The Strategic Watch Committee held its 11th meeting : 23/06/2010

The Strategic Watch Committee held its 11th meeting

The Strategic Watch Committee (SWC) held its 11th meeting, Wednesday, June 23rd 2010 at the Ministry of Economy and Finance in Rabat.   

The Minister of Economy and Finance opened the committee by presenting evidence on the inventory of fixtures of the international environment. Prospects for improving the worldwide economic situation have been rated since 2009. A decoupling between developed economies and emerging ones has also been reported with a more positive outlook for growth of emerging economies.The recovery of the global economy strengthened in the first quarter of 2010, together with the recovery of international trade.

For developed countries, the recovery is stronger in the United States than in Japan and in the Euro zone. The recovery in the Euro Zone should continue at a moderate pace in 2010 in a context marked by strong uncertainties, namely the fallout from the sovereign debt crisis.

However, the Euro Zone stabilization plan , the ECB`s recent measures to support money and bond markets, as well as efforts to consolidate public finances, should help to reassure markets and reduce their distrust of the budget`s difficulties of some member states (Greece, Spain ,...). However, despite these signs of recovery, issues related to fundamentals remain uncertain and reveal structural problems of competitiveness and productivity.

At the national level, the Minister stressed that the Moroccan economy has shown good resilience to the effects of the crisis, with good growth prospects in 2010 and 2011. However, this crisis increased the structural weaknesses related to insufficient diversification of export driving forces, a potential fragility of some domestic drivers, in a context where the leeway increasingly limit public finances. In relation to the volatility of euro / dollar exchange rate, the slowdown in export driving forces in a difficult European context with a deteriorating current account challenge vigilance and follow-up support. The presentation of the monitoring device on the changing Sectoral circumstances confirmed signs of recovery at all affected sectors (automotive, electronics, tourism, OCP and transfers from MRE) with the exception of the textile and clothing sector and aeronautics as referred to by the preliminary figures from the Exchange Office.

  • Phosphates and derivatives: increased exports of 62.4% yoy: phosphoric acid (+76.4%), natural and chemical fertilizers (+109%), phosphate (+16.8%). The outlook for the remainder of 2010 expected to be good from including the recovery in demand in Europe, U.S. and India.
  • Textile and clothing: cumulative decline in exports end May of 17.6% for manufactured clothing, 17.2% for hosiery and 10.2% for shoes. It should be emphasized the mitigation rate declines recorded during the first months and the resumption of imports under temporary admission of 3% end May and thus the beginning of an upturn in exports field.
  • Automotive: continuity of strong export performance of the automotive sector with a rise of nearly 34% thanks to the good behaviour of "wiring" component that recorded an increase of 34.3% and exports in the "utility and touring vehicles" sector which registered an increase of 130%.
  • Electronics: At the end of May 2010, exports of this sector grew by 18% driven by the electronic components, which rose by 40.2%. The evolution of imports under the temporary sector reflects a strong recovery during the first five months with +83.6%.
  • Aerospace: exports of aeronautics declined from 32.2% in late May because of the decline in "wiring" and "manufacturing" sectors which dropped by 50.6% and 44.1%.
  • Tourism: the strong performance of tourism sector is proved by the rise, at the end of May, of 12% in tourist arrivals and travel receipts by 10.2 %( 1.537 million dirhams) over the same period of the previous year.
  • Transfers from MRE: Increase of 11% yoy at the end of May or nearly 2 billion dirhams. One cannot but note that the good performance of remittances from Spain transfers despite the high rate of unemployment and stagnation of France transfers, the main supplier of these funds.

The committee was an opportunity for GPBM to inform the SWC of the evolution of resources and jobs in the banking sector from 2007 to May 2010. The finding reveals a weakening of deposits, despite the banks` great effort concerning access to banking services, which requires a strong mobilization to bring an upturn in the capture of savings. In prospect, the level of bank access should continue to improve the proximity of banks with customers.

In his speech, the CGEM Chairman presented the results of the barometer of the CGEM, which places the problem of unfair competition and funding constraints as the main concern of contractors, which may worsen the problems of competitiveness among SMEs. An approach to structural problems faced by enterprises is becoming mature and will forward proposals to enhance the public-private partnership which is advantageous to the Moroccan economy.

Refunding of the sectoral committees work were presented, focusing on the outlook for the sector in question and providing important information for evaluating the government`s measures to support firms in difficulties.

The debate, raised in the light of these various interventions, decided on the extension of such support until late December 2010 and for all concerned sectors. It has also helped to decide on the recovery of certain sectoral committees, namely, "real estate" and "tourism" and to establish a sectoral committee dedicated to "savings" sector that should gather existing analysis to enrich and highlight appropriate recommendations of the coming SWC.

At the end of this committee, the Minister of Economy and Finance reported that the SWC tool should be adapted to new circumstances, from a logical reaction to a sense of anticipation and integrate a broader perimeter dealing with specific structural thematic. In this regard, the SWC is now institutionalized with a quarterly frequency that remains flexible. The sectoral watch committees` meetings will be held each month to strengthen their capacity to analyze and make proposals and submit them to SWC.

Took part in this meeting, chaired by the Minister of Economy and Finance, the Wali of Bank Al-Maghrib, the Ministers of Housing, Urbanism and Spatial Planning, the Energy, Mines, Water and Environment, Agriculture and sea fishing, Trade, Tourism and Handicrafts, Moroccans Residing Abroad, Secretary of State to the Minister of Interior and representatives of various departments of the committee members.

Also present in the meeting, the Chairman and CEO of Attijari-Wafa-Bank, President and CEO of BCP, the CEO of (CGEM), the Presidents of AMICA, AMITH, FNPI and the President of the National Foreign Trade Council, the Director General of SMAEX and CEO of NSSF.