Air and water monitoring and  
testing and environmental consulting.    
  
                                    1994    1995(e)     1996(e)  
  
A. Total Market Size              150    170           204  
B. Total Local Production           0      0             0  
C. Total Exports                    0      0             0  
D. Total Imports                  150    170           204  
E. Imports from the U.S.           30     35            42  
  
The above statistics are unofficial estimates.  
  
4 - Telecommunications Eq./SERV. (TEL/TES)   
  
The Moroccan market for telecommunications is growing rapidly.  It is  
one of the most dynamic in North Africa.  Telecommunications  
infrastructure is an essential link for all sectors and the development  
of the national economy and the opening of the market to foreign  
investments cannot be achieved without it.  Recognizing this, the  
Government is making considerable efforts to develop a modern  
telecommunication network based on the most advanced technologies.  The  
Government is taking steps to privatize and expand the growing mobile  
phone market.  The best sales prospects for U.S. manufacturers are in  
the high-tech areas where the U.S. continues to maintain a competitive  
edge over other countries.  U.S. firms have a good reputation and are  
considered the pioneers in new telecommunications technology.    
  
                                 1994         1995(e)       1996(e)  
  
A. Total Market Size              180          220           253  
B. Total Local Production           0            0             0  
C. Total Exports                    0            0             0  
D. Total Imports                  180          220           253  
E. Imports from the U.S.  m        35           42            49  
  
The Above statistics are unofficial estimates  
  
5 - Medical Equipment (MED)  
  
The Government of Morocco is currently making considerable efforts to  
reestablish sustainable public health programs nationwide and to improve  
overall health care for the Moroccan people.  It plans to modernize  
equipment, to raise in-patient capacity of hospitals and improve  
efficiency in hospital operations.  The World Bank and other  
multilateral financing institutions grant substantial loans to Morocco  
in the health sector.  U.S. equipment is considered by Moroccan medical  
officials as efficient and modern. U.S. technical and managerial  
expertise in the health field is highly regarded.  With this reputation,  
U.S. exporters could benefit tremendously from reforms in the health  
sector.  All types of electro-medical apparatus are needed since there  
is no local production.  The most promising sectors are: X-ray machines  
and parts; electrocardiographs; medical electricity apparatus;  
diagnostic equipment, dental electro-medical equipment and  
cat/mri/radiology equipment and disposable medical supplies.       
  
                                  1994          1995(e)       1996(e)  
  
A. Total Market Size                65            75            90   
B. Total Local Production            2             3             3   
C. Total Exports                     0             0             0   
D. Total Imports                    63            72            87   
E. Imports from the U.S.            15            25            38   
  
The above statistics are unofficial estimates.  
  
6 - Computers/Peripherals & Computer Software (CPT/CSF)  
  
Current Moroccan market for computers and software is estimated at USD  
65.0 million in 1994.  The market is expanding rapidly and we expect it  
to continue to grow by 30% over the next three years.  Imports supply  
100% of total market where the U.S. leads with 55% of market share.  The  
Moroccan market for computers is open to U.S. products and technology.   
The growth in financial services and the stock exchange should also spur  
this sector.  The Government believes that advanced technology is  
Morocco's way of catching up to the developed world.  Computerizing an  
economy, given the pace of technological change, requires continual  
updating of materials. U.S. suppliers have opportunities to export  
computers and related equipment in this market where U.S. equipment is  
generally respected for its technical sophistication and high quality.       
  
                                  1994         1995(e)        1996(e)  
  
A. Total Market Size                70           82             98   
B. Total Local Production            0            0              0   
C. Total Exports                     0            0              0   
D. Total Imports                    70           82             98   
E. Imports from the U.S.            39           45             54  
  
The above statistics are unofficial estimates.  
  
7 - Architec/Const/Engin Serv. (ACE)  
   
Imported engineering services supply 90 percent of the entire Moroccan  
market.  We see a 20% annual growth in the demand for engineering  
expertise in Morocco for major infrastructure projects.  These projects,  
funded by the World Bank and other multilateral financing institutions,  
are essential for the Moroccan economy.  Lack of local expertise in this  
field, create more opportunities for U.S. engineering firms to provide  
their service in this growing market.  U.S. engineering companies are  
known for the high quality of their services and their expertise in  
conducting studies in various sectors.  There is a great opportunity for  
U.S. engineering firms to export technology in this market especially in  
the fields of energy, mining, port development, water resources and  
construction.          
  
                                        1994    1995(e)       1996(e)  
  
A. Total Sales                           182     225           270  
B. Total Sales by Local Firms             15      20            30  
C. Tot.Export Sales by Local Firms         0       0             0  
D. Tot.Sales by Foreign owned Firms      167     205           240  
E. Imports Sales by U.S.owned Firms       30      40            60  
  
The above statistics are unofficial estimates.  
  
  
  
8 - Mining Industry Equipment (MIN)  
  
Globally, the mining and paramining industries make up more than 8% of  
the national GNP. They provide employment for more than 3% of the active  
population and 16% of the national industry. Mining is one of Morocco's  
most important industries. By far, the most relevant mineral is  
phosphate. The country depends heavily on it as the country's main  
source of income. This will not change in the foreseeable future  
especially if one looks at the upcoming investment projects, heavily  
inclined to pursue the exploitation of this mineral.Morocco is also  
developing local production of phosphoric acid, chemical fertilizer,  
copper, fluorite, lead, iron and anthracite. Most of the large equipment  
supplied to Morocco carries U.S. brand names, whether originating from  
the U.S. or from European subsidiaries of U.S. multinationals.                                         
  
                                  1994          1995(E)            
1996(E)  
  
A. Total Market Size               200           225               248  
B. Total Local Production            0             0                 0  
C. Total Exports                     0             0                 0  
D. Total Imports                   200           225               248  
E. Imports from the U.S.            30            40                48  
  
The above statistics are unofficial estimates.  
  
9 - Franchising  
  
Licensing agreements are now practicable and royalty payments can be  
routinely transferred out of Morocco. With minimum financial risk, U.S.  
products and services have become available in Morocco via franchising  
systems. Historically U.S. franchising in Morocco has been limited to  
beverage bottlers and car rental agencies. Two European retail trade  
marks have also been franchised in Morocco. More recently, McDdonalds  
and Pizza Hut have mounted successful efforts. The latter company has  
wisely allied its expansion efforts to the development of shopping malls  
in Rabat and Casablanca. McDonalds has one point of sale in Rabat and  
one in Casablanca. A second one will soon open its doors in Casablanca.  
Pizza Hut's development schedule has been more ambitious than McDonalds  
with 3 points of sale in Casablanca, one in Rabat, one in Agadir and one  
in Marrakech. Dairy Queen opened its first store in Rabat. A Moroccan  
franchisee recently signed a contract with Subway Sandwiches and intends  
to sign one with the Fast Food Chain Brennans.  It is worth mentioning  
that McDonalds has nearly redeemed its initial investment two years  
after its opening.  
  
The Moroccan fast food franchising is a relatively new and small  
subsector of the franchising market in Morocco. It has evolved very  
rapidly since 1990 and growth is expected to be spectacular in the  
coming years. Because of their experience and know how , American  
franchises enjoy a position of considerable prominence.  There appears  
to be an ample market for additional fast food chains.   
  
Activities offering additional franchising opportunities in Morocco  
include hotels and motels, automotive parts and services, dry cleaning,  
printing and business equipment and services.   
  
(Because franchising is a relatively new concept, there are no clear  
official figures available per normal format).  
  
  
Best Prospects for Agricultural Products  
  
In addition to the normal imports of vegetable oil, sugar, tobacco and  
cotton, Morocco is expected to import record quantities of wheat and  
barley this year as a result of a devastating drought. Imports of   
feedstuffs are expected to reach a high level particularly for those  
that have been temporarily exonerated from duties and taxes such as  
bran, sugar beet pulp, alfalfa pellets. Imports of oilseeds are expected  
to remain high to permit a full use of the existing crushing capacity  
and to fulfill the high demand for protein meals. Pulses (beans,  
lentils, chick peas), imports are expect to increase significantly to  
offset the low local production. The best prospects are:  
  
     - Bread Wheat & Durum Wheat  
     - Feed grains (corn, barley)  
     - Vegetable oil  
     - Oilseeds  
     - Cotton  
     - Pulses (white beans, lentils, chick peas)  
	- Feedstuffs (bran, alfalfa pellets, sugar beet pulp)  
  
PRODUCTION, SUPPLY & DISTRIBUTION  
                                         TABLES  
  
Commodity: TOTAL WHEAT  
(1,000 Metric Tons)  
  
                                         =========================  
                                         1994     1995     1996f  
                                         =========================  
Total Market Size                        4607     5100      5356  
Total Local Production                   1573     5523      1100  
Total Exports                               0        0         0  
Total Imports                            2442     1090      3000  
Total Imports from U.S.                  1410      360       800  
                                         =========================  
Commodity: BARLEY   
(1,000 Metric Tons)  
                                         =========================  
                                         1994     1995     1996f  
                                         =========================  
TOTAL Market Size                        1900     3100      2200  
Total Local Production                   1019     3720       600  
Total Exports                               0        0         0  
Total Imports                             252      300       700  
Total Imports from the U.S.                 0        0         0  
                                          =========================  
  
Commodity : VEGETABLE OIL   
(1,000 Metric Tons)  
                                         ===========================  
                                         1994     1995   1996f   
                                         ===========================  
Total Market Size                        243      245      244  
Total Local Production                    19       22       22  
Total Exports                              0        0        0  
Total Imports                            229      220      220  
Total Imports from the U.S.               37       40       40  
	                                     ===========================  
Commodity : CORN FEED   
(1,000 Metric Tons)  
                                         ===========================  
                                         1994     1995  1996 f   
                                         ===========================  
Total Market Size                        500      550      550  
Total Local Production                   200       90      200  
Total Exports                              0        0        0  
Total Imports                            320      410      350  
Total Imports from the U.S.              192      380      380  
                                         ===========================  
  
Commodity : COTTON FIBER   
(1,000 Metric Tons)  
                                         ===========================  
                                         1994     1995    1996  
                                         ===========================  
Total Market Size                          46       45      46  
Total Local Production                      0        1       0  
Total Exports                               2        0       0  
Total Imports                              46       42       43  
Imports from the U.S.                       1        2        5  
                                          ===========================  
  
Significant Investment Opportunities  
  
Morocco's demand for electricity grows annually by 7 percent. The  
"Office National de l'Electricité" (ONE) is committed to satisfying this  
demand from both urban and rural areas through private sector  
development and management. There are two such opportunities scheduled  
for bid resumption later this year.  
  
A. A 300/600 MW steam thermal power station using fuel and gas for the  
city of Mohammedia, twenty miles North East of Casablanca.  
  
B. A 300/500 MW combined cycle power station using natural gas (by  
pipeline from Algeria) in the city of Kenitra, thirty miles North East  
of Rabat.  
The estimated value of both projects is USD 1.3 billion.  
  
C. Government of Morocco privatization officials have publicly obligated  
the selling off of the Samir Oil refinery to the foreign or domestic  
private sector. The refinery, located near the Mohammedia port,  
currently processes about 6,5 million tons of fuel per year and about  
300,000 tons of oil derivatives. Officials are carrying out an  
evaluation of market worth and its long term prospects. A formal call  
for bids is not expected until November-December, 1995.  
  
The Government of the United States acknowledges the contribution that  
outward foreign direct investment is increasingly viewed as a complement  
or even a necessary component of trade. For example, roughly 60 percent  
of U.S. exports are sold by American firms that have operations abroad.  
Recognizing the benefits that U.S. outward investment brings to the U.S.  
economy, the government of the United States undertakes initiatives,  
such as Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) programs,  
investment treaty negotiations and business facilitation programs, that  
support U.S. investors.  
  
  
VI.  TRADE REGULATIONS AND STANDARDS  
  
Trade Barriers  
  
Competition from extensive contraband imports, especially from the  
Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla, represent significant competition  
to imports from the U.S. and to goods produced in Morocco by U.S. firms.  
  
  
Tariffs and Import taxes     
  
Customs formalities have been relaxed so that most products can now be  
imported. Most imports are subject to customs duties which range between  
0 to a maximum of 35 percent of the value of the items imported. In  
addition, a surcharge of 10 and 15 percent is also payable. Value-added  
tax (TVA), is also payable on goods imported into Morocco. The rates for  
these goods range between 7 and 19 percent.  TVA is also paid on locally  
produced goods.  
  
Custom duties for food and agricultural products normally range between  
0 and 35 percent. An exception to this range is meat and selected dairy  
products, whose tariffs were recently increased significantly to replace  
licensing requirements.  
  
  
Trade Liberalization for Key Agricultural Commodities  
  
While oil and petroleum products were liberalized on January 1, 1995,  
implementation of the liberalization of key agricultural commodities  
(grains, sugar and oilseeds and derivatives) has been postponed but  
could be adopted soon.  Necessary measures to link the heavily taxed  
imports to the local subsidy mechanism need to be implemented to make  
imports possible. The sensitivity of these staple commodities,  
particularly wheat, sugar and vegetable oil, obliges the government to  
ensure that there are no shortages in the local market and that prices  
are accessible to the average consumer. The current drought in Morocco  
may discourage the government from fully implementing the liberalization  
of the staple commodities.  
  
  
Customs Valuation     
  
The customs authorities will not give a binding ruling on customs  
classification in advance.  An informal advisory opinion may be obtained  
from the Directeur des Douanes, Blvd. Rachidi, Casablanca.  
  
  
Import Licenses     
  
As a member of GATT since 1987, Morocco continues to liberalize its  
import policies. In 1991, a new Foreign Trade Act was passed reversing a  
legal presumption of import protection.  Currently, less than 9 percent  
of product categories still require import licenses.  There is no  
specific protection policy for local industries against foreign  
competition.  Morocco continues to liberalize trade by gradually  
removing the requirements for import licensing and reducing import  
duties. The granting of an import license is a lengthy process,  
requiring approval from each concerned sector. Such licenses are  
routinely granted.      
  
  
Export Controls     
  
There are no specific controls.  Goods which are intended to be further  
worked abroad can be exported temporarily from the customs area.  On  
their return, only the value added abroad is subject to import duties  
and taxation.  
  
  
Import/Export Documentation    
  
A commercial invoice is required.  No special invoice form is necessary,  
nor is a consular visa or consular certification required. The  
commercial invoice should fully describe the goods in French.  
Certification as to country of origin is required. Payments are made  
through bank-to-bank transfers. Pro forma invoices must be provided in  
most cases. The invoice, which should be on company letterhead, is  
required for both import licenses and foreign exchange transfers. "To  
order" bills are acceptable as a bill of lading.  
  
  
Temporary Entry    
  
Goods imported under this provision must be approved by decree of the  
Finance Ministry.  Customs may authorize entry of other goods on an  
individual basis.  The limit for temporary entry is 6 months, renewable  
for up to a year.  
  
Labeling, Marking Requirements    
  
No special regulations apply to the outside marking of containers for  
shipments to Morocco.  However, an indication on outer containers of the  
net weight in kilograms, together with other identification markings,  
will assist in locating goods on arrival and speed their clearance  
through customs. Labels can be in French or Arabic and must show country  
of origin. There is however a requirement for locally sold products to  
print the date when the product was made and the date of its expiration.  
  
Prohibited Imports    
  
Import restrictions apply only to firearms, used clothing and used  
tires.   
  
  
Standards     
  
The Government does not require locally registered firms to apply ISO  
9000 usage.  Only a few multinational firms operating in Morocco  
currently use the ISO, primarily as a marketing tool.   
  
  
Free Trade Zones/Warehouses     
  
Foreign investors and businesses are operating in the Free Zones  
established in Tangier.  Companies located in Free Zones have the right  
of 100 percent duty-free imports and exemption from all taxes for export  
production.  
Warehouse storage allows storage of goods in public or private  
warehouses controlled by the Customs and Excise Administration.   
  
  
Special Import Provisions    
  
As a member of the GATT, Morocco has eliminated most of the restrictions  
on imports originating from other member countries. Moroccan Imports are  
regulated through a general program of imports (PGI - Programme Général  
d'Importations), which contains two different lists:  
  
- LIST A - For free products: i.e. products that can be imported freely  
without limitation and with no discrimination of origin.  
  
- LIST B - For authorized products: An import license is required and is  
delivered to the importer by the Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Commerce  
depending on the country's needs, import quotas and the country's  
reserves of foreign exchange. The goal is to transfer products from list  
B to list A until total liberalization of Moroccan foreign trade is  
achieved.  
  
  
Membership in Free Trade Arrangements    
  
In an effort to broaden the geographic scope of its exports, Morocco has  
signed free trade arrangements with members of the Maghreb Arab Union.  
Import tax (PFI) and TVA are applied. A similar trade arrangement has  
been established with Saudi Arabia.  
  
The Morocco-EU Accord of 1976 gives preferential treatment to Moroccan  
goods exported to the EU.  Moroccan industrial products are thus  
exported to the EU duty-free and without quantitative restrictions.   
Several agricultural or agri-business products are subject to quotas or  
seasonal restrictions.  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
VII. INVESTMENT CLIMATE   
  
  
Openness to Foreign Investment  
  
The Moroccan government actively encourages foreign investment and has  
made a number of regulatory changes designed to improve the investment  
climate in recent years.  It welcomes foreign participation in its  
privatization program.  These measures have contributed to sharp  
increases in foreign investment in recent years, although foreign  
investment declined somewhat in 1994.  
  
Morocco does not have a foreign investment law per se, but rather  
several sectoral codes covering industry, tourism, export industries,  
real estate, maritime, mining and crafts.  The crafts code applies only  
to 100 percent Moroccan-owned firms and the maritime code applies only  
to firms that are at least 50 percent Moroccan-owned (100 percent for  
coastal fishing).  The other codes apply equally to foreign and Moroccan  
investors, except for their foreign exchange provisions which favor  
foreign investors.    
  
The sectoral codes provide various investment incentives, including  
partial or total exemption from corporate income taxes, TVA, and import  
duties.  Some sectoral codes also provide for government financing,  
although such financing is rarely available in practice.  The level of  
incentives in some sectors depends on the location of the investment.   
Additional incentives accrue to investments in the Tangier free trade  
zone and the Western Sahara.  
  
Investment screening procedures apply only when an investor requests  
benefits under a sectoral code.  These benefits are granted once the  
Ministry responsible for the sector has approved the proposal.   
Investments valued at over dh 50 million (about USD 6 million) are also  
reviewed by the Ministry of Economic Affairs.  In the case of  
particularly large investments, incentives in addition to those  
specified by the applicable sectoral code may be, and often are  
negotiated with the government.  
  
The Moroccan government is drafting a new investment code to replace the  
sectoral codes.  The new code will reportedly provide fewer benefits,  
but make the benefits it does provide more automatic.  
  
The Moroccan government has repealed most aspects of the 1973  
Moroccanization law limiting foreign ownership in a number of sectors.   
Foreign investment is now permitted in all sectors except agricultural  
land and a few sectors reserved for the state (e.g., phosphate mining,  
air and rail transport, public utilities).  The Moroccan government  
plans to allow private companies to build and operate electrical  
generation facilities that would sell electricity to the state electric  
utility.  
  
  
Conversion and Transfer Policies  
  
The Moroccan dirham is convertible for all current transactions and for  
some capital transactions, notably capital repatriation by foreign  
investors if the original investment is registered with the foreign  
exchange office.  Foreign exchange is available through the commercial  
banks on presentation of documents for the repatriation of dividends and  
capital by foreign investors, for remittances by foreign residents, and  
for payments for foreign technical assistance, royalties and licenses.   
No prior government approval is required.    
  
The Central Bank sets the exchange rate for the dirham against a basket  
of currencies of its principal trading partners.  The rate against the  
basket has been steady since a nine percent devaluation in May 1990,  
with changes in the rates of individual currencies reflecting changes in  
cross rates.  The U.S. Embassy purchases approximately USD 20 million  
worth of dirhams annually at the Central Bank rate.    
  
  
Expropriation and Compensation  
  
There have not been any significant expropriations in Morocco since the  
early 1970s.  The Embassy is not aware of any recent instances of  
private property being expropriated for other than public purposes, or  
being expropriated in a manner that is discriminatory or not in  
accordance with established principles of international law.  
  
  
Dispute Settlement  
  
There have been a number of disputes involving U.S. firms in recent  
years.  There is no particular pattern to the disputes, which involve  
disparate issues and various government agencies.  
  
Minor disputes are generally resolved with the relevant government  
agency.  Disputes can be taken to the courts, although this rarely  
occurs due to inadequacies in the Moroccan judicial system.  Morocco is  
a member of the International Center for the Settlement of Investment  
Disputes (ICSID) and a party to the 1958 convention on the recognition  
and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards (with reservations) and the  
1965 convention on the settlement of investment disputes between states  
and nationals of other states.  
  
  
Political Violence  
  
The last instance of mass political violence was the riots in Fez in  
December 1990, when a number of installations were destroyed. The murder  
of two foreign tourists in a hotel in Marrakech in 1994 may have been  
politically motivated. While similar incidents cannot be ruled out,  
there is	no evidence that he country is becoming more prone to such  
violence. Morocco has been generally insulated from the unfavorable  
political developments affecting other countries in the region.  
  
  
Performance Requirements/Incentives  
  
There are no foreign investor performance requirements although, as  
noted above, investors may receive incentives from the government to  
pursue policies deemed desirable.  Companies that export or locate in  
less developed regions of the country may receive tax breaks and customs  
exemptions.  There are no requirements or incentives regarding local  
value added, local equity, substitution of imports or employment of  
Moroccan workers, although the government may take these factors into  
account in deciding whether to approve investments under the various  
sectoral codes.  
  
  
Right to Private Ownership and Establishment  
  
Private ownership is permitted in all but a few sectors that are  
specifically reserved for the state, notably public utilities, rail and  
air transport, and phosphate mining.    Apart from these few exceptions,  
private entities may freely establish, acquire, and dispose of interests  
in business enterprises.    
  
Morocco's program to sell its shares in 114 companies provides for  
privatization to take place through direct negotiations, requests for  
bids, the stock market, or some combination thereof.  While the  
government generally welcomes foreign participation in the privatization  
program, it has limited foreign participation in some instances.  There  
is general support among non-governmental groups for the privatization  
program.  
  
  
Protection of Property Rights  
  
The legal system generally protects and facilitates acquisition and  
disposition of property rights, including intellectual property rights.   
Morocco has a relatively complete regulatory and legislative system for  
the protection of intellectual property.  It is a member of the World  
Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and is a party to the Berne  
copyright, Paris industrial property, and universal copyright  
conventions; the Brussels Satellite Convention; and the Madrid, Nice,  
and Hague agreements for the protection of intellectual property.    
  
Computer software is not explicitly covered by Morocco's copyright law.   
A quirk dating back to the era of French and Spanish protectorates  
requires patent and trademark applications to be filed in both  
Casablanca and Tangier for complete protection.  
  
While Moroccan laws are generally adequate, enforcement is sometimes  
lacking.  Counterfeiting of clothing, luggage, and other consumer goods,  
as well as the illegal copying of computer software, is common.  
  
  
Regulatory System: Laws and Procedures  
  
Morocco's economic reform program has included improvements in the  
regulatory environment.  In particular, the liberalization of the  
foreign exchange allocation system, the import regime, and the financial  
sector have reduced the government's role in the economy.  Deficiencies  
remain in other areas, however, such as the labor law which limits  
firms' ability to hire and fire workers.    
  
In areas where the regulations are favorable on paper, there are often  
problems in practice.  Government procedures are not always transparent,  
efficient or quick.  Routine permits, especially those required by local  
governments, can be difficult to obtain.  The Moroccan legal system is  
often inadequate for resolving disputes, particularly those involving  
foreign investors.  
  
  
Efficient Capital Markets and Portfolio Investment  
  
The Moroccan banking system changed significantly over the last decade.   
The government replaced quantitative controls (credit ceilings by bank  
and sector) with indirect controls, mainly reserve requirements.   
Interest rates on deposits were deregulated.  Mandatory bank holdings of  
particular types of assets were reduced.  While these reforms have  
introduced increased competition in the banking sector, more needs to be  
done, including liberalizing loan rates (they are now linked to deposit  
rates), taking actions to improve the secondary market for treasury  
bills and allowing a market for commercial paper.  
  
Moroccan banks are generally sound.  Morocco began phasing in Basle  
standards in 1992.  The larger banks are generally in compliance with  
the standards, but some smaller banks may not be.  Banks are supervised  
on a consolidated basis and must provide statements audited by certified  
public accountants.  
  
The Casablanca stock exchange, which had been essentially moribund for  
years, has enjoyed a recent revival thanks to new laws designed to make  
the exchange more efficient and transparent.  
  
  
Bilateral Investment Agreements  
  
A bilateral investment treaty between the United States and Morocco took  
effect on May 29, 1991.  The treaty stipulates that U.S. investors will  
be accorded status no less favorable than any other nationality;  
expropriation claims shall be handled promptly; and disputes may be  
referred to international arbitration.  Morocco has similar agreements  
with Germany, France, Kuwait, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and  
Switzerland.  
  
A U.S.- Morocco Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA), was  
signed in Washington in March, 1995.  This agreement is intended to  
further encourage and facilitate U.S. - Moroccan economic activity.   
Negotiations under the TIFA are slated to begin this year.  
  
  
OPIC And Other Investment Insurance Programs  
  
Morocco has had an Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC)  
agreement since 1961, which was most recently updated in March, 1995.   
Similar agreements are in effect with the agencies of France, Sweden,  
the United Kingdom, and Switzerland.  Morocco is also a member of the  
Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) and the Kuwait-based  
Arab Investment Guarantee Organization.   
  
  
Labor  
  
Unskilled labor is generally plentiful and inexpensive.  Employers are  
free to negotiate wages and salaries, subject to the minimum wage law.   
The current industrial minimum wage is dh 7.26 (about 85 cents) an hour.   
There are, however, shortages of certain skilled workers.  
  
The Moroccan constitution gives workers the right to organize, bargain  
collectively and strike, although the conditions under which workers can  
strike has yet to be defined.  There is an active trade union movement,  
and strikes are not uncommon.  
  
  
Foreign Trade Zones/Free Ports  
  
There is a free trade zone in Tangier in northwestern Morocco.  The zone  
is open to both Moroccan and foreign companies.  The 65 companies  
located in the zone may import goods duty free and are exempt from other  
taxes.  The only requirement is that all local workers be paid directly  
in foreign exchange, which they are then obliged to exchange for dirhams  
at Moroccan commercial banks operating in the zone.  Moroccan labor laws  
apply to the zone, but few, if any, firms are unionized.  There is also  
an offshore banking law covering Tangier.  Three banks have been  
established under the offshore banking law.  
  
  
Capital Outflow Policy  
  
In general, Moroccans cannot obtain foreign exchange for investments  
abroad and the government does not offer incentives to invest in other  
developing countries.  Recently, however, several large Moroccan  
companies have invested abroad.  In particular, the holding company ONA  
has invested in Europe.  According to Moroccan balance of payments  
statistics, Moroccan investment abroad has averaged around USD 20 - 30  
million over the last few years.    
  
  
Major Foreign Investors  
  
U.S.  
  
Goodyear Maroc  
  parent company: Goodyear  
  sector: tire production  
  number of employees: 600  
  
Industries Marocaines Modernes  
  parent company: Procter and Gamble  
  sector: soaps and toiletries  
  number of employees: 500  
  
Coca-Cola Export Corporation  
  parent company: The Coca-Cola Export Corporation  
  number of employees: 45  
  
Other   
  
S.G.S. Thomson  
  parent company: S.G.S. Thomson (France)  
  sector: electronic components and semiconductor                        
manufacturing  
  number of employees: 1,600  
  
Pechiney - MMA  
  parent company: Pechiney (France)  
  sector: aluminum cookware manufacturing  
  number of employees: 1,280  
  
Bymaro S.A.  
  parent company: Bouygues S.A. (France)  
  sector: civil engineering  
  number of employees: 1,000  
  
Renault Maroc  
  parent company: Renault S.A. (France)  
  sector: motor vehicle assembly  
  number of employees: 800  
  
C.G.E. Maroc  
  parent company: C.G.E. (France)  
  sector: electric cable and transformer manufacturing  
  number of employees: 675  
  
Polymedic  
  parent company: Hoechst AG (Germany)  
  sector pharmaceutical manufacturing  
  number of employees: 350    
  
  
VIII. TRADE AND PROJECT FINANCING  
  
Banking System  
  
Morocco has a well-developed banking system, originally modeled after  
the French system, and currently working its way through modernization  
similar to those that took place in France over the past decade.  There  
are 12 major banks in the country plus five government owned specialized  
financial institutions, about 15 credit agencies and about 10 leasing  
companies.  Other elements of the financial infrastructure include  
insurance companies, pension funds, and a stock market.    
  
Until 1991, credit and money supply was controlled directly by the old  
French-style encadrement system allocating sectoral lending among banks  
based on historical patterns.  Since financial liberalization, credit is  
supposed to be allocated freely, with the central bank using indirect  
methods to control the interest rate and volume of credit.  The banking  
system is still used by the government, however, as a way to channel  
domestic savings to finance government debt, and the banks are required  
to hold a part of their assets in bonds paying below market interest  
rates.  Following liberalization, credit continued to expand at a rate  
that appeared to threaten price stability with interest rates rising to  
record levels, and the central bank moved part way back to  
administrative controls by raising the discount rate and by setting an  
administrative ceiling on interest rates, calculated as a markup over  
the banks'average cost of funds.    
  
A new bank reform law, promulgated in 1993 clearly laid out the  
parameters of banking activities, clarified oversight and control  
responsibilities, specified legal penalties for violations of banking  
regulations, and established a depositors guarantee fund.    
  
One of the two largest government owned banks was privatized with the  
other scheduled for privatization in 1995-96.      
  
  
Foreign Exchange Controls Affecting Trading    
  
Morocco maintains a system of foreign exchange controls, managed by a  
government agency, the Office de Changes, but the rules on transfers  
have been progressively liberalized to the point where the dirham is  
freely convertible according to the IMF definition for current account  
transactions.  The value of the dirham is tied to a basket of hard  
currencies weighted according to Morocco's foreign trade.  Since this is  
dominated by Europe, variations in the dollar/franc or dollar/deutchmark  
rates are generally reflected in the dirham's dollar value.    
  
Authority to buy and sell foreign exchange has been delegated to the  
banking system, which will carry out transactions on presentation of  
appropriate documentation justifying the transaction such as an invoice  
to pay for imports.  In practice, there are no reports of difficulties  
in obtaining foreign exchange in this way.  Capital transactions do  
require authorization from the Office de Changes, which is granted  
routinely for business-related transactions.  Under its investment code,  
the government offers a guarantee of repatriation of both invested  
capital and profits, provided that the initial investment was declared  
on the way into Morocco.     
  
  
General Financing Availability    
  
Local financing is available for Moroccan investors and importers, but  
real interest rates are high by American standards, and Moroccan Banks  
generally require a high degree of security (e.g. collateral and  
personal signature) before committing themselves.    
  
  
How to Finance Exports/Methods of Payment     
  
Most Moroccan imports are paid for by irrevocable confirmed letters of  
credit issued by major local banks with U.S. banking correspondence.   
Within the country, end-users are normally given up to 90 day credit by  
importers.  
  
  
Types of Available Export Financing and Insurance     
  
Exporters naturally want to get paid as quickly as possible, and  
importers usually prefer delaying payment at least until they have  
received and resold the goods. Because of the intense competition for  
export markets, being able to offer good payment terms is often  
necessary to make a sale. Exporters should be aware of the many  
financing options open to them in Morocco.  
  
Five U.S. Government agencies provide finance consulting services to  
exporters through the Trade Promoting Coordinating Committee, a  
Washington based group which includes the Commerce Department, Ex-Im  
Bank, Small Business Administration, Overseas Private Investment  
Corporation, and the Trade Development Agency.  
  
The Commerce Department's new office of Multilateral Development Bank  
Operations (MDBO) provides one-stop shopping services to U.S. firms  
interested in doing business with the MDBs.  Its staff can help U.S.  
companies get a share of major contracts financed by the multilateral  
development banks. For more information on any of these services in the  
U.S., contact MDBO at   
(202) 482-3399 or fax (202) 273-0927.  
  
Financing for U.S. exports in the form of loans or guarantees is  
available through Eximbank.  However, a Moroccan guarantee, either from  
the government or from a private bank, may also be required.  EXIM has  
established a small bundling facility (a line of guaranteed credits of  
USD 10.0 million) with Credit du Maroc (CDM).  Although other Moroccan  
banks have expressed some interest in this program, they have not  
overcome the reluctance of Moroccan importers to take on the foreign  
exchange risk of borrowing in dollars.  The principal multilateral  
financial institutions such as the World Bank, the IFC, the African  
Development bank, and the European Investment Bank all lend to Morocco  
for infrastructure development.     
  
The U.S.D.A. credit guarantee programs (GSM-103 / GSM-102) are made  
available to Morocco to purchase various agricultural commodities from  
the U.S. The public GSM-103 comprises USD 65 million for wheat and USD  
40 million for feed grains. The private sector line, GSM-102, provides  
USD 20 million for wheat, and USD 5 million each for vegetable oil, feed  
grains and cotton.   
  
Citicorp structured trade finance, in cooperation with OPIC, now offers  
a new approach to African trade finance for U.S. exporters to Africa.   
The African Trade Finance Facility (ATFF) was developed jointly by  
Citicorp and OPIC to address the lack of availability of financing.  To  
obtain more information, contact one of the following addresses.  
  
A. Citicorp Structured Trade Finance  
Contact: Maurice Johnson  
Tel: (212) 559-7998; Fax: (212) 793-2330  
CITICORP  
399 Park Avenue, 5/13  
New York, N.Y. 10043  
  
B. Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC)  
Dureka Lang Carrasquillo (202) 336.8576  
Leslie Dougherty Biddle (202) 408-5142  
Fax: (202) 408-5142  
1100 New York Avenue, N.W.  
Washington, D.C. 20527   
  
Before proceeding with any international transaction, it is advisable to  
contact your local USDOC District Office for counselling and further  
information about the market.  
  
The International Finance Assistance Section (which can be found under  
that topic heading on the NTDB), provides not only information on  
specific assistance available from USG financing agencies such as the  
U.S. Exim Bank and OPIC, but also information on the Multilateral  
Development Banks.  
  
  
Project Financing Available  
  
Financing for projects in Morocco comes primarily from the World Bank  
and the African Development Bank (AFDB), the European Investment Bank,  
the Kuwaiti Fund, the Saudi Fund and the Abu Dhabi Fund.  
  
  
Projects Scheduled for Financing by the World Bank and the AFDB  
  
World Bank  
  
USD 70.0 million to the Ministry of Environment, Hydraulic  
Administration, Regie of Kenitra - Environmental Protection II - Project  
supports treatment and disposal of industrial and domestic wastes in the  
Sebou River Water Basin. Will also include introduction of pollution  
control technologies; and strengthening of regulatory framework and  
integrated environmental management.  
--Need for consultants not yet determined  
--Project under preparation, Pre-appraisal mission by October 1995  
  
USD 110.0 million for Fez historic City Rehabilitation - Project will  
revitalize Medina's impoverished and environmental degradation through  
environmental upgrading; provision of urban infrastructure and community  
facilities; and implementation of a heritage conservation strategy  
fitting with the historic city's social, economic and cultural  
dimension.  
--Need for consulting services yet to be determined  
--Project under preparation, appraisal likely in FY'96.  
  
USD 110.0 million for the Ministry of Public Works - Water Sector  
Investment (WSIL) - Project aims to assist the Government in defining  
and implementing a comprehensive water resource management strategy.  
--Need for consultants not yet determined  
--Project preparation under way  
  
USD 110.0 million for the Ministry of Agriculture and Agricultural  
Production.  
- Private Sector Development (PSD III) - Project objective is to promote  
private sector development and investment in agroindustries by providing  
the necessary infrastructure and enabling regulatory and institutional  
environment.  
--Need for consultants not yet determined  
--Project preparation under way  
  
USD 100.00 million for Fonds d'Equipement Communal (FEC) - Second  
Municipal Finance - Project aims to improve local sector management and  
foster private provision and financing of local services. It will  
include funds to finance a variety of local infrastructure sub-projects.  
--Need for consultants not yet determined  
--Project preparation under way.  
  
USD 40.0 million for the Ministry of Health - Health Management -  
Project would support: (a) implementation of new financing mechanisms,  
mainly health insurance; (b) hospital management reforms; and (c)  
rehabilitation of health infrastructure.  
--Need for consultants not yet determined  
--Appraisal mission currently in the field.  
  
USD 200.0 million for the Ministry of Finance - Private Sector  
Development   
(PSD I) - Support for the implementation of financial policies and  
strengthening of institutions to foster private sector development,  
including financial and capital markets.  
--Need for consultants not yet determined  
--Appraisal mission currently in the field.  
  
USD 100.0 million for the Direction des Routes et de la Circulation  
Routière (DRCR) - Secondary Roads - The project would: (a) strengthen  
institutions in charge of road maintenance, road funding and network  
management; (b) improve communication within regions and access to rural  
areas; (c) reduce the maintenance backlog and widen sud-standard  
pavements; (d) improve road safety;  
and (e) improve road transport efficiency.  
--Consulting services will be required  
--Negotiations currently under way in Rabat.  
  
USD 60.0 million for the Ministry of Agriculture Development - National  
Watershed Management - To improve land use and natural resources  
management in mountain areas and reduce siltation in reservoirs and  
associated hydraulic infrastructure. Main components would include: (a)  
institutional and organizational development; (b) improvement of legal  
framework for land use in mountain areas; (c) investments in selected  
watersheds; (d) applied and adaptive research and extension; (e)  
technical assistance and training.  
--Need of consulting services to be determined  
--Project preparation under way.  
  
African Development Bank  
  
USD 750 million total with AFDB funding of USD 61 million for a wide  
variety of telecommunication equipment, upgrades and services. Executing  
agency is the ONPT in Casablanca in association with the Ministry of  
Telecommunications. Approved in 1993, over half the total funds remain  
to be obligated.  
  
USD 70.0 million total with AFDB funding of USD 43 million for the sixth  
potable water supply project for ONEP in Rabat. The project comprises  
of:   
(a) rehabilitation of six water stations, (b) construction of two water  
intake structures, (c) procurement of laboratory equipment, (d) sewerage  
studies and work supervision. Approved in May, 1994, some but nearly all  
bids have been announced.   
  
  
List of Banks with Correspondent U.S. Banking Arrangements  
  
Among the leading commercial banks in Morocco, the following deal with  
major U.S. corresponding banks:  
  
BANQUE MAROCAINE DU COMMERCE EXTERIEUR  
Citibank  
Bankers Trust  
Chase Manhattan  
Chemical Bank  
Bank of America  
Bank of New York  
  
CREDIT DU MAROC  
Bank of New York  
Chemical Bank  
American Express Bank  
Credit Lyonais of New York  
USEXIM Export Credit Program  
  
CITIBANK-MAGHREB  
Citibank  
  
BANQUE COMMERCIALE DU MAROC  
Citibank  
Bank of New York  
Chase Manhattan Bank  
Chemical Bank  
American Express  
National Bank for Cooperatives  
First National Bank of Chicago  
First Bank of America  
Arab-American Bank of New York  
State Street Bank & Trust Company  
  
BANQUE MAROCAINE POUR LE COMMERCE ET L'INDUSTRIE  
Bank of New York  
Citibank  
First American Bank Inc.  
American Express  
  
WAFABANK  
Citibank  
Arab Banking Corporation (ABC)  
Ubaf  
Bankers Trust Co.  
Chase Manhattan  
Manufacturers Hanover Trust Co.  
Bank of New York  
Continental Bank  
Bank of America  
  
SOCIETE GENERALE MAROCAINE DES BANQUES  
Societe Generale  
Citibank  
Chase Manhattan  
  
BANQUE CENTRALE POPULAIRE  
Chemical Bank  
Bank of New York  
Citibank  
Arab Banking Corporation  
Bank of America  
  
  
IX.  BUSINESS TRAVEL  
  
Business Customs    
  
Morocco is a Muslim country. Business meetings are best avoided on  
Friday, which is the main prayer day.  Consumption of alcohol during the  
fasting month of Ramadan and eating of pork is prohibited for Muslims  
only. Businesses operate Monday through Friday.  
  
Customs regulations permit duty-free entry of clothing, personal  
effects, and household items intended for personal use, subject to  
specified limits on amounts of film, tobacco and other consumables.   
Travellers wishing to import a vehicle must present the registration  
papers issued in the country of origin to obtain free entry.  The  
initial dispensation expires at the end of 6 months, at which time the  
vehicle becomes subject to the usual customs provisions.  With the  
exception of limited personal allowances for alcoholic beverages and  
tobacco products, all other goods for sale are subject to duty.    
  
  
Travel Advisory and Visas    
  
U.S. citizens do not need a visa for entry into the country.     
  
  
Holidays  
  
Official holidays and others on which government offices and business  
establishments are likely to be closed are:   
  
January 1 (New Year), March 3 (Throne Day), March 15 (Aid El Fitr), May  
1 (Labor Day), May 23 (National Holiday), May 21 (Aid El Adha), May 10  
(Moslem New Year), July 9 (King's Birthday), August 14 (Saharan Province  
Day), Aug.20 (Prophet's Birthday), November 6 (Green March Day),  
November 18 (Independence Day).  
  
Note: Holidays underlined are based on the lunar calendar and change  
every year. Dates shown are those projected for 1995.   
  
  
Business Infrastructure    
  
Transportation to and from Morocco is extensive.  Morocco has more than  
16,000 miles of paved roads and well over a thousand miles of rail  
lines.  Additionally, Morocco has 10 main ports and 6 international  
airports.   
  
The following airlines provide freight and scheduled passenger air  
service between Morocco and most major international locations.  
  
ROYAL AIR MAROC offers every Tuesday and Saturday year-round non-stop  
B747 service from New York to Casablanca.  There are also regular  
connections to and from Europe, West Africa and the Middle East.  
  
KLM/NORTHWEST operates from New York twice daily with 747 service to  
Amsterdam.  There is a new 4 times weekly service from  
Baltimore/Washington International Airport. Houston, Atlanta, Chicago,  
Los Angeles and Minneapolis also have regularly scheduled service to  
Amsterdam with connecting flights to Casablanca three days a week.      
  
LUFTHANSA flies to Morocco via Frankfurt from 13 U.S. cities, 4 times a  
week.  
  
BRITISH AIRWAYS, through Gibraltar Airlines, operates 4 to 5 flights a  
week from Heathrow to Casablanca via Tangier or Gibraltar. BA has a  
cooperative but informal agreement with domestic United Airlines  
flights.  
  
AIR FRANCE offers frequent connections to Morocco via Paris from  
Anchorage, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, New  
York (JFK), San Francisco or Washington DC.  
  
Several U.S. and international shipping lines offer frequent dry cargo  
container service and frozen and refrigerated service to and from  
Morocco's many ports.  There is however, no direct shipping service to  
Morocco from the U.S.   
	  
Language: While the official and most important indigenous language is  
Arabic, French is the language of business.  A substantial and growing  
number of Moroccan entrepreneurs can conduct business in English.	   
  
Communications:  The telephone service is being improved. Mobil cellular  
phones can be rented in major hotels. It is now possible to direct dial  
a large number of foreign countries.  Telefax and telex facilities for  
communication to most parts of the world are also available.  Direct  
dialing to the United States is available, but expensive.  Dialing  
Country Code from the United States to Morocco is 212, Casablanca 2,  
Rabat 7. The PTT operates a packet switching network "Magrhipac"  
permitting 1,200 band data transmission to U.S. gateways like tymenet.  
Morocco is in the early stages of development for Internet.  
  
Housing: Rental of apartments and houses in Casablanca is expensive.  
Depending on size and area, e.g. a two story 4 bedroom house with a good  
garden and standard amenities in a very good neighborhood can cost about  
USD 35-40,000 per year. Two year leases, with rent payable quarterly,  
are common.   
  
Office Space: Good office space in the major cities is abundant but not  
cheap. Although rents have softened in the past year by up to fifteen  
percent, international standard space is still in high demand.  Rent  
prices are, however, negotiable.  
  
Health:  There are 48 private clinics and about 80 government hospitals  
in major cities providing basic health care and surgery. Dental care is  
good and there are several English speaking doctors and dentists in  
Casablanca and Rabat.  
  
Time:  Morocco is on Greenwich Mean Time.   
  
Currency:  The Moroccan currency unit is the Dirham, abbreviated as DH.   
There are 100 centimes to each dirham.  Bank notes are denominated in  
200, 100, 50, and 10 dirhams.  
  
Weights and Measures:  The metric system is used.   
  
Electrical Standards:  Electric power in Morocco is 50 cycle, one and  
three phase, with nominal voltage in the largest cities at 110 or 220  
volts (usually the latter).  
  
Food:  Tap water in major cities is generally potable, but as a short- 
time visitor it would be wise to drink only bottled water.  Food in  
general is good in Morocco, however unless someone has been living or  
traveling in this part of the world for a long time, it is best to avoid  
eating raw produce such as salads or unpeeled fruits. Good to excellent  
restaurants abound.  
  
Schools:  There are American Schools in Casablanca, Rabat and Tangier  
(weekly boarding available here) offering classes from Kindergarten thru  
grade 12.  There are also French and Spanish schools available, in  
addition to local education.   
  
Hotels: Among the better 4 or 5 star business hotels are:  
  
CASABLANCA  
   
Casablanca Hyatt Regency    
Phone (212) [2] 261234; Fax 220180   
  
Casablanca Sheraton   
Phone (212) [2] 317878; Fax 315136  
  
Holiday Inn   
Phone (212) [2] 294949; Fax 293034      
  
Royal Mansour   
Phone (212) [2] 313011; Fax 314818  
  
  
  
  
  
  
RABAT  
  
Rabat Hyatt Regency  
Phone (212) [7] 771234; Fax 772492  
  
La Tour Hassan   
Phone (212) [7] 721401; Fax 725408  
  
  
TANGIER  
  
El Minzah  
Phone (212) [9] 947011; Fax 947011  
  
  
                   X. APPENDICES  
  
  
APPENDIX A: Country Data   
  
Population:                28 million  
Population Growth Rate:    2.2 percent  
Religion:                  Islam, Judaism (less than 1%)   
Government System:  Constitutional Monarchy. King Hassan II  
                           has reigned since 1961.  
Languages:                 French (business), Arabic (official)  
                           Berber dialects, Spanish (in north)  
Location:                  On the northwest corner of Africa, less  
                           than 20 kms across the Straits of  
                           Gibraltar from Spain  
Area:                      280,000 square miles, about the size of  
                           Oregon and Washington combined  
Coastline:                 2,120 miles, Mediterranean Sea and  
                           Atlantic Ocean  
Climate:                   Mild Mediterranean climate  
Work Week:                 Monday - Friday, generally 8:30-12:30  
                           a.m. and 2:00-6:30 p.m. with summer  
                           variation  
  
Direct Dial Country Code: (212), Casablanca (2), Rabat (7), Tangier (9)  
  
  
APPENDIX B: Domestic Economy  
USD millions, except where noted  
  
  
                                          1994      1995e      1996e  
  
Gross Domestic Product                    31,000     31,600    35,730  
Real GDP growth (percent)                     12         -5         6  
GDP per capita  ($)                        1,213      1,211      1,341  
Government Spending (percent GDP)             23         24         24  
Inflation (Dec/Dec CPI pct chg)              5.7        7.5        7.5  
Unemployment (Urban, percent)                 17         17         17  
Foreign exchange reserves (yr end)         4,630      4,000      4,400  
Average exchange rate (Dh/$)               0 9.2        8.5        8.5  
Foreign Debt                              21,000     21,000     21,000  
Service Ratio (debt payments                  35         35         35  
(as a pct of foreign income)  
U.S. economic/military assistance           23        43       n/a  
  
  
Source  
  
1994: Moroccan government preliminary data and Embassy estimates.  
  
1995 and 1996: Embassy projections (1996 economic performance will  
depend on future exogenous factors, notably rainfall during the winter  
of 1995/1996).   
  
  
APPENDIX C: Trade  
USD Millions, except where noted.  
  
                                   1994         1995(e)       1996(e)  
  
Total Country Exports              4,059        4,980         5,500  
Total Country Import               7,233          8,48        9,330  
U.S. Exports                         624          778           895  
U.S. Imports                         143	         170           190  
  
  
For 1995/96 the above statistics are unofficial estimates.  
  
Source  
  
1994: Moroccan Government Statistiques du Commerce Extérieur  
1995/96: U.S. Embassy projections.  
  
  
APPENDIX D: Investment Statistics  
  
There are no statistics on the amount of foreign investment in Morocco.   
The Moroccan foreign exchange office maintains balance of payments  
statistics which include annual foreign exchange inflows for private  
foreign investment.  These statistics do not correspond exactly to  
foreign direct investment (e.g., they include portfolio investment).   
They are, however, the closest approximation to foreign direct  
investment available.  The statistics show USD 554 in foreign investment  
inflows in 1994, which represents approximately 2 percent of GDP.  The  
following tables are based on the balance of payments statistics.  
  
  
   Foreign Investment Inflows by Country of Origin  
                     (USD  millions)  
  
  
Country               1991     1992     1993     1994  
  
France               111.5    118.4    128.8    190.6  
United Kingdom        13.7     10.1    118.0    140.1  
United States         10.8     34.4     42.5     59.9  
Switzerland           36.9     32.2     99.2     35.3  
Saudi Arabia          32.2     26.4     27.4     31.1  
Spain                 27.4     94.8     73.6     28.3  
Germany                9.3      9.6      4.7     11.0  
U.A.E.                28.3     20.3     41.0      5.3  
Italy                  7.3     10.0      5.6      5.0  
Others               144.4    147.1     49.4     48.3  
  
Total                421.8    503.3    590.2    554.9  
  
  
N.B.  
 Exchange rate (dh/USD)  8.7      8.5      9.3      9.2  
 GDP (USD billions)     27.7     28.8     27.6     31.0  
  
  
  
          Foreign Investment Inflows by Sector  
                     (USD millions)  
  
  
Sector                1991     1992     1993     1994  
  
Holding Companies     55.9     32.6     56.7     193.2  
Other Industry        87.1    129.0    125.8     113.9	  
Banking               56.7     57.9    164.3      97.7  
Commerce              18.5     33.6      3.0      53.4  
Others                42.6    107.3     102.5     30.1  
Tourism               23.8      4.9     41.5      23.9  
Real Estate           59.5     39.1     39.6      18.3  
Textiles              11.5      7.4      9.6       7.0  
Fishing                2.2      0.5      2.2       4.9  
Mining                 1.9     58.3     25.7       3.1  
Public Works           6.2     19.8     12.5       3.0  
Other Services         4.1      7.8      3.4       2.7  
Agriculture            2.6      3.7      2.6       2.2  
Transport              2.9      1.4      0.8       1.5  
  
Total                375.5    503.3    590.2     554.9  
N.B.  
 Exchange rate (dh/USD)  8.7      8.5      9.3       9.2  
 GDP (USD billions)     27.7     28.8     27.6      31.0  
  
APPENDIX E: U.S. and Country Contacts  
  
  
COUNTRY GOVERNMENT AGENCIES   
  
MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL TRADE, EXTERNAL INVESTMENT, & HANDICRAFTS  
63, Avenue Moulay Youssef  
10000 Rabat, Morocco  
Phone: (212) (7) 70-33-63  
Fax:   (212) (7) 70-01-37  
  
MINISTRY OF FINANCE  
Ancien Quartier Administratif  
Rabat, Morocco  
Phone: (212) (7) 70-31-31  
Fax:   (222) (7) 76-40-81  
  
CUSTOMS AND INDIRECT TAXES ADMINISTRATION  
Place Mohammed V  
Casablanca, Morocco  
Phone: (212) (2) 22-41-16  
Fax:   (212) (2) 26-07-06  
  
MINISTRY OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY  
Quartier des Ministeres  
Rabat-Chellah, Morocco  
Phone: (212) (7) 76-18-78  
Fax:   (212) (7) 76-62-05  
  
DIRECTION DES STATISTIQUES  
Blvd. Maa El Aynain  
Agdal-Rabat, Morocco  
Phone: (212) (7) 77-36-06  
Fax:   (212) (7) 77-30-42  
  
OFFICE NATIONAL DE L'ELECTRICITE (ONE)  
Driss Benhima, General Manager  
65, Rue Othman Ben Affane  
Casablanca, Morocco  
Phone: (212) (2) 22-41-65  
Fax:   (212) (2) 22-00-38  
  
OFFICE NATIONAL DES POSTES & TELECOMMUNICATIONS (ONPT)  
Abdeslam Ahizoune, General Manager  
6, Rue Oqbah  
Rabat, Morocco  
Phone: (212) (7) 70-64-64  
Fax:   (212) (7) 70-20-22  
  
OFFICE NATIONAL DE L'EAU POTABLE (ONEP)  
Lahoucine Tijani, General Manager  
6, Bis Rue Patrice Lumumba  
Rabat-Chellah, Morocco  
Phone: (212) (7) 72-65-15  
Fax:   (212) (7) 73-13-55  
  
OFFICE CHERIFIEN DES PHOSPHATES (OCP)  
Mourad Cherif, General Manager  
Route d'El Jadida  
Casablanca, Morocco  
Phone: (212) (2)  23-01-25  
Fax:   (212) (2)  25-09-99  
  
OFFICE D'EXPLOITATION DES PORTS (ODEP)  
Mohamed Halab, General Manager  
175, Blvd. Mohamed Zerktouni  
Casablanca, Morocco  
Phone: (212) (2) 23-23-24  
Fax:   (212) (2) 23-23-35  
  
COUNTRY TRADE ASSOCIATIONS/CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE  
  
CONFEDERATION GENERALE ECONOMIQUE MAROCAINE (CGEM)   
Abderrahim Lahjouji, President  
23, Rue Mohamed Abdouh  
Casablanca, Morocco  
Phone: (212) (2) 25-26-96  
Fax:   (212) (2) 25-38-39  
  
AMIPROS  
(Association of Grains Importers)  
Mohamed Raissi, President  
223 Blvd. Mohammed V  
Casablanca, Morocco  
Phone: (212) (2) 30-24-04  
Fax:   (212) (2) 30-52-27  
  
LESIEUR/UNIGRAL CRISTAL  
(Oilseeds Crushers, Cooking Oil Refiner)  
Hamadi El Oufir, Director  
2, Rue Caporal Corbi  
Casablanca, Morocco  
Phone: (212) (2) 35-46-36  
Fax:   (212) (2) 35-40-97  
  
ASSOCIATION DES FABRICANTS D'ALIMENTS COMPOSES (AFAC)  
(Association of Feed Manufacturers)  
Idrissi Abbes Touzani, President  
c/o INAM, 149/51 Route de Ouled Ziane  
Casablanca, Morocco  
Phone: (212) (2) 24-28-08  
Fax:   (212) (2) 40-35-36  
  
AMERICAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE  
Randy Browning, President  
18, Rue Colbert  
Casablanca, Morocco  
Phone: (212) (2) 31-14-48  
Fax:   (212) (2) 31-66-07  
  
OFFICE DES FOIRES ET EXPOSITIONS DE CASABLANCA  
Abdelkader Berbache, General Manager  
11, rue Jules Mauran  
Casablanca, Morocco  
Phone: (212) (2) 22-28-13  
Fax:   (212) (2) 26-49-49  
  
ASSOCIATION DES INDUSTRIES MINIERES  
Mohamed Lakhsassi, President  
1 Place de l'Istiqlal  
Casablanca, Morocco  
Phone: (212) (2) 30-68-98  
Fax:   (212) (2) 31-99-96  
  
ASSOCIATION MAROCAINE DU CONSEIL ET DE L'INGENIERIE  
(Engineering)  
Balafrej, President  
Charii Maryniyines, Secteur 22 Hay Ryad.  
Rabat, Morocco  
Phone: (212) (7) 71-10-90/94  
Fax:   (212) (7) 71-10-87  
  
ASSOCIATION DES MARCHANDS ET IMPORTATEURS DE MATERIEL AGRICOLE  
Ouazzani, President  
Comicom, 9 Boulevard d'Oujda  
Casablanca, Morocco  
Phone: (212) (2) 30-22-11  
Fax:   (212) (2) 30-60-82  
  
APEBI  
(Telcom/Computers)  
A. Doss Bennani, President  
Place Zellaqua, Tour Atlas  
Casablanca, Morocco  
Phone: (212) (2) 30-85-85  
Fax:   (212) (2) 30-00-30  
  
COUNTRY MARKET RESEARCH FIRMS:  
  
CREARGIE MAROC  
Dominique Schwartz, General Manager  
106, Rue Abderrahmane Sahraoui  
Casablanca, Morocco  
Phone:  (212) (2) 27-96-57  
Fax:    (212) (2) 29-36-66  
  
KILMER INVESTMENTS  
Robert Jennings, General Manager  
44 Lotissement Zohra, El Harhoura  
Rabat, Morocco  
Phone/Fax: (212) (7) 74-79-12  
  
M.T.D.S.  
James Lowenthal, General Manager  
43, Rue Oukaimeden, No. 2  
Rabat-Agdal, Morocco  
Phone: (212) (7) 67-48-61  
Fax:   (212) (7) 67-48-63  
  
O.T.I. MAGHREB  
McClain Ramsey, Administrator  
95, Blvd. El Massira Khadra  
Casablanca, Morocco  
Phone: (212) (2) 23-37-22  
Fax:   (212) (2) 25-40-11  
  
  
COUNTRY COMMERCIAL BANKS  
  
CITIBANK-MAGHREB  
Jaloul Ayad, Managing Director  
52, Avenue Hassan II  
Casablanca, Morocco  
Phone:  (212) (2) 22-41-68  
Fax:    (212) (2) 27-54-3  
  
  
BANQUE COMMERCIALE DU MAROC  
Malik Annabi, Head of Int'l Department  
2, Blvd Moulay Youssef  
Casablanca, Morocco  
Phone:  (212) (2) 22-41-69  
Fax:    (212) (2) 26-88-52  
  
BANQUE MAROCAINE DU COMMERCE EXTERIEUR  
Farid Arfaoui, Head of Int'l Department  
140, Blvd. Hassan II  
Casablanca, Morocco  
Phone: (212) (2) 20-03-25  
Fax:   (212) (2) 20-04-90   
  
BANQUE MAROCAINE POUR LE COMMERCE ET L'INDUSTRIE  
Mustapha Faris, President  
26, Place Mohammed V  
Casablanca, Morocco  
Phone: (212) (2) 22-41-61  
Fax:   (212) (2) 20-89-78  
  
WAFABANK  
Larbi Aouad, Head of Int'l Department  
163, Avenue Hassan II  
Casablanca, Morocco  
Phone: (212) (2) 22-41-05  
Fax:   (212) (2) 26-62-02  
  
CREDIT DU MAROC  
Jamal Lemridi, Director Int'l Affairs  
48-58 Blvd. Mohammed V  
Casablanca, Morocco  
Phone: (212) (2) 22-41-42  
Fax:   (212) (2) 27-71-27	  
   
SOCIETE GENERALE MAROCAINE DE BANQUES  
Omar Tazi, General Manager  
55 Blvd. Abdelmoumen  
Casablanca, Morocco  
Phone: (212) (2) 27-92-69  
Fax:   (212) (2) 26-28-51  
  
BANQUE CENTRALE POPULAIRE  
Rachid Bennani-Smires, Director Int'l Affairs  
101 Blvd. Mohammed Zerktouni  
Casablanca, Morocco  
Phone: (212) (2) 20-25-33  
Fax:   (212) (2) 22-26-99  
  
U.S. MISSION TRADE PERSONNEL  
  
EMBASSY RABAT  
2, Avenue de Marrakech  
Rabat, Morocco  
Phone: (212) (7) 76-22-65  
Fax:   (212) (7) 76-56-61  
  
-James Yellin, Economic Counselor   
-Don Koran, Economic Officer  
-Quintin Gray, Agricultural Attache  
-Susan Riley, Private Sector Officer, USAID  
-Karima Hammoud, Commercial Assistant, US Commercial Service     
-Aziz Abdelali, Agricultural Marketing Specialist  
-Colonel Grant Lorenz, Office Defense Corporation  
  
CONSULATE GENERAL CASABLANCA  
US AND FOREIGN COMMERCIAL OFFICE  
8, Blvd. Moulay Youssef  
Casablanca, Morocco  
Phone: (212) (2) 26-45-50  
Fax:   (212) (2) 22-02-59 or 20-41-27   
  
-Frederic Gaynor, Commercial Counselor  
-Michael Ratney, Economic Officer  
-Latifa Louraoui, Senior Commercial Specialist  
-Wafaa Belkacemi, Commercial Assistant  
  
WASHINGTON-BASED USG COUNTRY CONTACTS  
    
U.S. Department of Commerce  
  
Regional Director: Benjamin Brown, ANESA/US&FCS Washington, D.C.  
Phone (202) 482-4836; Fax 482-5179  
-Deputy Regional Director:  Shakir Farsakh  
  
Morocco Desk Officer: David Gugliemi, IEP/ANESA Washington, D.C.  
Phone: (202) 482-5545; Fax 482-5179   
  
Multilateral Development Bank Office  
Brenda Ebeling, Director  
Department of Commerce  
14th and Constitution, N.W.  
Washington, D.C. 20007  
Phone: (202) 482-3399; Fax: 482-5179  
   
TPCC TRADE INFORMATION CENTER  
Washington, D.C.: 1-800-USA-TRADE  
  
U.S. Department of State  
Morocco Desk Officer: Anthony Benesch, NEA/MAG Washington, D.C.  
Phone (202) 647-4675; Fax: 736-4458  
  
U.S. Department of Agriculture  
Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS)  
Director Grain & Feed Division: Cina Radler, Washington D.C.  
Phone: (202) 720-3403; Fax: 720-0340  
  
U.S. Trade Development Agency  
Regional Director Africa/Middle East: John Richter  
Phone: (703) 875-4357; Fax: 875-4009  
  
U.S. Export Import Bank (Exim)  
Africa and Middle East Division  
811 Vermont Avenue, NW, Washington D.C. 20571  
Phone: (202) 566-8859; Fax: 566-7524  
  
Office of Private Investment Corporation (OPIC)  
1100 New York Avenue, NW  
Washington, DC 20527  
Phone: (202) 336-8799  
Toll-free: (800) 424-OPIC (6742)	  
  
  
U.S.-BASED MULTIPLIERS RELEVANT FOR COUNTRY  
  
Arab-American Chamber of Commerce (NewYork)  
Phone: (212) 986-8024  
Fax:   (212) 996-0216  
  
Moroccan Embassy  
1601 21st Street NW  
Washington, D.C. 20009-1002  
Phone: (202) 462-7979  
Fax:   (202) 265-0161   
  
  
  
APPENDIX D: Market Research  
  
Market Research published in FY'95 by the U.S. Commercial Service  
  
--Pollution Control Equipment & Services  
--Materials Handling Equipment  
--Telecommunication Services  
  
Market Research planned for 1996  
  
- Franchising  
- Medical Equipment and Supplies  
- Electric Power Generation Equipment  
  
List of USDA/FAS/Commodity Reports & Briefs  
===========================================  
Report                    Date Due (Yearly)  
===========================================  
Oilseeds & Products  February 1  
Grain & Feed               March 6  
Sugar                      April 10  
Tobacco & Products         May 1  
Cotton                     June 1  
Citrus                     November 1  
Almond                     August 20  
Agricultural Situation     September 30  
Seafood Report (Squids)    September 15  
  
  
  
APPENDIX E: Trade Event Schedule  
  
  
Multi-State Catalog Exhibition "Products for Development" March 13-14, 1996.
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