While tourism to the culturally prominent cities of Casablanca and Rabat is increasing, Morocco’s aggregate economy is slowing. Recently, the King Mohammed VI of Morocco staged a week-long tour of the Arabian Gulf to rally support as the European-dependent economy falters in the wake of the global crisis. Morocco has strong relations with the Arabian Gulf nations stemming from centuries old historical, religious, even and linguistic ties, while Rabat and Casablanca (and other major cities) have been largely influenced by Europe, particularly Spain and France.
Emerging economies, like most of the Gulf states, are seeking to expand their influence and Africa is the hottest area on the market currently. Consequences of foreign investment from Arab nations can be both social and financial. Political dissatisfaction will be contained due to the impending economic reform, a direct effect of jobs being created and standard of living rising. Win-win for both governments involved.
Spain is another key player in Morocco’s future. The European country is weak relative to its neighbors, but the private sector is still strong. To put this this into perspective, over the next five years, Morocco still scheduled to receive billions of dollars to financial state investments: economic infrastructure, social development, agricultural advancement. Could this be the start of a beautiful friendship?
But foreign intervention is not enough. Like most monarchies of the world, Morocco is notorious for cozying up to the rich and influential. But it is a dangerous game, political favoritism, usually leading to widespread discontent. Economic disparity creates social and political turmoil, and for a nation to flourish there must be a promise of low centralized financial planning to create a strong middle-class. By making up 53% of the total population, it is a wise that the government plans develop a series of incentives to encourage new housing aimed for the middle-class. While the high-rise buildings will distort the historic cities quintessential skyline, these mid-priced homes for young people and families seem necessary to rejuvenate the economy.
Hopefully, foreign investors will start flocking to this desert oasis and domestic plans will become more concrete, for their sake and Morocco’s. What are your thoughts on the future on this state’s economy?