Investment charter: home stretch

lMajor economies are seeking to increase their attractiveness in order to attract more FDI, which is an important component of economic and social development.

While we are interested in national priorities on the economic front, it is easy to see that making the Kingdom more attractive to national and international investors has been made a priority by successive governments in recent years. This is reinforced by Morocco’s improved ranking in Doing Business, which has been temporarily suspended by the World Bank.

Government authorities and stakeholders (CGEM, GPBM, etc.) have been considering for almost 6 years (2016) the reform of the investment charter, the draft framework law of which was finally adopted by the Council of Ministers on 13 July. 2022. Economic operators have been waiting for a long time for a new investment charter to take into account new economic, social and spatial challenges. In May 2022, during a speech to Parliament, Aziz Ahannouch lifted the veil on some of the key objectives of the new investment charter. One can cite an increase in the share of private investment in the country’s total investment to two-thirds by 2035 (against barely one-third today) to reach 350 billion dirhams.

Another important detail revealed by the head of government is that the draft framework law also provides for support measures intended for projects of a strategic nature, such as the defense or pharmaceutical industries. And this is within the framework of the National Investment Commission. Also planned is a special support mechanism dedicated to very small, small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as a mechanism dedicated to the development of Moroccan investments abroad. In addition, the executive branch is to issue a decree to halve the cost of investment programs requiring state support to reduce it from 100 million to 50 million dirhams. Such a measure can stimulate investment by SMEs.

Targeting high value-added manufacturing sectors

The draft framework law aims to improve the impact of investment, in particular to create permanent jobs and reduce differences between provinces and prefectures in terms of attractiveness. The new system also aims to direct investment towards high value-added manufacturing sectors. Sustainable development, increasing the attractiveness of the Kingdom to make it a continental and international center for foreign direct investment (FDI), improving the business climate, facilitating the investment process, as well as a significant increase in the share of domestic and foreign private investment. are among the priorities of the draft framework law.

lThe government has also taken a number of parallel measures to accelerate projects related to the simplification and digitization of procedures, easier access to land and improved governance. This initiative should also strengthen the participation of the banking sector in the field of investment. In the same spirit, the new draft charter is based on an important support mechanism that promotes, among other things, the creation of wealth and its equitable distribution. It also has an incentive arsenal offering general investment support compensation, additional territorial compensation, and additional sectoral subsidies.

A new era after a decade of self-isolation

Mohsin Jazuli, Delegate Minister in charge of Investment, Convergence and Public Policy Evaluation, recently introduced Framework Law No. 03.22, forming the Investment Charter, at the Finance and Economic Development Commission in the House of Representatives. The Minister pointed out that the new text broke the deadlock in which the draft of the new Investment Charter has been for more than ten years, during which more than 65 revisions were prepared.