What is Morocco’s position today? In which category can we classify the national economy? Can we consider it a competitive country or rank it among other emerging countries? Everyone knows there is no specific model for emerging countries.

Each country follows its own development path according to the human, economic and natural resources available, and depending on its civilisation and the challenges it has to meet. However, there are standards and assets required to be part of this group of emerging countries, such as the level of democratic and institutional development, economic and social progress, and regional and international openness. As everyone knows, no state can move from one level to another overnight, but must capitalise on the positive steps it has taken throughout its history.

Morocco provides a real model in this regard. Over the past 15 years, the kingdom has been able to strengthen its democratic credentials, all while reinforcing the foundations of an integrated and sustainable model of economic development, supporting efforts to launch strategic projects and promoting sustainable human development. Indeed, the national economy has undergone a profound transformation of its structure and diversification in its productive sectors. It achieved a consistent growth rate and was able to maintain broad balances, despite the global economic crisis. In this regard, sectoral strategies have significantly helped us to achieve concrete results, which in turn have contributed to a clearer vision of our future and a repositioning of the national economy both regionally and internationally. For example, the Green Morocco Plan and the Plan Halieutis have both contributed to Morocco being rewarded by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation for having achieved its Millennium Development Goals two years in advance in the fight against poverty and hunger.

We wish to express our appreciation for the contributions private sector companies and public institutions have made to the development of the national economy. Morocco’s state-owned fertiliser and phosphate producer, Office Chérifien des Phosphates, is a model in this regard due to its effective national and international strategy and the clear vision, good governance and efficiency that characterise it. All these factors consolidate Morocco’s integration in the global market for phosphates, a resource that is a universal issue, closely related as it is to food security.

Emerging economies tend to rely primarily on sustainable development. Thus, the field of renewable energy has developed significantly, together with the adoption of the energy efficiency strategy and an ambitious policy of water resource mobilisation. In this regard, the Moroccan plan for solar and wind energy is further evidence of our ability to meet challenges. This is thanks to a clear and proactive vision – combined with rigorous planning to accommodate our most pressing priorities – which in turn will help ensure the energy needs of our country are met and reduce foreign dependence through the judicious exploitation of our own renewable energy resources.

Morocco needs to make some extra effort to advance resolutely and confidently toward integration with emerging countries. Its open economic policy has reinforced its position as an axis for international trade, as illustrated by successful partnerships with the Arab countries – particularly the states of the Gulf Cooperation Council – and sub-Saharan African countries, where Morocco is the second-largest investor. We also have to mention the advanced status with the EU, free trade agreements with many countries, including the US; and strategic partnerships with Russia and China. Moreover, Morocco is an essential link in the tripartite and multilateral cooperation to ensure stability in Africa. However, any achievements garnered should not lead to complacency. The coming years will be crucial if we are to sustain gains, correct malfunctions and stimulate growth and investment.

Can this model make progress, addressing challenges and eliminating obstacles? Morocco’s economy has unfortunately experienced a significant delay due to the dispersion and weakness of its industrial base and competition from the informal sector. This calls for the establishment of strong groups and powerful companies to strengthen the resilience of the economy, both to face international competition and to forge partnerships with small businesses that are able to enhance development at a national level. Developing skilled human resources is also a major prerequisite for enhancing competitiveness, and thus for developing the labour market. As everyone knows, good governance is key to any successful reform and for the achievement of any strategy. The objective of joining the emerging economies can be realised if we continue to improve the business climate by moving forward with judicial and administrative reform, the fight against corrupt practices and the encouragement of ethical behaviour in public life. We believe that this task is the responsibility of all of society, of all citizens and in all sectors.

To what extent can the current system of governance in Moroccan productive sectors contribute to the upgrading and development of the national economy? There needs to be a strengthening of the role of the state in regulating, organising and engaging major reforms, particularly with regard to pension plans and taxation, all while ensuring continued implementation of rules of good governance in all sectors.

The development process of certain emerging countries is sometimes characterised by the appearance of negative symptoms, such as a widening gap between the social classes. That is why we are ensuring that economic development goes hand-in-hand with the improvement of the living conditions for all Moroccan citizens. Indeed, we do not want a two-speed Morocco, with only the rich benefiting from the fruits of growth and wealth, while the poor continue to remain outside the development dynamics and exposed to even greater poverty and deprivation.

It is in this spirit that we have launched programmes like the National Initiative for Human Development, a policy platform that many countries have expressed an interest in, as well as the social components of our sectoral plans, which assign an exclusive and significant emphasis to local and human development.

This is important because it highlights and confirms the reputation of Moroccans, known for their seriousness and their dedication to work. Indeed, our citizens have demonstrated their ability to give and to create, having as they do all the necessary resources and conditions to undertake any action of any kind, large or small, intellectual or manual, and all this in spite of the scourge of unemployment. The human element remains the true wealth of Morocco, and one of the essential components of its intangible assets.

During the Speech from the Throne, we spoke of the importance of quantifying and valuing this capital, both in terms of giving it its rightful place in driving our major works and reforms and in terms of establishing our stake in the knowledge economy.

The progress made by Morocco is not a mere coincidence. It is a result of a clear vision, strict strategies and efforts undertaken by all Moroccans. In this regard, we salute the governments that have shown sincere patriotism and responsibility in the management of the country. We also pay tribute to the corporate citizens in the stimulation of the economic and social development of the country. We also welcome the increasing role of the civil society and their efficient participation in dynamic development. We also pay tribute to the political parties and trade unions that the Constitution has established as vital key players within the state and the society, due to their patriotism and responsible sense of civic purpose shown in the treatment of major issues of the nation. We acclaim teachers, especially those working in rural areas, for their dedicated efforts in educating generations of qualified professionals that contribute to the development of the country, in the past and years to come.

Inspired by the king’s speech for the 61st anniversary of the Revolution of the King and the People