Investment charter: what the draft framework law says

After several dozen versions, work on which began under the mandate of Moulay Hafid Elalami, the investment charter will see the light of day under the mandate of Mohsin Jazuli.

The draft framework law No. 03-22, which forms the investment charter, was finally adopted by the government council, then by the ministers, and this Friday, July 22, entered the parliament. The reform that promises to revolutionize State policy in the field of development and attraction of investments.

This major reform concerns both the investment support mechanism itself and measures aimed at enhancing the attractiveness of the kingdom, the preamble to the text states.

The text consists of six chapters: general provisions; investment support schemes; various investment support measures; guarantees provided to investors; investment management; dispute resolution.

As for investment support mechanisms, it consists of the main mechanism and specific mechanisms. The main mechanism aims to support investment projects that meet certain criteria, to reduce disparities between the provinces and prefectures of the Kingdom in terms of attracting investment, and to promote investment in priority areas of activity. With regard to specific mechanisms, they tend to support investment projects of a strategic nature, very small, small and medium-sized enterprises and the development of Moroccan companies at the international level.

Details of investment support schemes

The main device includes:

general investment premiums provided to investment projects in accordance with the criteria defined by law. These awards are given to investment projects for which the total amount or number of stable jobs to be created is greater than or equal to thresholds set by law.

additional investment bonus known as “territory bonus”granted to investment projects carried out in provinces or prefectures, the list of which will be determined by decree.

The bill clarifies that when an investment project is carried out in the territorial jurisdiction of two or more provinces or prefectures, the territorial bonus is granted in proportion to the total investment made in each of the respective provinces or prefectures.

additional investment bonus known as “sector bonus”provided to investment projects implemented in priority sectors of activity, the list of which will be determined by the resolution.

When an investment project is carried out in two or more sectors of activity, the interested investor can use this bonus only once, which corresponds to the sector of activity in which the largest part of his total investment is made.

Specific measures intended for investment projects of a strategic nature, for very small, small and medium-sized enterprises and for the development of Moroccan companies at the international level:

>> System dedicated to investment projects of a strategic nature:

An investment project can be classified as strategic if it meets one or more criteria established by regulatory enactments. Projects under defense industry are automatically considered projects of a strategic nature.

These projects can take advantage of specific contractual advantages. The text clarifies that a specific project support mechanism qualifies as a strategic support mechanism and that the main support mechanism are not cumulative.

>> The device is designed for very small, small and medium enterprises:

Under this draft framework law, the State undertakes to

    • continue financial sector reform by creating support and guarantee mechanisms to facilitate access to finance for very small, small and medium-sized enterprises;
    • take action in favor of these companies in terms of access to public procurement, strengthening production capacity, training and support
    • introduce a special support mechanism designed for very small, small and medium-sized enterprises, the timing of which is set, as the case may be, by legislative or regulatory means.

>> A device designed to encourage the development of Moroccan companies at the international level.

A special support system will be created to encourage the development of Moroccan companies abroad, the timing of which is set by the regulations.

Any investor wishing to take advantage of the main or specific support mechanism must conclude an investment agreement with the state which determines, in particular, the mutual obligations of the state and the investor and the timing of their implementation.

The bill clarifies that the basis for the calculation and rate of general investment premiums, territorial premiums and sectoral premiums are established by law. These bonuses are cumulative between them within 30% of the eligible investment amount.

However, the total amount of investment grants provided to investment projects carried out in the field of energy production from renewable energy sources cannot, under any circumstances, exceed the amount prescribed by law.

Land, logistics, energy… The state is committed to cross-cutting measures

In addition, the draft charter defines other measures to support investment in order to achieve the main goals of the state’s actions in terms of promoting investment, improving the business environment and facilitating the investment process.

These measures relate to cross-functional sectors that affect the company’s competitiveness.

Thus the state aims to facilitate investors’ access to easily mobilizable land at competitive prices. In this regard, measures will be taken to encourage:

– planning, development and operation of production, logistics, commercial, tourism and service areas of activity that meet the needs of investors;

– development of land plots intended for the implementation of investment projects that create added value and stable jobs.

It also undertakes to take the necessary measures to:

– strengthen competitiveness of the logistics sector,

– reform the energy sector and promote the use of renewable energy sources,

– implement a training offer, initial and continuous, adapted to the needs of companies.

– promote research activities and facilitate access to new information technologies and communication.

– work on diversification of financing methodsfacilitating access to the capital market and implementation of innovative financial solutions.

– guarantee accelerating the administrative simplification process associated with the implementation of investments and their dematerialization.

– to continue its policy towards deconcentration of managerial decisions and acts of management associated with the act of investing.

The Charter entered into full force one year after its promulgation.

The text defines the implementation framework with short deadlines. Implementation main supporting device as well as special accessory applicable to investment projects of a strategic nature should be within a period not exceeding 3 (three) months from the date of publication of the framework law in the official bulletin ;

Implementation special accessory designed to encourage development Moroccan companies abroador do for a period not exceeding nine (9) months from the same date;

Finally, the introduction of a special support mechanism designed for very small, small and medium-sized enterprises must be carried out within a period not exceeding twelve (12) months from the same date.

State investment goals

In its first article, the draft law defines the main objectives of the state’s actions in matters of development and investment promotion. They are fixed as follows:

– creation of stable jobs;

– reduction of disproportions between the provinces and prefectures of the Kingdom in terms of attracting investment;

– orientation of investments to priority sectors of activity and professions of the future;

– strengthening the attractiveness of the Kingdom with the aim of turning it into a continental and international center for foreign direct investment;

– promotion of exports and development of Moroccan companies at the international level;

– encouragement of import substitution by local production;

– improving the business environment and facilitating the investment process;

– increase in the share of private, national and international investments in the total volume of investments.

It also defines the principles on which the state policy in the field of development and attraction of investments is built:

– freedom of enterprise;

– free competition and transparency;

– equal treatment of investors regardless of their nationality;

– legal certainty;
– principles of good governance.