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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
MOROCCO: 1994 COUNTRY REPORT ON ECONOMIC POLICY AND TRADE PRACTICES
BUREAU OF ECONOMIC AND BUSINESS AFFAIRS





                             MOROCCO

                     Key Economic Indicators
        (Millions of U.S. dollars unless otherwise noted)


                                    1992      1993      1994  5/

Income, Production and Employment:

Real GDP (billions, in 1980 DHs)   110.3     109.1     117.8
Real GDP Growth (pct.)              -4.4      -1.1       8.0
GDP (at current prices)           28,253    26,636    30,419
By Sector:
  Agriculture/Fishing              4,220     3,809     5,333
  Mining                             592       524       576
  Energy/Water                     2,084     2,043     2,369
  Manufacturing                    5,118     4,800     5,184
  Construction                     1,410     1,252     1,327
  Commerce                         6,010     5,555     6,111
  Other Services                   3,411     3,370     3,707
  Transport/Communications         1,779     1,788     1,966
  Government                       3,628     3,496     3,845
Per Capita GDP (USD)               1,112     1,021     1,142
Labor Force (millions)  1/           4.1       4.3       4.6
Unemployment (pct.)  1/             16.0      16.0      16.0

Money and Prices:  (annual percentage growth)

Money Supply (M2)                    9.3       8.7      12.7
Maximum Lending Rate  2/            15.6      14.0      12.0
Private Savings Rate (pct. GDP)      4.9       6.1       8.0
Retail Inflation                     5.7       5.2       5.4
Wholesale Inflation                  2.8       4.5       2.7
Exchange Rate (year-end, DH/USD)     8.5       9.3       9.3

Balance of Payments and Trade:

Total Exports (FOB)                3,977     3,685     4,138
  Exports to U.S.                    149       126       N/A
Total Imports (CAF)                7,356     6,646     7,503
  Imports from U.S.                  435       672       N/A
Aid from U.S. 3/                     126       112        51
External Public Debt              20,422    20,246    20,525
Debt Service Ratio 4/               37.3      38.1      34.7
Foreign Exchange Reserves          3,948     4,105     4,100
Trade Balance                     -3,379    -2,961    -3,365
  Trade Balance with U.S.           -286      -546       N/A


N/A--Not available.

1/ Urban.
2/ Year-end rate, not change.
3/ Fiscal year.
4/ As a percent of goods, nonfactor services and private
transfers.
5/ Projections based on data available October 1994.





1.  General Policy Framework

    Morocco boasts the largest phosphate reserves in the world,
a diverse agricultural sector (including fishing), a large
tourist industry, a growing manufacturing sector (especially
clothing), and considerable inflows of funds from Moroccan
expatriate workers.  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.  Further reforms are still needed in
some areas, notably trade and agriculture.

    The government eased slightly both monetary and fiscal
policy over the last year.  In late 1993 the Central Bank
reduced the reserve requirement from 25 to 10 percent, but
required the value of additional reserves made available by the
measure to be placed in interest-bearing treasury bonds.  The
growth in deposits after October 1993 is only subject to the 10
percent reserve requirement, and not to the treasury bond
requirement.  This led to an increase in the growth of the
money supply (M2) from 8.7 percent in 1993 to an annualized
rate of over 12 percent by late 1994.

    The government's budget deficit is running above initial
projections in 1994 due to unfulfilled expectations contained
in the budget, unfavorable exogenous developments and new
spending initiatives not included in the budget.  The
government took measures to reduce spending during the second
half of 1994 year in order to stem the growing deficit.  The
government also relies increasingly on the sale of assets under
its privatization program to offset higher spending.  The
deficit is financed largely through the domestic sale of
government paper.

    Overall, reforms have contributed to lower inflation,
narrower fiscal and current account deficits, and modest growth
in per capita income during the last decade.  While the overall
trend has been positive, there have been wide year-to-year
fluctuations due to exogenous factors such as rainfall and
conditions in Morocco's export markets.  The economy rebounded
sharply in 1994, with real GDP expected to grow by over eight
percent.  Virtually all of the growth is due to a record
cereals harvest following drought-depressed harvests in 1992
and 1993.  Nonagricultural GDP is only expected to grow by two
to three percent in real terms.


2.  Exchange Rate Policies

    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 routinely available 
through commercial banks for such transactions on presentation
of documents.  Moroccan companies may borrow abroad without
prior government permission.

    The Central Bank sets the exchange rate for the dirham
against a basket of currencies of its principal trading
partners, particularly the French franc and other European
currencies.  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 large weight given to European currencies in the
basket means that the fluctuation of the dollar against those
currencies results in a greater volatility of the dollar than
the European currencies against the dirham.  This increases the
foreign exchange risk of importing from the United States as
compared to importing from Europe.


3.  Structural Policies

    Morocco's trade regime is in a flux.  A new foreign trade
act passed in 1992 reverses a legal presumption of import
protection, spelling out permissible grounds for exceptions to
the general principle of free trade and providing a legal basis
for antidumping and countervailing duties.  It replaces
quantitative restrictions with tariffs (both ad valorem and
variable) on the importation of politically sensitive items. 
However, the new law has not been fully implemented as of late
1994 and nontariff barriers (i.e. licensing requirements)
remain on a number of goods, notably agricultural products and
crude oil.  Many of these requirements are scheduled to be
eliminated by January 1995 under the Uruguay Round agreement.

    Interest rate policy has also changed in recent years.  In
early 1994 the government revised the interest rate ceilings on
bank loans.  The ceiling had previously been set as a 2.5
percentage point markup over the average rate banks receive on
deposits, excluding the below-market-rates for some required
holdings.  The new ceiling is set as a three to four percent
markup over the rate received on deposits, including the
below-market-rates on required deposits.  The effect of the
change is to lower the interest rate ceilings, although real
rates remain high.

    Morocco has a three-part tax structure consisting of a
value added tax (VAT), a corporate profits tax, and an
individual income tax.  The investment code provides exemptions
from some taxes based on the type and location of investment. 
In 1993 the government lowered the maximum personal and
corporate income taxes and reduced the tax on stock dividends.


4.  Debt Management Policies

    Morocco's foreign debt burden has declined steadily in
recent years.  Foreign debt fell from 128 percent of GDP in
1985 to about 67 percent of GDP in 1994.  Similarly, debt
service payments before rescheduling, as a share of goods and
services exports, fell from over 58 percent in 1985 to about 35
percent in 1994, which is roughly what actual rescheduled debt
service payments averaged in recent years.  The Moroccan 
Government therefore does not foresee the need for further
Paris Club rescheduling.


5.  Significant Barriers to U.S. Exports and Investment

    Import licenses:  Morocco has eliminated import licensing
requirements on a number of items in recent years.  Import
licensing requirements for several items, including sugar,
cereals and edible oils, are slated to be eliminated in early
1995.  That will leave mainly motor vehicles, used clothing and
explosives covered by import licensing requirements. 

    Tariffs:  Tariffs have been gradually reduced in recent
years.  By 1993 the maximum tariff was 35 percent and the
(trade-weighted) average tariff was about 13 percent.  That
trend is now being reversed as Morocco replaces quantitative
restrictions with higher tariffs on a number of products.  In
particular, tariffs of up to 300 percent were imposed in late
1993 on dairy and meat products in conjunction with the
elimination of licensing requirements on those items.  Tariffs
of between 73 and 311 percent may be imposed on cereals, edible
oils and sugar following the elimination of licensing
requirements and reference price systems on those goods early
next year.  There is also a 10 to 15 percent surtax on imports.

    Services barriers:  In November 1989 Parliament abrogated a
1973 law requiring majority Moroccan ownership of firms in a
wide range of industries, thus eliminating what had been a
barrier to U.S. investment in Morocco.  In 1993 the Moroccan
Government repealed the 1974 decree limiting foreign ownership
in the petroleum refining and distribution sector, which
allowed Mobil Oil to buy back the Moroccan Government's 50
percent share of Mobil's Moroccan subsidiary in 1994.

    Standards, testing, labeling and certification:  Morocco
applies approximately 500 industrial standards based on
international norms.  These apply primarily to packaging,
metallurgy and construction.  Sanitary regulations apply to
virtually all food imports.  Meat must be slaughtered according
to Islamic law.

    Investment barriers:  The Moroccan Government actively
encourages foreign investment.  The investment law contains
separate sectoral codes covering industry, tourism, housing,
maritime, mining, petroleum exploitation and exports.  These
codes generally provide incentives equally to both Moroccan and
foreign investors.  There are no foreign investor performance
requirements, although investors receive incentives such as tax
breaks under the various sectoral codes depending on the size,
sector, and location of the investment.  Investment screening
procedures, applicable to both domestic and foreign investors,
are implemented only when an investor requests benefits under
the applicable sector code.

    Government procurement practices:  While Moroccan
government procurement regulations allow for preferences for
Moroccan bidders, the effect of the preference on U.S.
companies is limited.  Virtually all of the government
procurement contracts that interests U.S. companies are large
projects for which the competition is non-Moroccan (mainly 
European) companies.  Many of these projects are financed by
multilateral development banks which impose their own
nondiscriminatory procurement regulations.  U.S. companies
sometimes have difficulties with the requirement that bids for
government procurement be in French.

    Customs procedures:  In principle customs procedures are
simple and straightforward, but in practice they are sometimes
marked by delays.  A commercial invoice is required, but no
special invoice form is necessary.  Certification as to country
of origin of the goods is required.


6.  Export Subsidies Policies

    There are no direct export subsidies.  The centerpiece of
export promotion policy is a temporary admission scheme which
allows for suspension of duties and licensing requirements on
imported inputs for export production.  This scheme has been
extended to include indirect exporters (local suppliers to
exporters).  In addition, a "prior export" program exists,
whereby exporters can claim a refund on duties paid on imports
which were subsequently transformed and exported.

    The government maintains an export industry investment code
which provides up to five years' tax holiday on 50 percent of
profits for qualified Moroccan and foreign investors.  Morocco
is not a signatory of the GATT subsidies code.


7.  Protection of U.S. Intellectual Property

    Morocco is a member of the World Intellectual Property
Organization (WIPO) and is a party to several international
agreements including: (a) the Berne Convention for the
Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, (b) the Paris
Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, (c) the
Universal Copyright Convention, (d) the Brussels Convention
Relating to the Distribution of Programme-Carrying Signals
Transmitted by Satellite Convention, (e) the Madrid Agreement
Concerning the International Registration of Marks, (f) the
Nice Agreement Concerning the International Classification of
Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of
Marks and (g) the Hague Agreement Concerning the International
Deposit of Industrial Designs.

    Copyright:  Computer software is not specifically covered
by Morocco's copyright law and software piracy is a widespread
problem.

    Patents:  Morocco has a relatively complete regulatory and
legislative system for the protection of intellectual
property.  A quirk dating from the era of the French and
Spanish protectorates requires patent applications for
industrial property to be filed in both Casablanca and Tangier
for complete protection.

    Trademarks:  Counterfeiting of clothing, luggage, and other
consumer goods is not uncommon, however, anti-counterfeiting
measures have been increasingly enforced.  Counterfeiting is
primarily for local sales rather than for export.  Trademarks
must also be filed in both Casablanca and Tangier.


8.  Workers Rights

    a.  The Right of Association

    Workers are free to form and join unions throughout the
country.  The right is exercised widely but not universally. 
Probably ten percent of Morocco's 4.6 million urban workers are
unionized, mostly in the public sector.  The selection of union
officers and the carrying out of their duties are sometimes
subject to government pressure.  The constitutional right to
strike was called into question in 1994 when the government
sought to ban a general strike proposed by one union.  The
government contended that the right to strike requires
implementing legislation, which has never been adopted.  Unions
and human rights groups rejected the government
interpretation.  The strike call was finally rescinded by the
union.  More narrowly focused strikes continue to occur,
although strikers often encounter police harassment and
arrest.  Many work stoppages are intended to advertise
grievances and last 24 hours or less.

    b.  The Right to Organize and Bargain Collectively

    While the protection of the right to organize and bargain
collectively exists in the constitution and labor law, the
government does not always enforce the protections fully.  Laws
protecting collective bargaining are not highly developed,
although an implied right is exercised.  The multiplicity of
trade union federations creates competition to organize
workers.  A single factory may contain several independent
locals.  Labor laws are observed most often in the corporate
and parastatal sectors of the economy.  In the informal
economy, labor regulations are routinely ignored.  As a
practical matter, the unions in Morocco have no judicial
recourse to oblige the government to act when it has not met
its obligations under the law.

    c.  Prohibition of Forced or Compulsory Labor

    Forced or compulsory labor is not practiced in Morocco.

    d.  Minimum Age for Employment of Children

    Children may not be legally employed or apprenticed before
age 12.  Special regulations govern the employment of children
between the ages of 12 and 16.  In practice, children are often
apprenticed before age 12, particularly in handicraft work. 
The use of minors is common in the rug-making and tanning
industries.  Children are also employed informally as domestics
and usually receive little or no wages.  Child labor laws are
generally well-observed in the industrialized, unionized sector
of the economy.

    e.  Acceptable Conditions of Work

    The minimum wage was raised ten percent on July 1, 1994, to
about $168 a month.  This was the first raise in the minimum
wage in two years.  The minimum wage is not enforced
effectively in the informal sector of the economy.  It is
enforced fairly effectively throughout the industrialized,
unionized sector where most workers, except for those
employed
in garment assembly, earn more than minimum wage.  Moreover,
workers are customarily paid between 13 and 16 months' salary
for every 12-month year.  The law provides a 48-hour maximum
work week, with not more than 10 hours for any single day,
premium pay for overtime, paid public and annual holidays, and
minimum conditions for health and safety, including the
prohibition of night work for women and minors.  As with other
regulations and laws, these are observed unevenly, if at all,
in the informal sector.

    f.  Rights in Sectors with U.S. Investment

    Worker rights in sectors with U.S. investment do not differ
from those described above in the formal, industrial sector of
the Moroccan economy.



  Extent of U.S. Investment in Selected Industries.--U.S. Direct
Investment Position Abroad on an Historical Cost Basis--1993

                    (Millions of U.S. dollars)
                                                                
              Category                          Amount          

Petroleum                                              (1)
Total Manufacturing                                    71
  Food & Kindred Products                    27
  Chemicals and Allied Products               8
  Metals, Primary & Fabricated               (1)
  Machinery, except Electrical               (1)
  Electric & Electronic Equipment             0
  Transportation Equipment                    0
  Other Manufacturing                        (1)
Wholesale Trade                                         0
Banking                                                (1)
Finance/Insurance/Real Estate                           0
Services                                                0
Other Industries                                        0
TOTAL ALL INDUSTRIES                                   94       

(1) Suppressed to avoid disclosing data of individual companies
Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic
Analysis

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