The Strategic Watch Committee (SWC) held its tenth meeting on Wednesday, April 21st 2010 at the Ministry of Economy and Finance in Rabat. : 22/04/2010

The Strategic Watch Committee (SWC) held its tenth meeting on Wednesday, April 21st 2010 at the Ministry of Economy and Finance in Rabat.

The Minister of Economy and Finance opened the committee by a contextualization of the international environment. Indeed, the prospects for improving the economic situation worldwide in 2009 were noted and the recovery of the global economy was strengthened in early 2010, as related to the improvement in credit conditions and international trade rebound. However, the pace of recovery depends on countries and regions. For instance, Asia is leading the recovery with a strong expansion in China and India. In the U.S.A, the recovery appears stronger than in Japan and the Eurozone. However, despite these signs of reform, the fundamental issues remain uncertain and require more vigilance particularly in relation to employment issues and public finance.  

At the national level, the Minister stressed that through a process of sustained growth and sufficient leeway, the Moroccan economy showed good resilience to the crisis effects as confirmed by the major international institutions. However, the payments balance remains a challenge and sustains monitoring.

Moreover, the Minister noted, in his speech, that important achievements seem to be made at the SWC, especially in terms of monitoring and proposals capacity. These achievements would be consolidated and reinforced by reflections and proposals for measures appropriate to the requirements of our economic position in a context of global economic recovery.

The presentation of the monitoring device on the evolution of sectoral circumstances showed signs of recovery at sectors such as (automotive, electronics, tourism, OCP and transfers from MRE) with the exception of the textile and clothing sector.

Indeed, very significant signs of improvement were observed at the two main sources of currency namely tourism and transfers. Having a decline of -23.4%, respectively and 14.6% at end March 2009, tourism receipts and transfers of MRE showed a significant increase of 11.7% and 13% at end March 2010. Other export sectors also showed convincing signs of recovery, as evidenced by the performances of automotive suppliers (+61.1% at end March 2010 against -43.3% at end March 2009), electronic components (+24.1% at end March 2010 against -48.1% at end March 2009).

All of these performances helped mitigate the downward pace of exports from OCP recorded in 2009 which stood at -0.3% at end March 2010 after a fall of -21.3% at end March 2009.

Signs of recovery are also reflected through the CNSS data that prove the slower pace of job losses. As an illustration, the decline of employment in industries for textiles and clothing fell from 12 476 to 4433 between April 2009 and February 2010. As for the "motor vehicle" branch, the trend shows a positive net employment creation of about 4330 positions in February 2010 when it had a loss of employment order of 3091 jobs in April 2009.

This analysis is broadly confirmed by the investigation supplying the barometer of the CGEM.

For the President of GPBM, the committee was an opportunity to make an evaluation of progress indicators on the financing of economy in 2009 and prospects for 2010. Indeed, the monetary aggregates shows, for the year 2009, a net increase in credits granted to the equipment of 27%, consumption of 18.8%, real estate of 14% and personal (real estate component) of 13%. The President of GPBM stressed that his financing efforts accompanied all sectors of economic activity and production base namely companies and SME in difficulty under the Emergence pact.

These upward trends are expected to hold steady in 2010, with the commitment of the banking sector to support the development of the country and with the necessary vigilance against risks. In addition, it was reported that the difficulties related to resource issues persist, including the commitments made by the banking sector to support the various initiatives launched. Thus, a strong mobilization of all stakeholders around the issue of savings is required.

Refunds of the work of sectoral committees namely tourism and real estate were presented respectively by the Minister of Tourism and the CEO of BCP. The presentation of the Minister of Tourism focused on the impact of measures taken within the framework of the SWC. Indeed, the tourism sector received a substantial support allocated to strengthening the tourism promotion and financing the renovation of hotel district. Significant progress was made. Yet, further efforts should be provided in terms of communication, awareness and promotion.

In his speech, the CEO of BCP focused on the real estate sector referring to the implementation of palliative action in housing project that tries to relaunch this sector.

Rich debates helped to address the various facets of the issues raised by highlighting the structural determinations and the available opportunities to strengthen the dynamics of growth. In this regard, it was decided to revive the "competitiveness" committee to refine thinking on this question, in a sense to return for a higher position post-crisis. It was also decided to establish a sectoral committee dedicated to "saving" that would bring together the analysis and highlight existing and appropriate recommendations for submission to SWC.

The meeting was chaired by the Minister of Economy and Finance and to which attended the Wali of Bank Al Maghrib, the Ministers of many government departments notably Employment and Vocational Training, Trade and Industry and New Technologies, Foreign Exchange Market, Tourism and Handicrafts, Economic and General Affairs, the Secretary of State to the Minister of Interior and representatives of various departments Members of this committee.

Also attended to this meeting, the President of the OCP, the President of the GPBM and the Moroccan Bank of Foreign Trade, the CEO of Attijari-Wafa-Bank, the CEO of BCP, the CEO of the CIH, the CEO of (CGEM), the Director General of the Moroccan Investment Development Agency, the Chairmen of AMICA, the National Federation of Real Estate Developers and the National Foreign Trade Council.