Economic Trends

Major Trends and Outlook
Morocco boasts the world's largest phosphate reserves, a diverse agricultural sector, rich fisheries, a sizeable and growing tourist industry, a growing manufacturing sector (especially clothing), and a dynamic, telecommunications sector. There is a considerable inflow of funds from Moroccans working abroad. Most of Morocco's trade is with Europe, with France alone accounting for about a quarter of Morocco's imports and a third of its exports.

Principal Growth Sectors
Agriculture: Agriculture accounts for between 15 and 20 percent of GDP (depending on the harvest) and employs about 40 percent of the workforce. Morocco is a net exporter of fruits and vegetables, and a net importer of cereals. Over 90 percent of agriculture is rain-fed.

Fishing: The fishing industry is a key sector of the Moroccan economy, employing about 300,000 people directly and indirectly, and accounting for over $600 million in export earnings. Morocco did renew its fisheries agreement with the European Union (EU), which expired on November 30,1999. Working to better manage its fish resources, the Government of Morocco has been imposing periodic fishing bans on various types of fish and regions.

Industry: Industrial output rose 2.8 percent in 1999, and is expected to continue to expand. Electricity generation is rising as new thermal generating capacity comes on line and hydroelectric production continues at high levels.

World market conditions will determine developments for Morocco's export industries, notably phosphate derivatives, processed agricultural products and clothing. Much of the clothing production is done under contract with European companies that provide the inputs and receive the finished garments.

Mining: Morocco has the world's largest phosphate reserves. The export of phosphates and its derivatives (phosphoric acid and fertilizer) account for about 18.5 percent of Moroccan exports. The export earnings of phosphate and phosphate derivatives reached $1.4 billion in 1999, the same level recorded in 1997.

Morocco's other mineral resources include copper, fluorine, lead, barite, iron, and anthracite. Globally, Morocco is a significant producer and exporter of industrial minerals. It is also a significant regional producer of base metals, primarily for Europe.