Services Policy Review: Morocco (Volumes I and II)

Morocco has adopted a comprehensive strategy of opening and liberalizing its economy. Like many developing countries that have started their structural transformation and embarked in economic diversification, trade in services has gained prominence in Morocco's economic development strategy. In 2019, the share of the service sector was 56.3% in the country’s GDP.

The growing share of trade in services and the increasing transfer of global value added from goods to services are now the salient feature of international trade especially trough bilateral and regional agreements. This has raised the stake for national regulations reforms to promote services economy and benefit from the boom in trade in services. Moreover, the advent of the digital economy and new business models, require national regulators in the services sector to continuously design and adapt supportive policies and upgrade regulations to meet the digital era’s challenges and those induced by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Upon request from Morocco, UNCTAD conducted a Services Policy Review (SPR) to support the efforts deployed by the government of this country aiming at improving the performance of three selected service sectors, namely: (i) distribution services (wholesale and retailing), (ii) logistic services, supplied in the transport and distribution of pharmaceutical products, and (iii) legal services. This report was prepared using the analytical methodology developed by UNCTAD throughout its publication series on service policy reviews.

Volume I of this SPR provides, in Part I, a desk study, prepared by UNCTAD, highlighting the growing importance of services in modern economies and their role, as a determining factor, in the structural transformation process. In addition, it offers an analysis of the state of play of Morocco’s services sector, with a particular emphasis on the three sectors covered by this SPR. Part II, of this volume, contains a diagnostic study on the distribution services (wholesale and retailing).

Volume II of this SPR addresses the economic, regulatory and institutional constraints and challenges that are halting the emergence of a modern services sector in Morocco, particularly in the professional services (legal services) and in the logistic services. In this volume, these two sectors are analyzed following the SWOT methodology. It provides also for a detailed set of policy recommendations and an action plan to reform these sectors in order to enhance their economic performances and maximize their impact on and value addition to Morocco’s GDP, job creation and poverty mitigation; which contribute to the realization of some key SDGs.