Médias24: Morocco is becoming more and more attractive, that’s actually what you say.
Ryad Mezzour: It won’t, it already is.
Most industrial or other investors have already understood that this is happening in Morocco. Including Moroccans.
Bank of projects: exceeded the goals of jobs or sales
– Let’s get to this famous bank of projects. Are you reaching your goals?
– We overtook them.
The project bank was launched in the middle of Covid, few believed in it, companies were in trouble… And it’s off to a very good start.
I’ll give you some numbers:
We had a target of 34 billion DH substitution and 17 billion DH exports.
What has been identified so far exceeds DH 67 billion for substitution and DH 72 billion for export. Overall, we have a potential of 140 billion instead of 51 billion, which was originally planned for projects when the bank started.
And I would add that we are looking at or discussing other big investments.
-How does it work in practice for this bank of projects? I’m looking at the list, I’m interested in an industry or a project, I’ll come to you?
– You look at the list, show us your interest, we send you the elements you need to provide in terms of your business plan, funding, technology, etc. We then carry out an initial suitability assessment, then we take a closer look at your business plan with you and what you want to do; We support you from start to finish, especially on the financial side.
It should also be noted that 60% of projects in the project bank are extensions and this shows how attractive our country is.
-When you sign an agreement with investors, it includes a commitment to work. But these are promises. How can their implementation be ensured?
– We have a story anyway. We know that the jobs really exist, we rate them every month using the CNSS lists. And that applies to all industrial companies.
– So how many industrial jobs do we have today?
-Morocco now has around a million industrial jobs.
-During this term, the government pledged to create 1 million jobs, 400,000 of them in industry. how will you do that ?
– The government has clear, quantified targets: there is one in particular, which is to create 400,000 jobs network in the industry. The aim is therefore to both create jobs and maintain existing ones.
We are working on it: the project bank, the strategy, the integration, the goals… all of this develops employment potential, in every ecosystem, every industry, every sub-industry.
The number of jobs created is systematically checked at CNSS level.
Today we have already identified promising sectors and we already have good indicators.
If I refer to the agreements and letters of intent signed since October 2021, 258,000 new jobs will be created directly and indirectly.
258,000 new industrial jobs in the tube industry
-These jobs are mere statements from investors, do you believe them?
– Not only do I believe them, I also believe that they are underestimated. Why ? Because the state support system is linked to the number of jobs created and is effective. We only pay the last phase of government support, ie 30% of the investment premium, if the CNSS supporting documents are validated and verified by our services.
We have already signed 258,000 provisional positions and identified 168,000 direct and indirect positions as part of the projects examined or in qualification processes that we are currently supporting. We should reach the goal of 400,000 jobs by the end of this government mandate, Incallah.
– We are told that the industrialists are suffering and that Morocco is not exporting enough industrial products.
– I am by no means denying the suffering of manufacturers, it is a real difficulty: supply is not always easy, upstream services are becoming increasingly rare; the manufacturers are doing a good job; and there is also a liquidity problem because the prices are higher and therefore they do not necessarily have the necessary credit to meet the very good demand. But they react. They suffer but react.
We’re pretty proud of them, proud of the results manufacturers are achieving today and the positioning they are taking. They are reshaping the test, winning market share for our country, seizing the opportunities presented by the new upheavals in the world economy.
– What is the secret of success of the current industrial strategy?
-It is above all a clear vision of His Majesty: to make Morocco a hub and to use all means to achieve this. This was done through hard work, sacrifices, many investments in infrastructure, but also the signing of numerous free trade agreements, which were criticized but had the advantage of opening the market and being a strong encouragement to attract foreign investment and technology transfer. This explains Morocco’s strong attractiveness today and its ability to develop further.
In addition, there are the undeniable assets of Morocco, namely political stability and macroeconomic stability, which are quite rare in the region. We are probably the most attractive country in the region.
– You say “we” when you talk about industrial policy. In fact, this remains an offshoring or even outsourcing industry. In the automotive or aviation sectors, decisions are made by foreign companies. Abroad. The real industry is designing before manufacturing. It should have its own brands that radiate regionally.
– You should know that of the 1,127 investment projects identified in the Bank of Projects, 88% come from Moroccan capital.
Many of those foreign companies you mention use Moroccan skills. It was Moroccans who designed the AMI and we have many Moroccan engineers and designers to be proud of who will make the Moroccan brands of tomorrow. Therefore, at the beginning of the school year, an innovation support system is presented to strengthen this position.
Made in Morocco is no longer a slogan, but a reality!
Industrial exports increased by 45% in the first half of the year
– Moroccan exports benefited from a very favorable price effect.
– Yes, for some of them, like fertilizers or agricultural products.
We are also doing very well in terms of value and quantity. There is a price effect, but we also sell more in volume.
At the end, at the end of June 2022, the numbers speak for themselves: +62% in aviation, 32% in textiles and leather, 30% in automotive and agri-food. Taking phosphate derivatives into account, total industrial exports have increased by 45%, which is a real achievement given the current global economic context.
Eventually, industrial exports will reach 500 billion DH per year
– What will be the future development? Surely you have goals and ideas.
-We have a plan that we are testing that will increase the value of our exports by 120 billion DH. Eventually we will reach 500 billion DH in industrial exports.
Of the projected 120 billion, 70 billion are clearly identified as product-market pairs.
-How reliable are these project sheets?
-We questioned all the ideas, we worked with the industry associations.
We set goals, we look at the target markets, we analyze them together, we look at how to penetrate them, what is needed, what competitiveness, what products, what is missing in the chain, and we implement what is necessary for this that the operators concerned can achieve their objectives.
It is a program associated with 8 or 9 support systems ranging from funding to certification.
That certification is one of the greatest secrets of success, not only for the food industry. In aviation, an important part of the job is to support certification. After certification by a manufacturer, manufacturers can start shipping.
– You talk about an export promotion program and several support mechanisms. What are the other devices apart from product-market couplings?
– Support for investments to customize their products; Assistance with studies and market assessment; in terms of logistics; Financing their own customers: we will put in place mechanisms to ensure the financing of the purchase of the product made in Morocco by our foreign customers; These are guarantees backed by international organizations, which has never been the case in Morocco. Japan, Korea and China have already done this, for example.
– They defend the idea that green hydrogen produced in Morocco will be extremely competitive. Which projects, which discussions, which investors? What’s new in this area? Is a realization in sight?
I specify that it is about power generation, so it is the responsibility of a specific department. We as an industrial department are consumers and we also support the industrial process at the level of electrolysis, storage, etc.
Morocco is one of the most interesting places in the world to produce green hydrogen. And probably the only point in the region in terms of competitiveness.
This obviously leads to a lot of interest from developers and operators.
In general, there is a very strong enthusiasm for Morocco in terms of hydrogen production.
-When will we have our first green hydrogen?
-It is not up to us and there is a ministry responsible for the matter.
-How much will we produce?
-It’s very difficult to say today.