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Moroccan businesses down; exports up

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afrol News, 14 August - Moroccan economic data for the first half of 2002 point in all directions. While Moroccan exports increased by 11.5 percent during the period, the foreign investments balance was drastically worsened and private business activity has been reduced.

First the good news. Morocco's exports made substantial gains during the first half of 2002. The export noted an increase of 11.5 percent, up from a total worth of US$ 3.9 billion during the first half of 2001 to a total of US$ 4.3 billion) during the same period this year. 

The remarkable growth is principally contributed to the country's big industries, which experienced a boom in the export value of phosphates, semi-manufactured products, food and raw minerals, according to numbers published by the Moroccan Exchange Office yesterday. Combined with a 2.5 percent decrease in imports, the deficit of Morocco's commercial balance therefore had been substantially reduced.

The bad news
Other, more negative numbers however indicate that the export growth is not mirroring a generally positive economic development in Morocco. Foreign investments and credits have been drastically reduced during the first half of 2002, reaching only one tenth of the numbers reached in the same period last year.

The Moroccan Exchange Office said earlier this week that during the first semester of this year, Morocco had obtained a total income of US$ 22.4 million in investments and foreign private credits, as opposed to the US$ 2.8 billion which the country obtained during the same period last year. 

At the same time, the activities of private enterprises have been reduced in Morocco. Production and sales have undergone a reduction during this year's second trimester compared to the first trimester of the year. Especially affected sectors principally included agriculture and agro-industries.

There were however several sectors that had noted some gains during the last trimester. These included the automobile sector, commerce, services, the audio-visual industry, the metallurgical industry, computer sciences and telecommunications.

Sources: Based on Moroccan govt, press reports and afrol archives

afrol News.

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