Minister of Economy, Finance and Administration Reform, Mohamed Benchaâboun highlighted the priorities of Morocco’s economic recovery plan at a virtual conference held Wednesday as part of the Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB).
The advent of Covid-19 revealed a number of weaknesses in Morocco and forced the government to review current priorities, Benchaâboun said, adding that the government has focused its efforts on three axes recently outlined by HM King Mohammed VI in a speech at the opening of parliament.
During this event dedicated to “Morocco’s Experience in Response to the Covid-19 Crisis,” the minister outlined three priorities, stressing in that regard the need to “strengthen the social safety nets at a sufficiently high speed so that all Moroccans can have health insurance, a pension scheme and a family allowance based on the number of children and the size of each family.”
“This program will be launched on January 1 st and Morocco made it a top priority,” he said. It is “an extraordinary challenge” as 22 million Moroccans will have to be included in the the Compulsory Health Insurance (AMO) in two years, Benchaâboun added.
The second axis relates to the economic recovery that is needed due to “the disruptions that have affected a number of sectors” such as tourism, Benchaâboun noted, adding that an overall envelope of 11% of GDP has been allocated to reviving the economy.
“Of these 11%, 7% of GDP will be earmarked for everything related to the state guarantees granted to the economy, while 4 % will be allotted to a strategic investment fund, namely the Mohammed VI Investment Fund,” he said.
The third priority consists in reforming the public sector, while “keeping a watchful eye on the macroeconomic balance, either in terms of deficit or debt.”
As for the public-private partnership, the minister said that the Mohammed VI Fund for Investment would not intervene directly in sectors of the economy, but rather through a number of traditional intermediaries, such as banks.
This conference was moderated by Jihad Azour, Director of IMF’s Middle East and Central Asia Department. The latter recalled that in the face of the current unprecedented crisis, Morocco has reacted in an “exemplary, swift and determined” manner, particularly through “major initiatives” to support businesses and households.”
Scheduled to run until October 18, the IMF/WB annual meetings bring together a wide range of stakeholders -public and private sector leaders, representatives of civil society organizations and experts to discuss major global issues such as the pandemic, debt, poverty reduction, economic development, aid effectiveness and climate change.