The Economy of Morocco
As of 2006, the economy of Morocco is the 5th biggest in the African continent with GDP of about $152.5 billion, or around 7% of Africa, next to South Africa, Egypt, Algeria, and Nigeria, based on the report of the African Development Bank. The biggest contributor to the economy is the mining of phosphates followed by the remittances of Moroccans working and living abroad. Tourism is the 3rd main source of income with almost 7.5 million tourists in 2007. The IMF released a statement on July 2008 saying the country is a pillar of development in the region and complimented the continuous efforts of King Mohammed VI and the Central Bank.
The agricultural sector constitutes almost 40% of the total labour force. Morocco is one of few Arab or African countries that can produce enough food for domestic consumption such as wheat, barley, and corn. It exports citrus fruits and some early vegetables to the European region. The industry sector remains a strong and stable component of the nation’s economy. Morocco is the biggest silver market in Africa and 3rd biggest exporter of phosphate in the world next to the US and China. It has 2 oil refineries, in Mohammedia and Sid Kacem. Tourism also plays a very important role making the country one of the top tourist sites in the world. Morocco launched its “Vision 2010”, with the main goal of attracting 10 million visitors by 2010.
The main trading partners of Morocco include France, Spain, China, Italy, Saudi Arabia, UK, and Germany. The country’s main export products are garments, inorganic chemicals, crude minerals, and other petroleum products. Morocco has engaged in numerous free trade agreements in the last couple of years to further strengthen its economic presence in the global market. Some of it includes the Euro-Mediterranean Free Trade Area (European Union), Agadir Agreement (Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan), US-Morocco Free Trade Agreement, and the free trade with Turkey.