Morocco – Brand South Africa on Wednesday said Morocco is on track to strengthen its position on the chessboard investments in Africa while calling on the South African government to redouble its efforts to stay in the race with the Kingdom.
“Morocco continues to strengthen its position as a destination for foreign direct investment (FDI),” said Petrus de Kock, director of research at Brand South Africa.
“Morocco is positioning itself on a trajectory of reinforcement of its assets during the next years”, added the manager, underlining that South Africa must redouble its efforts to remain in the race.
The South African agency was responding to the recent public rating of Ernst & Young (EY), one of the world’s largest financial audit and advisory firms, in its 2018 Africa Investment Report.
The report showed that Morocco has caught up with South Africa, with which the Kingdom now ranks first in terms of FDI in Africa.
According to the report, Morocco and South Africa each attracted 96 foreign investment projects in 2017. Kenya is third with 67 projects.
The head of Brand South Africa noted that the firm’s report shows that the investment map in Africa is undergoing significant changes.
“These changes have big implications for South Africa as President Cyril Ramaphosa tries to make investment promotion a priority for his government,” he said, noting that South Africa must use its potential to enhance its attractiveness to the rise of new continental powers.
In its 2018 report, EY stressed that Morocco remains one of the most attractive destinations for investment in Africa, citing, among the strong points of Morocco, its “consistent” economic growth and political stability.
Thanks to a stable climate and solid economic fundamentals, Morocco has, along with South Africa, attracted the largest number of FDI in Africa in 2017, says EY.
The firm focused particularly on the sector of the automotive industry, which has become one of the pillars of the Moroccan economy. This sector continues to attract investors in Morocco especially as the Kingdom intends to consolidate its position as the international hub of this promising industry, said the firm.
In North Africa, a region that includes Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Egypt, the Kingdom stands out as the undisputed leader, capturing 52 pc of all FDI in the region, far ahead of Egypt, second with 30 pc.
Like South Africa in southern Africa, Nigeria in West Africa and Ethiopia in East Africa, Morocco is the main economic power in North Africa, says EY.
Morocco, South Africa, Nigeria and Ethiopia alone account for 40 percent of the total number of FDI across the continent, according to the report.
In an interview with MAP-Johannesburg, Graham Thompson, Africa director at EY, said Morocco has been able to increase its attractiveness as a result of its political stability of the bold reforms implemented in recent years.
Morocco has been able to establish an investment-friendly environment through a series of reforms implemented in recent years, said Thompson, noting that these reforms offer the strong guarantees that investors seek in terms of protecting their projects and conditions for the flourishing of their activities.
These reforms have given Morocco high visibility in the ranks of the business community, he said.
Morocco has another major advantage, namely its highly strategic geographic position, the EY official said, adding that the Kingdom’s proximity to Europe facilitates trade between Morocco and the old continent.