The construction sector achieved 4.2% growth in 2011 and has consistently contributed around 5% to 6% of the GDP over the last eight years. Public spending on infrastructure has created opportunities for both local and foreign firms in the last decade. From 2003 to 2012, the government invested nearly Dh180bn (€16m) in basic infrastructure in an effort to improve capacity and efficiency. Foreign firms hailing from the EU – especially Spain – as well as Turkey, South Korea and China have been drawn to Morocco to create large-scale, mixed-use projects. While building has slowed in some sectors as a result of the global economic downturn, strong demand for construction in housing, public services, industry and energy should continue to stimulate sector activity in the medium term. Indeed, a number of high-value commercial real estate projects have continued to attract international investment. Recent developments include efforts initiated in 2011 to create 11 new cities, a number of which are located outside of Casablanca and Rabat. The government is looking to public-private partnerships to support urban regeneration and the construction of low-income housing. In the short term, efforts to incentivise social housing construction and urban planning programmes meant to absorb sub-standard housing will continue to drive much real estate sector activity.
This chapter includes an interview with Mohammed Fassi-Fehri, Director-General, CDG Development.