Morocco: 2012 a challenging year
The «Arab Spring» was rather mild in Morocco, compared with what is still going on in other countries in the region. This results from the role of the king, the Commander of the faithful, but also from the fact that leaders in Morocco have attempted to anticipate the rise of unrest and discontent.
Today, the country has a true asset with its manageable external indebtedness and its solid and dynamic banking sector.
However, despite true economic and social progress, and despite the benefits that it derives from phosphates, tourism and better infrastructures, Morocco remains a rural, poor and insufficiently diversified country.
Strongly dependent on raw materials, the Moroccan economy remains fragile. Poorer harvests than in 2011 and the deteriorating economic situation in the European Union, its main economic and commercial partner, are weighing on its growth that could be limited to some 3% in 2012. Companies consider payment delays to be excessive, in a country where the driving force behind SMEs - namely credit remains scarce - and continues to be an obstacle.
As the spring board into Africa, Morocco has a Coface rating of A4, one of the best in the region.
However, it must still meet three major challenges: education, health and corruption.
Much will depend on the implementation of the new constitution, the attitude of the government directed by the leader of the Justice and Development Party (moderate Islamists), and greater social justice. In other words, a reduction of poverty, inequality and unemployment.