Morocco exports rise at start of 2014

Marrakesh- Moroccan exports totaled 46.6 billion dirham ($5.7 billion) in the first quarter of 2014, an increase of 3.5 percent over the 45 billion dirham total during the same period last year, according to a report published by Maghreb Arab Press (MAP).Relatively new export sectors made a strong contribution to this increase including the auto industry, which saw shipments rise to 2.97 billion dirham during the first three months of the year, an increase of about 43 percent over the same period in 2013.  Statistics also showed that breakthroughs occurred in foreign sales of consumer electronics (21.2 percent), aviation products (5.9 percent) and pharmaceuticals (3.7 percent). However, exports of agricultural products dropped 3.4 percent in the first three months of 2014, according to Reuters, and are likely to fall even lower in the second half of the year. The agricultural sector accounts for 18 percent of Morocco’s GDP.The Minister of Investments, Moulay Hafid El Alamy, recently announced more promotional support for Moroccan exports. One of the key factors for increasing support for Moroccan exports has been identified as the rise in competition in the global marketplace.  The automotive and aviation sectors have proved that they can rise to the challenge while the textile industry faces ongoing challenges due to the tough global competition.Edited by Liz Yaslik