The promotion of Morocco as a destination is a strategic part of the Industrial Acceleration Plan, which provides for a continuous improvement of Morocco’s position as a platform of production and trade.
Thanks to the new approach of structuring the industrial sectors into ecosystems, as introduced by the Industrial Acceleration Plan, the foreign and national operators are offered an additional opportunity not only to gain competitiveness thanks to the proximity of suppliers, but also to benefit from targeted support and accompanying measures for financing, industrial land and training.
1. Financial assistance
The Industrial Development Fund (FDI)
A state industrial investment fund (le Fonds de Développement Industriel – FDI) with a budget of 20 billion dirhams, will allow the industrial sector to consolidate, modernize and develop its ability to substitute imported products.
The FDI was formed under the 2015 finance act with funds of 3 billion dirhams per annum over the period 2014-2020.
In addition to the state backing, support of the banking sector is renewed with the launch of the new strategy. An integrated and competitive financing offer is in place under a partnership agreement between the state and the banking sector that commits to support industrial companies (competitive rates, support for restructuring, support for internationalization, etc.) and to provide the necessary consultancy and support to project leaders.
Investment Promotion Fund (FPI)
Under the Investment Charter and aimed for all of the industrial sectors, the Investment Promotion Fund (FPI) offers partial coverage by the Government of certain expenses related to the acquisition of property (up to 20% of the cost of land), external infrastructure (up to 5% of the total amount of the investment programme, or 10% in the case of an investment in the sector of spinning, weaving or finishing) and vocational training (up to 20% of the cost of the training).
These contributions may be combined as long as the total contribution of the state does not exceed 5% of the total investment programme; or 10% in the case of investment in the sector of spinning, weaving or finishing; or when the investment project is located in a suburban or rural area.
The investment project must meet at least one of the following five criteria:
Hassan II Fund for Economic and Social Development
In the automotive, aeronautics and electronics sectors, the Hassan II Fund offers grants of up to 15% of the total investment amount, capped at 30 million dirhams, with the following conditions:
With regard to the automotive industry only: 15% of the purchase of used equipment imported and intended for stamping, plastic injection or in the manufacture of tools and moulds (excluding any other state contribution paid for the acquisition of capital goods).
With regard to the aeronautics sector alone, projects with an investment in capital equipment of more than 200 million dirhams (excluding import duty and taxes) can be completed in one or more phases (not exceeding a total duration of 60 months, extendible by 12 months in case of force majeure or unforeseeable circumstances) by considering each phase as a project eligible for the Fund's contribution.
The total amount of the investment (excluding import duty and tax) must be 10 million dirhams or more and the investment in goods and equipment (excluding import duty and tax) must be 5 million dirhams or more.
The investment file must include the following documents:
As part of the Industrial Acceleration Plan, aid from the Hassan II Fund has been extended to include the chemicals and para-chemicals industries (ICP).
The Fund provides a financial contribution of up to 15% of the total amount of the investment, capped at 30 million dirhams, detailed as follows:
a) Regarding the chemical-parachemical sector:
To benefit from the funds, new investment projects (creation or expansion) must have a total investment before import duty and taxes of 10 million dirhams, with the condition that the investment in new or used capital equipment exceeds 5 million dirhams before import duty and taxes and that the investors are companies in a sector relevant to one of the following activities:
b) Regarding the pharmaceutical sector:
To benefit from the fund’s help, new investment projects (creation or expansion) must have a total investment before import duty and taxes of 10 million dirhams, with the condition that the investment in new or used capital equipment exceeds 5 million dirhams before import duty and taxes and that the investors are companies in a sector relevant to one of the following activities:
The investment application must include the following documents:
2. Tax incentives
Tax incentives for all the industrial sectors are provided for by article 123-22°-a) of the General Tax Code and Article 7.1 of Finance Law No. 12-98 for the 1998/9 budget year as amended and supplemented by the following:
3. Support for SMEs
The small and medium-sized enterprises of the sector can benefit from specific support within the framework of programmes developed by the National Agency for the Promotion of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (ANPME):
Specific aid for the offshoring sector
Tax assistance dedicated to offshore companies has been provided, namely:
State contribution pertaining to income tax for offshoring companies established in Integrated Industrial Platforms (P2I) in order to reduce the burden of income tax so that it does not exceed 20% of taxable gross revenue;
Full exemption from company tax during the first five years, and a taxation rate of 17.5% thereafter.
Moreover, under the Industrial Acceleration Plan, an agreement was concluded with the national telecommunications operators with the goal of improving the telecommunications services offered to the companies of the sector (CRM, ITO and BPO) in order to increase their competitiveness.
Specific aid for the renewable energy sector
The Energy Development Fund (FDE) and the Energy Investment Company (SIE)
The industries related to renewable energy and energy efficiency can benefit from specific advantages from the Energy Development Fund (FDE) and the Energy Investment Company (SIE) (which can be combined), namely:
Investment aid funded by the FDE in the form of a contribution of 10% of the acquisition cost of new capital equipment, capped at 20 million dirhams (about 2 million euros), for projects where the investment in capital equipment is more than 2.5 million dirhams before import duty and taxes;
For projects with an investment in capital equipment of more than 300 million dirhams before import duty and taxes or set up in regions or geographic zones where the State wants to develop clusters of competitiveness, additional financial assistance may be granted;
An equity participation of the SIE, according to its investment strategy.
4. Industrial property
1,000 hectares will be made available for the establishment of industrial rental parks (PIL) with turnkey premises. These industrial rental parks increase the overall existing offer of industrial zones (ZI) and Integrated Industrial Platforms (P2I), and incorporate a one-stop-shop, a pool of local workers, ad hoc services and training courses.
Some P2I are considered as Free Trade Zones, hence allowing settling companies to benefit from the free zone status. A free trade zone (ZFE) is a specified area of land devoted to export activities for industrial purposes and related service activities. Each free zone is created and delimited by a decree that determines the nature and business activities that can be established there.
The operational free trade zones are located at Tangier (Tanger Free Zone – TFZ and Tanger Automotive City – TAC), at Kenitra (Atlantic Free Zone – AFZ), at Casablanca (Midparc), at Rabat (Technopolis) and at Oujda (Technopole d’Oujda). To obtain free zone status under law No. 19-94, companies must have obtained authorization from the local commission of the free export zone, which is presided over by the wali or governor of the region, and must make at least 70% of their turnover from exports.
Free zone status allows for the exemption of foreign trade and exchange controls, as well as access to the following state aid:
Tax incentives resulting in:
Exemption from import duties, and simplified customs procedures;
Unlimited exemption from value added tax in respect of products delivered and services supplied to the free export zones and from the subjected territory;
Exemption from registration fees and stamp duty on instruments of incorporation or increases in the capital of the company, as well as on land acquisitions;
The establishment of a one-stop service to the investor.
The Industrial Acceleration Programme provides for a training scheme adapted to the skills needed by industry with the view of ensuring a better match with the business needs in the automotive, aerospace, offshoring, electronics, textiles and leather and renewable energy sectors.
Direct training aid is also granted as part of the new strategy, particularly with regard to the automotive, aerospace, offshoring, electronics and renewable energy sectors.
For more information please visit the web site of the Moroccan Investment and Trade Agency (AMDIE)