After a decade of investment, Morocco’s Oriental region is ready to build a strong reputation in the Mediterranean. For years, the Oriental, as the Eastern Region is known, suffered from insufficient transport connections to the rest of the country and a lack of the infrastructure necessary for supporting the development of its family-owned businesses and strategic industries. However, an increased focus by the government on devolving some decision-making powers as well as improving both growth and social development indicators in areas outside of Casablanca and Rabat has led to a shift in policy and the influx of government support of the kingdom’s regional governments. In 2012 the Oriental attracted Dh7.9bn (€703.2m) of private investment in 256 projects with the overwhelming majority of these in the building and construction sector. The region’s fortunes will be enhanced with further integration with Morocco’s neighbours. Sustained investment in new industrial zones and the regional focus on strategic sectors should also help to foster a strengthened private sector.
This chapter contains an interview with Mohamed Mbarki, Director, Agence de l’Oriental.