Since my accession to the throne, I have launched several major economic and social projects and at the same time introduced political and institutional reforms to fulfil my country’s aspirations. Ours is a permanent march based on bold initiatives, resolute action, participatory approaches and effective use of our resources. As part of that march, and in accordance with my instructions, all previous governments have made efforts to give substance to my vision concerning reform and development. As a result, the current government has founded not only a positive and constructive legacy, but also concrete achievements in the economic and social spheres. I am determined to implement the nation’s policy with regard to the setting up of constitutional institutions and the promotion of good governance under the rule of law. This is second only to my desire that we carry on with our untiring action to achieve our objectives, namely steady economic growth, sustainable development and social solidarity. Morocco has made significant progress in the area of infrastructure development. Our towns and villages have been supplied with drinking water and electricity and they now have access to other basic services.
Similarly, much progress has been made with respect to developing large-scale facilities, such as ports and airports and expanding the road network. Furthermore, the optimal management of water resources has been achieved and projects to further develop rail transport and urban transport systems have been launched. These accomplishments have changed the landscape of various provinces, giving Morocco a new face. They have also set the stage for the improvement of the strategies adopted in various sectors. Similarly, the gradual implementation of sector strategies has enabled our country to make tangible progress and to attract greater foreign investment, notwithstanding a difficult global economic and financial environment. I reaffirm my commitment to investment promotion and wish, once again, to call on the government to give priority to all measures that stimulate growth and create jobs. I also ask the government to make sure it properly balances the need to meet domestic consumption with the country’s ability to increase its level of exports, given the positive impact this has on our balance of payments.
Some years ago, Morocco embarked on a bold policy of promoting globally competitive industries under the Emergence Plan. I urge the government to keep up these efforts and create conditions that would be more conducive to the diversification and expansion of our industrial base, as well as to adopt a proactive policy that reinforces partnership between the public and private sectors. In keeping with my vision regarding sustainable development, efforts are currently being made to ensure Morocco becomes a producer of renewable energy. The implementation of the solar energy programme and the launch of An Nour Complex in Ouarzazate are part of this endeavour, just like the targets we have set in the area of wind energy production. In addition to being environmentally friendly, these projects will reduce our dependence on imported energy. In doing so, they will require an effective training policy to improve our national skills base. Indeed, this should also contribute to the government’s implementation of the National Charter for the Environment.
In spite of the challenges that have arisen out of the global financial crisis, the tourism sector in Morocco has managed to ward off the adverse effects of the international economic downturn thanks to the initiatives I have been keen to see implemented in recent years. This should encourage the sector’s partners and stakeholders to achieve the 2020 Vision. The adoption of an advanced agriculture strategy reflects my firm belief in the importance of this sector. The “Morocco Green Plan” has been adopted to modernise the farming sector, with particular attention devoted to smallholders. For example, while the tax exemption scheme ended for large-scale farmers in 2013, medium and small-scale farmers will continue to benefit from it.
In addition to these steps, I call on the government to establish a special agency to ensure the agriculture strategy is suited to local environments, particularly in mountainous areas which lag behind in terms of land use, making sure action in this respect is fully compatible with regional development programmes. I have also sought to promote the fisheries sector through the Halieutis Plan, the results of which are promising and therefore need to be further consolidated.
The main goal of economic growth remains the achievement of social justice, which is the bedrock of social cohesion. Seen from this perspective, the National Initiative for Human Development should be perceived as a project in constant progress. In fact, it is a road map for the achievement of comprehensive, proactive development. As such, it is not restricted to meeting the needs of the poor and of deprived families. It includes all development-oriented projects and endeavours that seek to reduce social and spatial disparities.
Ever since I was entrusted with the mission of leading the Moroccan nation, the reform and modernisation of the judicial system has been one of my foremost concerns. The aim is not only to ensure that justice is served and grievances are dealt with properly, but also to foster a climate of trust which would be conducive to development and investment. In this respect, I am pleased that an agreement has been reached regarding a blueprint for the reform of the judicial system for which the right conditions have been met.
Since my accession to the throne, there has been a steady and remarkable evolution in Morocco’s foreign relations, which is in total harmony with our domestic policies. In this context, we have been keen to pursue a balanced and multidirectional foreign policy. Accordingly, we have managed to considerably strengthen diplomatic relations with our traditional partners and open up promising opportunities with new partners.
In this respect, we continue to look forward to the emergence of a new Maghreb order that would enable its five member states to work together and build a common future based on integration mechanisms, as well as on the free movement of people, goods and capital. The same conviction underlies Morocco’s vision for the Arab world as it seeks to develop a new approach for Arab joint action, in coordination with other countries within the region. In this respect, during my visit to member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council, it was decided to lay the foundations for a strategic partnership between the kingdom and this coherent, promising regional grouping. The first positive results of this partnership are a source of great satisfaction to us.
Deeply convinced of the virtues of South-South cooperation, Morocco has pursued a policy of solidarity with regards to other African nations. In this connection, I visited three African countries in 2013 in order to strengthen Morocco’s ties with the continent, and made another tour in 2014. This has given me the opportunity to take note of these countries’ requests for Moroccan investment and expertise. I would like in turn to invite Moroccan stakeholders to respond to this request in order to forge further economic integration.
The kingdom has also pursued a strategy of openness, based on positive interaction with its European partners. Morocco has thus been very keen to strengthen its bilateral relations with Spain and France, on the occasion of the visits paid to our country by King Juan Carlos I of Spain and French President François Hollande. Mutual efforts to take relations with the EU to a higher level are also proceeding on the right path, within the framework of the advanced status that has been granted to Morocco. The aim is to open up further promising prospects for our bilateral cooperation.
Similar outstanding diplomatic action has been carried out in many regions throughout the world in order to reflect our strong desire to build closer relations with actors there. Indeed, as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, Morocco has sought to make sure that the voices of the African continent and the Arab world are heard. Our action continues to be guided by these diplomatic orientations, which are based on renewed cooperation mechanisms and on policies that adapt to the changes in the world around us.