Toughened by internal and external liberalisation measures, Morocco’s industrial sector is experiencing a solid recovery following a dip in growth from 2008-10. Government initiatives to bolster strategic value-added sectors, notably in manufacturing segments such as aeronautics, automotive production and textiles, have also been instrumental in attracting foreign investment and reviving growth. The uptick in output bodes well for job creation rates as well, which is crucial for a country that is striving to boost employment figures.
PRODUCTION: Contributing 32.3% to GDP and 23.8% of total employment in 2011, the industrial sector has begun to expand again following the global recession, posting growth in export values ranging from 5% for electronics and shoes to in excess of 20% in automotive and aeronautic exports, according to a 2012 report by the Observatoire Marocain de l’Industrie. According to the High Planning Commission, Morocco’s industrial production growth averaged 3.5% between 2000 and 2012, climaxing at 9.4% in March 2000 and reaching a record low of -4.4% in December 2008 with the impending global financial crisis. In 2011 the industrial production index increased to 163 points from 159.1 points in 2010, with growth continuing over the first three quarters of 2012 at an average of 165 points over the same period in 2011, which averaged 161.7 points (base=1998). Specifically, sectors that experienced growth during the first three quarters of 2012 over the same period in 2011 include foodstuffs (3.4%), automobiles (8%), clothing and fur (5.7%), petrol refining (3%), chemicals (2.7%), and machines and equipment (2.7%). Declining growth rates occurred over the same period in textiles (-3.1%), leather production (-5.2%), metal-based production (1.3%), and radios, televisions and communication manufacturing (-1%).
SECTOR DEVELOPMENT: Boosting national trade and modernising the country’s industrial framework have been key priorities for the government for several years, with the former Emergence Plan serving as one of the guiding strategies.
Launched in 2005, the plan sought to boost the potential of six major export sectors: automotive, aviation and electronic components sectors; offshoring; fish and aquaculture processing; agro-industry; and textiles and crafts. Initially projected to end in 2010, the programme has now evolved into the National Pact for Industrial Emergence 2009-15 (Pacte National pour l’Emergence Industrielle, PNEI), another industrial promotional programme that was launched in 2008 to cover the period from 2009 to 2015.
SETTING GOALS: Specific goals under the PNEI include the creation of 220,000 new direct jobs, a Dh95bn (€8.44bn) increase in exports, a Dh50bn (€4.44bn) rise in foreign investment and an increase in GDP by Dh50bn (€4.44bn) through 2015. With a purse of Dh12.4bn (€1.1bn), the PNEI include the goal of expanding four sectors that have proven highly attractive for foreign investors – automotive, electronics, aeronautics, and offshoring – along with three others that receive notable sums of domestic investment – leather, food processing and textiles.
Key measures include the creation of 22 Integrated Industrial Platforms (PNI), which are explicitly designed to benefit automotive manufacturing by aiding firms to rent or buy physical capital by providing general infrastructure assistance – nationwide to entice foreign producers to base their manufacturing activities in Morocco by being able to offer more integrated processes. Brahim Slaoui, the president-director general of iron and steel manufacturer Mafoder, said, “What is needed is more exposure for export-oriented industries, through roadshows, for instance, and more proactive policies on the part of the government to support the industrial sector.”
A key priority to realising these goals involves a sufficient supply of qualified labour, and with the assistance of the Ministry of Employment and Vocational Training, the Ministry of Higher Education and professional associations, the state aims to improve worker training in order to better meet the needs of the job market. Between 2009 and 2015, the PNEI aims to train 220,000 workers in target sectors, with goals of training an additional 3800 managers, 15,800 engineers, 59,400 technicians, and 141,000 related technicians, such as equipment operators.
FOREIGN INVESTMENT: The overall programme has significant financial backing from both the public and private sector, but more crucially, the clarity it has provided in government priorities and strategic objectives has been instrumental in increasing foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows over the past several years, even against the investor uncertainty of the global financial downturn and the Arab Spring.
“Foreign investment for the industrial sector overall has definitely increased over the past five years. In 2008 FDI inflows for industry represented 6% of total FDI received, while in 2012 it represented 26% of overall foreign investment, thanks in part to the opening of Renault’s new car production plant and developments in the aeronautics industry with the entrance of Bombardier. In 2012 industry was also the largest sector, ahead of real estate, in terms of attracting FDI for the first time eve r,” Ali El Yaacoubi, the head of the Market Research Department at the Moroccan Investment Development Agency, told OBG.
Annual total FDI inflows fell 22% between 2008 and 2009, from $2.49bn to $1.95bn due to global economic woes and the euro crisis, and continued to fall until 2010 to $1.57bn. However, investments picked up between 2010 and 2011 by 60%, rising to $2.52bn in 2011, surpassing average pre-crisis inflows from 2005-07. This figure is particularly impressive in light of a worldwide investment increase of only 16% from 2010 to 2011, a 51% decline for North Africa and an investment fall of 108% for Egypt.
SMALL BUSINESSES: As in many emerging markets, the sustained growth of the industrial sector – and, as a result, the associated increase in job creation and revenues – is largely based on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). SMEs account for approximately 95% of all industrial businesses in the country. As in many countries throughout the region, their development is often impeded by significant challenges such as inadequate access to credit and information, and poor training facilities for workers, a result of insufficient funds and an inability to meet basic commercial lending requirements.
A number of programmes have been devised to combat these barriers, including the Imtiaz Programme, which supplies an investment allowance of up to Dh5m (€444,500), or 20% of the capital needed, to selected SMEs while facilitating increased access to commercial lending.
The Moussanada Programme seeks to improve SME productivity by helping smaller companies to develop business strategies and organisational processes, production procedures, and research and development through a state contribution of up to Dh1m (€88,900). Other initiatives to enhance the capabilities of SMEs include the creation of three public-private investment funds with Dh350m (€31.11m) in government funding to improve the operating environment for SMEs, including simplifying start-up procedures, improving long-term financing options and providing management support.
In all, the state has pledged around Dh2bn (€177.8m) to support SME programmes. Jamil Mohamed, the president-director general of industrial brush manufacturer Genesco, told OBG, “While the Emergence Plan has been effective so far, heavy industry in particular could use more support from the government, especially in terms of SMEs that serve as suppliers or subcontractors for larger firms.”
HELPING HAND: The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has pledged €20m to the Maghreb Private Equity Fund III to encourage the development of SMEs in Morocco and Tunisia. Other major participants in SME promotion include the Confédération Générale des Entreprises du Maroc (CGEM), which seeks to bridge the gap between the government and the private sector to produce solutions to the challenges faced by SMEs. In November 2012 the CGEM signed an agreement with the European Association of Craft, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises in Barcelona, enabling the CGEM to represent Moroccan SMEs in the organisation, which will give the North African nation the ability to exchange best practices in SME management with its European counterparts and coordinate regional initiatives. “Globally, I think that Morocco has positioned itself well and it is poised to take advantage of its industrial attributes through both political and economic liberalisation measures. It is important that SMEs are able to partake in and benefit from these opportunities,” said Saad Hamoumi, the president of the CGEM’s SME Commission.
FREE TRADE: Morocco’s external trade depends to a great extent on demand from key trade partners like the European Union, which comprised 53.1% of the kingdom’s trade activities in 2010. To stimulate trade with its most significant trade partner, Morocco signed the EU Association Agreement in 1996, followed by the signing of a free trade agreement (FTA) between the European Free Trade Association and Morocco that came into operation in March 2000.
The agreement liberalises the trade of manufactured goods and facilitates the free trade of industrial products, though negotiations have not yet been concluded on the tariff reduction for secondhand products such as vehicles. As of March 2012, a free trade area exists in industrial products between the kingdom and the EU, though Moroccan products entering Europe are still obliged to present a certificate of origin and European imports to Morocco are faced with import value-added tax (around 20%) and an import para-fiscal tax of 0.25% ad valorem. While an agreement on the dismantling of tariffs on EU and Moroccan agricultural and fisheries products was also made in 2012, facilitating the liberalisation of trade in these goods over the next 10 years, other issues remain to be negotiated, including an agreement on the liberalisation of services.
Although regional trade comprises only a small proportion of the country’s export volumes, Morocco is also a signatory to the Greater Arab Free Trade Area (GAFTA), which ensures the full trade liberalisation of products by exempting all Customs duties and charges between Arab participants in GAFTA, excluding Yemen and Sudan. The kingdom also signed the Agadir Agreement in 2004 that created a free trade zone between Arab Mediterranean countries.
Though the US accounted for only 6% of Morocco’s total trade activities in 2010, the US remains an important market. To expand trade with this major economy, Morocco signed an FTA with the US in 2004 that went into effect in 2006 – the first FTA signed by the US with an African country. The agreement has not proved wholly advantageous to Moroccan exporters, including agricultural producers, who have come under increasing competition from incoming US food products. Similarly, local textile producers argue that the Moroccan textile industry has also been hampered by the agreement due to a requirement that obliges local manufacturers to incorporate inputs from the US.
ASSESSING THE IMPACT: According to a 2009 study conducted by Morocco’s Ministry of External Trade on the impact of FTAs, FTAs signed by Morocco have been shown, in general, to have a negative impact on generating local employment, partly due to an influx of foreign competition. Tariff reductions have also been demonstrated to increase imports faster than exports, due to increases in the purchasing power of households, increased demand in the domestic market for imported products, and the difference between the year in which the tariffs on Morocco’s export products are dismantled in trade partner countries and the year in which the tariffs on foreign products are dismantled in Morocco. Local producers have echoed this sentiment. Abdelmajid Kaddouri, the general director of manufacturer Moroccan Iron Steel, told OBG, “A recent problem is that foreign companies are now exporting steel products to Morocco, which has amounted to dumping. This has become possible because there are no tariffs anymore between Morocco and the EU as a result of the association agreement.”
“Moroccan engineering companies find themselves at a competitive disadvantage compared to their European counterparts due to issues with the currency regime. More generally, export procedures should be made more flexible, for instance in relation to export bank guaranties and insurances,” said Hakim Nadir, the director-general of Buzzichelli Maroc, a company that works in industrial and construction activities.
However, this increased competition has encouraged a significant overhaul of industrial frameworks and support, and as a result has led to improved access to credit, better management and simplified bureaucratic procedures. Moroccan firms are able to increasingly assert themselves in export markets. “The industrial sector has seen growing competition from other countries following the conclusion of various FTAs. At the same time, action has been taken to improve the competitiveness of Moroccan industries, particularly SMEs. To this effect, over the past two decades, the Moroccan government has put in place several support programmes, the objectives of which are the reinforcement of business management techniques, the modernisation of production facilities, the strengthening of funding mechanisms, the training and qualification of personnel and the promotion of exports, to name a few. These measures have enabled the transfer of industrial skills required for Moroccan enterprises to integrate themselves into world trade,” said Adnane Loukili, a partner and industrial specialist at auditing, accounting and consulting firm Mazars.
PHARMACEUTICALS: Crucially, Morocco’s industrial sector is fairly diverse, which helps buffer it from sector-specific problems. A number of the country’s largest sub-segments are also among the most productive in Africa. As the second-largest pharmaceutical industry in Africa, Morocco’s drug manufacturing sector is well developed in comparison to its African counterparts. In 2011, 32 pharmaceutical factories were present in the country, producing 293m units of drugs. While 65% of the total drug consumption is manufactured in Morocco, the domestic market remains dependent on imports for specialised medicines, in particular for oncology-related drugs (see analysis). In 2010 pharmaceutical imports rose from 6757 tonnes to 6984 tonnes in 2011, valued at Dh9.4bn (€835.6m). Per capita annual consumption of drugs in Morocco is around €40, dispensed by an estimated 11,000 pharmacies.
TEXTILES: Like other major producers around the Mediterranean, such as Egypt and Turkey, Morocco’s textile industry faces a number of pressing challenges that complicate the development of the sector, threatening the livelihoods of an estimated 200,000 employees working in 1500 factories, one of the kingdom’s single largest source of employment.
Although the industry grew 4.4% in 2011 with export values of Dh29.5bn (€2.6bn), Morocco’s textile and clothing sector faces declining global demand due to the combined effects of the global economic downturn, the euro crisis and rising competition from lower-cost textile exporters in Asia. Consequently, textile producers have seen declining export growth rates with many of its main trading partners between 2011 and 2012. During this period, knit clothing exports declined by 16.4% with the UK, 13.6% with Germany and 6.5% with Spain, though trade grew 47.3% with Portugal and 6% with the US. Manufactured clothing also suffered, with a fall of 14.4% in exports to Italy, 7.9% to the UK and 5.8% to Germany, according to the Association Marocaine des Industries du Textile et de l’Habillement ( Moroccan Association of Textile and Garment Industry, AMITH). Generally speaking, the share of textile exports in total goods exported has consistently declined since 2009, with textiles comprising 23% of total goods sold abroad in revenues, down to 16% in 2011 and 15% for the period of January to August 2012 (although this can be partially explained by the dramatic increase in phosphate export volumes).
To increase productivity and improve their export profile, a number of textile firms have begun creating export collectives, such as Ateliance, a consortium of eight textile firms that was established in 2008 which claims a 10% increase in exports. Part of the challenge to boosting the sector’s overall productivity and maintaining revenues is the result of the bifurcated nature of the textile industry. Although Morocco has a number of large-scale legal textile producers, the informal sector comprises around 80% of sector activity and produces significant amounts of clothing for the local market. “The informal sector has created the conditions for a vicious cycle, particularly for tax-paying enterprises, who are drawn into heavy price competition in the domestic market and must lower the quality of their goods to try and survive against those who do not pay taxes,” said Karim Tazi, the vice-president of AMITH.
The lack of domestically produced fabric is also a hurdle, with Morocco importing approximately €2bn each year in materials, an industrial process that could be satisfied locally with appropriate encouragement. The establishment of a new, merit-based school of design also seeks to promote cultural innovation by stimulating creative training and knowledge. “If nothing is done with the informal sector and the textile industry continues as it is for another 10 years, it will not add any major value,” Tazi told OBG.
PHOSPHATES: Partly due to the success of the sector strategies introduced under the PNEI, many of Morocco’s heavy industries are developing quickly, particularly aeronautics, automobile manufacturing, chemicals and cement. The majority of activity in the chemicals sector is accounted for by processing raw phosphate into derivatives, with phosphates making up 92.7% of total mining production.
Possessing three-quarters of the world’s phosphate reserves, Morocco is one of the three largest phosphate producers globally, along with the US and China, (see Mining chapter). With expectations for steady growth in demand for phosphates in the coming decades, the kingdom plans to invest Dh75bn (€6.67bn) between 2010 and 2020 in the expansion of phosphate production from 30m tonnes to 50m tonnes through the modernisation and expansion of current mines and by opening new mines. Major projects include a Dh1.8bn (€160m) investment in the Khouribga mine, which will be expanded from 18.5m tonnes per annum (tpa) to 35m tpa over the next decade, and the development of the Benguerir mine to 1m tpa in 2013. A Dh4bn (€355.6m) phosphate slurry pipeline project will also be constructed to transport goods across 240 km from Khouribga to the plant at Jorf Lasfar. Designed by Australian group Ausenco, the pipeline will have a capacity of 38m tpa, facilitating easier and cheaper transport of materials.
INCREASED CAPACITY: Morocco is also seeking to extend its refinery capacity with the aim of expanding into the exportation of refined petroleum products. At the moment, the country has one operational refinery in Mohammedia that has a capacity of 6.5m tpa. The installation of a €750m upgrade in 2008 helped facilitate an increase of 13.8% in total production for refined goods from January-July 2012 over the same period in 2011, rising from 3,491,569 tonnes to 3,971,983 tonnes.
The refinery’s owner, the Société Anonyme Marocaine de l’Industrie de Raffinage (SAMIR), also introduced the commercial use of a new crude distillation unit in August of 2012, increasing SAMIR’s total processing capacity to 200,000 barrels per day, according to Reuters. The exportation of refined petroleum goods is expected to be satisfied by the construction of another refinery at Jorf Lasfar which will have a capacity of 10m tpa, increasing the overall refining market capacity by another 200,000 barrels per day. Concrete plans for the construction of the €3.75bn project have not yet been announced, but the refinery is expected to be in service before 2020.
CEMENT: After a decline in activity from 2009-10, the Moroccan cement industry is once again picking up speed thanks to a number of new, large-scale public works projects that have buttressed domestic demand, most notably with the construction of a new tramway in Casablanca and a number of new highways and train lines nationwide. Major market players in Morocco include a subsidiary of France’s Lafarge, Lafarge Ciments, which commands more than 40% of the market, and the local subsidiary of Italy’s Italcementi Group, Ciments du Maroc, with a 28% market share. Holcim Maroc, a subsidiary of Switzerland’s Holcim, and the subsidiary of Cimentos de Portugal, Asment de Temdara, also have local production facilities.
In September of 2011 cement sales were recorded to have increased by over 36% since September of 2010, according to the Professional Association of Cement Manufacturers. However, due to an increasingly saturated domestic market, various local producers are now increasingly considering the option of exporting their products or expanding their production sites elsewhere in Africa, where consumption is growing rapidly.
In 2011 Moroccan property developing firm Addoha announced its plans to construct a €30m factory in Cote d’Ivoire that will have a production capacity of 500,000 tonnes. The firm also started construction in May 2012 of another cement plant with a capacity of 500,000 tonnes in Cameroon’s capital of Douala, valued at €R20m.
AUTOMOBILES: Despite a fall in vehicle sales in the midst of the global economic crisis, Morocco is positioning itself to become a key international leader in automotive production and has attracted 10 major global automotive producers to establish manufacturing plants in the North African country (see analysis).
However, for the moment, much of both anticipated and existing car production is destined for the export market, as Morocco’s domestic demand for cars remains limited in light of its population size, selling an average of 130,000 units per year to a populace of 32.3m people. Valued at Dh17bn (€1.51bn), the local market is only around 10-12% of the size of a mature market. However, the large supply of domestic labour, in addition to competitive operational costs, good transport links and close proximity to European and West African markets has enticed major international automotive brands.
INTERNATIONAL NAMES: At the moment, French brands represent around 50% of the market share in terms of sales, with Groupe Renault accounting for a 40% market share and Groupe Citroen holding another 15-17% of the market. Other notables include American company Ford, South Korea’s Hyundai and Japan’s Suzuki, with a total of 34 brands present. French brands hold 100% of the local production market, with only three or four brands present, including market leaders Dacia and Renault.
Indeed, Nasereddine Oubada, the president-director general of Hyundai in Morocco, told OBG that, “In 2012 sales in the automotive market have been up 30%, which is quite exceptional. However, for non-European brands, the tariff walls, which require the latter to pay 17.5% in import duties while European brands are exempted, remain worrisome.”
The kingdom’s demonstration of its ability to preserve political stability has also eased investor uncertainties in the context of the Arab Spring, providing an environment conducive to long-term economic growth and FDI. After dropping off over 2008 and 2009 due to the global financial crisis, foreign investment rose between 2010 and 2011 by 60%, up to $2.52bn in 2011, surpassing average pre-crisis inflows from 2005-07. This figure is particularly impressive in light of a worldwide investment increase of 16% from 2010 to 2011, a 51% decline for North Africa, and an investment fall of 108% for Egypt.
FINDING PARTNERS: Renault’s new plant in Melloussa is another promising sign of the potential of the country’s automobile sector, and for more reasons beyond the obvious. The plant is unique not only for its size and production capacity but for its environmental footprint as well. In partnership with the Moroccan government and Veolia Environnement, Renault has ensured that the plant is environmentally friendly, reducing CO2 emissions by 98%, or the equivalent of a plant with an annual production capacity of 400,000 cars, cutting approximately 135,000 tonnes of CO2 per year. The factory will not release wastewater from industrial activities in the environment, while the use of water resources for production was reduced by 70%.
Additionally, the government has also been able to attract a good degree of investment in human resources, such as the establishment of the Institute for Training Professionals Automotive Industry in Casablanca, which is also in partnership with Renault. The state has received financial support for these initiatives from numerous international players, including the French Development Agency, which granted €20m in 2010 to enhance vocational education, and the Korean International Cooperation Agency, which contributed Dh105m (€9.29m) to aid the establishment of an institute of advanced training.
AERONAUTICS: Thanks to significant investments by a number of major aeronautics and component manufacturers, Morocco’s aeronautics industry is expected to see a significant increase in both output and export revenues (see analysis). The kingdom has attracted the participation of over 100 foreign aerospace producers, including major names like Safran Group, Daher, the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company, and Zodiac Aerospace. In November 2011 this group was joined by the world’s third-largest aircraft producer after Boeing and Airbus, Canadian manufacturer Bombardier, which announced its intention to build a new $200m factory in the industrial zone near Nouaceur Airport outside of Casablanca. The facility will be constructed over a period of eight years, beginning production in 2013 and employing 850 workers by 2020.
THE ARRIVAL OF BOMBARDIER: Morocco’s aeronautics industry has reached new heights with the announcement of global manufacturing heavyweight Bombardier Aerospace’s plans to establish a factory in the kingdom. On June 18, 2012 Bombardier signed an agreement with the Moroccan society Midparc Investment SA to purchase land for its new plant in the Midparc Casablanca Free Zone. “The selection of Nouaceur as the site for our fully integrated manufacturing facility is an important first step in the successful establishment of Bombardier Aerospace in Morocco,” said Guy C Hachey, Bombardier’s president and chief operating officer, to local media. “The site met our stringent requirements and high standards and we look forward to the start of the construction and production of the first Moroccan-built Bombardier aircraft components.”
Intended to complement the company’s existing production sites, technical work for the construction of the new factory began in the second half of 2012, though no details were available at the time of publication concerning the firm responsible for its construction. Bombardier will invest $200m in equipment, construction, and start-up costs over the next eight years, with initial investments in the factory to be in the sub-assembly for simple structures, though specifics on the type of components to be produced have not been finalised. Production of the first Bombardier aircraft components “Made in Morocco” will commence in 2013. By 2020, the Bombardier plant is expected to create 850 skilled jobs. “We are deeply engaged in long-term relationships with the Moroccan government to develop a world-class aerospace industry in this country and to serve as a catalyst for the development of this sector,” Hachey told local media in September 2012.
GROWING INTERNATIONAL INTEREST: According to Hamid Benbrahim El Andaloussi, the president of Group of Moroccan Aerospace Industries, another 15 important European and American aerospace companies have expressed interest in establishing activities in the Midparc Casablanca Free Zone, though they have yet to get involved officially.
“Both 2013 and 2014 will be important years in terms of communication to develop the park. From now until 2020, the park must contain close to 200 companies and 10,000-12,000 employment opportunities in the space, aeronautics, and defence industries. Benefitting from a close proximity to the airport and the establishment of an aeronautics university, within a few years, we will have a competitive port that will help establish Morocco as a partner of the aeronautics industries in Europe and the US,” Benbrahim El Andaloussi told OBG.
AGROINDUSTRY: As the second-largest processing industry after chemicals, the food processing industry produces fruit, vegetables, milk products, oils, cereals, flour, meat, beverages and tobacco products, along with a sizable aquaculture and seafood industry. Agriculture contributed 13.2% of GDP in 2011, which was a slight increase over an average of 13% between 2006 and 2010. Despite poor weather that reduced output in the first quarter 2012, the sector is set to see more growth as domestic demand continues to grow, and the government has developed new strategies and programmes (see Agriculture chapter). However, the government will have to generate significant foreign investment.
ELECTRONICS: Electronics manufacturing constitutes another key segment, producing electronic components, electrical systems, circuit boards and high-tech cables. State officials believe that suitable investments could further boost electronics production, resulting in an increased contribution to GDP of Dh3.5bn (€311.1m) and the creation of 9000 new jobs by 2015. The expansion of Morocco’s automotive and aerospace activities will also have a positive effect on electronics manufacturing. Global leader in cable production and cabling systems, France’s Nexans, has already opened an aircraft cables production plant in Mohammedia that has a capacity of 21,000 km of cable each year, of which 70% will be exported. The plant is the company’s third such facility worldwide and cost an estimated €10m.
The promise of an expanding electronics market has encouraged the entrance of major international electronics producers like South Korea’s Samsung and LG. At the moment, the market value is estimated at around $1.5bn, of which $300m is claimed by mobile phone sales and another $300m by television sales. Domestic market leaders include LG, Samsung, Sony, and Panasonic, though the last several years have brought new entrants to the market.
OUTLOOK: With a wide diversity of activities, Morocco’s industrial sector offers a multitude of interesting investment opportunities for domestic and foreign actors. Conditions for growth are expected to be particularly favourable in the automotive, aeronautic, manufacturing sectors, as well as in phosphate production. Although other industries, notably textiles and clothing, confront significant challenges, government initiatives under the PNEI are facilitating the ability of struggling sectors to surpass developmental difficulties, inspiring optimism for future growth.
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