Morocco: Speed of Economic Recovery Depends on Vaccination

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The speed of economic recovery in Morocco depends on the successful completion of the vaccination operation against the novel coronavirus (Covid-19), said Monday Roberto Cardarelli, Mission Chief for Morocco of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

“Morocco has shown agility in the procurement and distribution of vaccines to its population, thus setting an example at the global level in terms of immunization,” he said during a webinar under the theme “Global Economic Forecast: What Prospects for Morocco and the MENA region?”

Signs of recovery are visible in exports that have rebounded and in the industrial sector, which has created about 80,000 jobs in the fourth quarter of 2020, Cardarelli said. The service sector, including tourism, depends largely on the progress of vaccination, he added.

According to IMF projections, the recovery in Morocco is expected to start slowly at similar levels in the region of North Africa and the Middle East (MENA), said Cardarelli, explaining that the significant weight of tourism in Morocco affects the economic recovery.

He also warned against the increase in financing needs expressed by the Treasury, which may impact the availability of financing for the private sector, noting that the sustainability of the debt is not threatened.

Cardarelli highlighted the major reforms undertaken by Morocco, such as the generalization of social protection, which contributes to the strengthening of human capital through access to better quality health services.

For her part, Pelin Berkmen, Chief of IMF’s Regional Analytics and Strategy Division, stressed that recovery paths in different MENA countries depend on the speed of vaccination and structural differences.

Early access to vaccines could support a short-term recovery, while deployment of fiscal support policies could help countries return to growth quickly, she argued.

According to Berkmen, reliance on tourism may slow recovery, given travel restrictions and social distancing measures.

Organized by the Policy Center for the New South (PCNS) and the IMF, this virtual meeting was an opportunity to highlight the findings of the World Economic Outlook (WEO)’ Chapter one on Global conjuncture as well as the April 2021 Regional Economic Outlook (REOMCD).

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