Officially known as the Kingdom of Morocco and situated on the northwestern corner of Africa; Morocco borders Algeria on the east and southeast, Mauritania to the south and to the west by the Atlantic Ocean.
Morocco can be divided into three regions; the fertile northern coastal plain along the Mediterranean containing mountains, rich plateaus and lowlands lying between the rocky Atlas Mountain and the semiarid area that merges into the Sahara Desert. Morocco has a total surface area of 710.850 square km and population of nearly 32 million.
Morocco is the world's leading producer and exporter of phosphates. In addition, the country has large deposits of iron ore, copper, lead, zinc, cobalt, molybdenum and coal. Food processing, tourism, fishing and the manufacturing of leather goods and textiles plays a crucial role in the country’s economic growth.
Despite the success of the INDH in 2005, Morocco continues to grapple with a high illiteracy rate, a low education enrollment rate and a high urban youth unemployment rate. Exports in Morocco dipped sharply since mid-2008. This is mostly as a result of the decline in the global price of phosphates.
Morocco Economy: An Overview
Morocco has a relatively liberal economy governed by the laws of supply and demand. Some sectors have been privatized by the government since 1993 to enhance the country’s economic growth.
Morocco is characterized by low inflation and steady development in the services and industrial sectors.
Morocco’s financial sector has also undergone considerable improvements since 2003 due to economic policies pursued by King Mohammed VI. The King also launched the $2 billion National Initiative for Human Development (INDH) in 2005, which paved the way for an overhaul of the tourism and agriculture sectors and replacement of urban slums with decent housing.
Morocco Economy: Statistics
Morocco’s economic growth is far more diversified, with new service and industrial centers such as Casablanca. The agriculture sector is being rehabilitated, and in combination with good rainfall led to agricultural sector growth of over 20 percent in 2010.
In 2010, Morocco’s GDP was US$ 91.702 billion, growing 4 percent and is expected to grow 6.86 percent to US$ 96.326 billion in 2011. Forecasts for 2015 predict Morocco’s GDP to reach US$ 125.651 billion, growing about 7 percent per year between 2010 and 2015.
Morocco’s industrial production growth rate in 2010 was 1.9 percent, down from 5.8 percent in 2008. Morocco registered 5.5 percent growth in industrial activity in 2007. This marked a slight improvement from the 2006 level, when the sector saw a lower 4.7 percent growth.
In 2010, agriculture contributed 14.7 percent of GDP, 38.9 percent came from industry and 46.5 percent from services.
Morocco’s population as of 2010 was 31.972 million, and is expected to grow to 33.353 million by 2015. Current (2010) unemployment in Morocco is 9.6 percent, down from almost 12 percent in 2005, and is expected to go down to 9.1 percent in 2011 and remain constant at that figure until 2015.