The ninth meeting of the Strategic Watch Committee : 17/02/2010

The ninth meeting of the Strategic Watch Committee

The Strategic Watch Committee (SWC) held its ninth meeting on Wednesday, February 17th 2010 at the Ministry of Economy and Finance in Rabat.

The committee has been opened by the Minister of Economy and Finance who provided evidence on the inventory of fixtures of the international environment. The committee also noted the prospects for improving the worldwide economic situation in 2009. A decoupling between developed economies and emerging ones has also been reported with a more positive outlook for growth of emerging economies. However, despite these signs of recovery, the fundamental issues remain uncertain and require more vigilance particularly concerning the employment and public finances issues.

At the national level, the Minister stated that Moroccan economy showed good resilience to the crisis effects through a process of sustained growth despite some structural weaknesses revealed by this crisis and which called for a reinforced monitoring by the SWC.

The presentation of the monitoring device on the changing industry conditions confirmed the lessening of the pace of decreases related to sectors as affected by the crisis mainly (manufacturing, tourism, OCP and transfers from Moroccans residing abroad "MRE").

Indeed, signs of the most significant improvements were observed in tourism income and transfers made by MRE which moved from -21.6% and -14.6% as of the end March 2009 to -5% and -5.3% as of the end December 2009. Other exportation sectors show also positive signs of recovery. Thus, the rate of decline in exports excluding OCP revenues significantly slowed to 10.7% at end December instead of 21.9% at end-March.

According to the CNSS, the level of the fall of imployment slowed down. Indeed, the loss of employment in industries for textiles and clothing declined from 12 476 to 7 473 between April and December 2009. Concerning the "motor vehicle" branch, the increasing trend is positive as it shows a net job creation of about 753 positions in December while it lost around 3 091 jobs in April.

The committee was also an opportunity to take assessment measures to deal with the crisis. Furthermore, analysis of the situation through such measures is as follows :

  • Social Component: The CNSS has allocated 465.6 million dirhams to pay 394 companies. Textile, garment and leather companies represent over 90% of recipients followed by the automotive sector with 8%.
  • Financial component: The CCG dealt with 116 cases, 93% of which related to the textile sector, corresponding to an approved amount of 686 million dirhams.
  • Trade Component: Several applications have been processed since the implementation of this measure .All sectors took benefit from this measure especially the textile sector, in addition to sustaining effort to diversify markets component (Foreign Exchange Market).
  • Training component: 160 certificates of eligibility were issued including 131 for the textile-clothing and leather sectors and 26 for automotive suppliers.

    On the basis of these evaluations, committee members accepted to extend all of these measures on the next six months.

    In perspective of the year 2010, the committee focussed on sectoral and transverse themes with the objective of recovery for better positioning in the post crisis period.

    In this frame, issues relating to regional integration and South-South partnerships positioning, competitiveness and growth drivers were identified as priorities in the discussions during the SWC meeting. It was also recommended to relaunch the housing sector with regard to long-term savings issue.

    The committee will remain mobilized to safeguard the country?s growth potential and employment and to take advantage of opportunities offered by the post-crisis period. This will be ensured through optimizing the international economic alliance of the country, boosting export?s driving forces and promoting dynamic sectors linked to domestic demand.

    Participants in that meeting chaired by the Minister of Economy and Finance, included the Wali of Bank Al Maghrib, the Ministers of Housing, Urban and Spatial Planning, of Energy, Mines, Water and Environment, of Trade, Industry and New Technologies, of Foreign Trade, of Economic and General Affairs, of Moroccans residing abroad as well as representatives of various departments Members of this committee.

    This meeting was also attended by the CEO of OCP, the CEO of Attijari-Wafa Bank, the CEO of BCP, the CEO of the General Confederation of Enterprises Morocco (CGEM), the Presidents of AMITH, AMICA, the Tourism Federation and the Chairman of the National Foreign Trade council.