Doing Business with Morocco
|State system||constitutional monarchy|
|Head of State||Mohammed VI|
|Head of government||Aziz Akhanouch|
|Currency name||Moroccan dirham|
|Time shift||0 hours (in summer -1)|
|Nominal GDP (billion USD)||132.6|
|Economic growth (%)||6|
So a basic summary for a general idea of the country: who has executive power and a brief description of the state establishment, legislation (briefly), the economy and opportunities for Czech companies, or problems when entering the market, if any. If the specific business culture can be described in a maximum of two sentences. Add a view into the future.
Practical telephone numbers (emergency services, police, firemen, information lines, etc.)
Emergency telephone line of the embassy in Rabat:
00 212 613 45 25 83 (if calling from the Moroccan network – 0613 45 25 83)
- in the cities of the 19th
- royal gendarmerie – Gendarmerie royale (outside the urban agglomeration) 177
- OS accident (ambulance) 150
- medical emergency 141
- firefighters and emergency medical assistance 15
- Samu (Service Privé d’Assistance Médicale Urgente) – 05 37 73 73 73
- os Médecins Rabat/Salé – 05 37 20 20 20
- os Médecins Casablanca – 05 22 98 98 98
Information on phone numbers 160
- Reporting breakdowns and accidents on the highway: 5050
- Motor vehicle repairs and towing: 0522 2727273
- Fast money transfers from abroad – Western Union: 0522 208080
Important web links and contacts
Ministere de l’Economie et des Finances (Ministry of Economy and Finance)
Ministere de l’Equipement, du Transport et de la Logistique (Ministry of Equipment, Transport and Logistics)
Ministere de l’Energie, des Mines, de l’Eau et de l’Environnement (Ministry of Energy, Mines, Water and Environment)
Ministere de l’Industrie, du Commerce, de l’Investissement et de l’Economie numérique (Ministry of Industry, Trade, Investments and New Technologies)
Ministere du Tourisme (Ministry of Tourism)
Ministere des Affaires Etrangeres (Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Confédération Générale des Entreprises du Maroc (CGEM) (Moroccan General Confederation of Enterprises)
Agence Marocaine de Développement des Investissements (AMDI) (Moroccan Agency for the Development of Investments)
Administration des dounes et impôts indirect (Customs Administration)
Bank Al-Maghrib (National Bank of Morocco)
PaulSourcing: Ten Commandments for Doing Business with Morocco
The PaulSourcing agency has prepared ten recommendations for doing business with Morocco for Czech entrepreneurs interested in business relations with Morocco.
4 recommendations for entering the Moroccan market during the coronavirus pandemic situation:
- Search for business partners The first step is to find suitable contacts for potential business partners in the local market. There are usually ways to find suitable business partners, which include, for example, asking one of the chambers of commerce in Morocco or local business associations or through paid databases of business contacts, which are not as comprehensive as, for example, in the Czech Republic.
In Morocco, the Internet is not yet as widespread (the apartment works relatively well) as it is in Europe, so searching for a partner using this network is still less effective.Therefore, CzechTrad’s foreign office in Morocco (ZK Casablanca) offers you help with this step and, according to the definition of a potential business partner, to search for these companies and send you this database. It is certainly advisable, if you already have existing contacts from the territory, to send these contacts to ZK Casablanca so that she can eliminate them in her selection in the initial phase.
- Selection of suitable companies The next step is the selection of suitable companies to approach further. If you are looking for a company yourself, it is a good idea to focus on those that list supplier references for the segment of your interest on their website. It should be noted that the target customer is in most cases served by a local importer/distributor, who should be targeted as a potential partner, not the end customer.It is also necessary to sort local companies according to references and their websites and select the most interesting partners to approach. It is a fact that a relatively large number of local companies do not have a website or do not have one in operation or only in French and Arabic. A company that does not have a website or has one but without an English translation does not automatically mean that the company is bad/unsuitable.It is also very important to find out and contact the right person. In principle, this should be a person with the highest possible position within the company hierarchy. However, contact information for these people is not usually directly available to the public, especially for larger organizations, and it is therefore necessary to work your way through it.At this stage, ZK Casablanca can support with knowledge of the local market and the recommendation of partners, but from the industry point of view, a decision is needed on your side.
- Contacting The third step is to contact the selected companies by phone, send the materials by email and then verify interest in the product/service again by phone. Given the current situation in the country, this step is very complicated and is rather a matter of chance – every company now deals with business differently. Many companies either do not work at all or in a limited home office mode, and contacting key employees is very complicated, in some cases even impossible.In general, it is advisable to contact Moroccan companies with information about their own company, about the products that we intend to offer to the partner. It is essential to refer to the source of the contact, as good references and recommendations can be decisive in business. As for the reaction, one must be patient. However, it usually happens that after about 10 days from the time the Moroccan company received the acquisition letter, we will politely urge a response. It is most appropriate if we ask whether the materials sent are sufficient. If the Moroccan company does not respond within a month, it is probably not interested in the offer.The culture and the Arab flowery way of thinking and speaking lead to the fact that a Moroccan usually does not use the word “no”. On the contrary, in an effort to please his partner, on various occasions he is ready to promise things that can hardly be expected to be fulfilled. This feature can cause serious misunderstandings, especially among inexperienced Europeans, and must be taken into account.
- Partner verification / Preparation of materials In this step, it is advisable for the Czech company to prepare high-quality materials, preferably in French or Arabic, otherwise in English (presentation, references, website, etc.).In case of interest, ZK Casablanca is able, after the easing of measures against the spread of the covid-19 disease and the calming of the situation in Morocco, to arrange personal meetings between PaulSourcing office directors and Moroccan companies, during which it is possible, for example, to present the client’s company or hand over product samples to the Moroccan side. After the resumption of international air transport, there is of course the possibility to prepare a personal meeting with the client directly in Morocco.In the event that the contact was initiated by the Moroccan side, it is recommended to check with the Moroccan company, for example, with the help of a representative of the PaulSourcing foreign office in Casablanca.
The Ten Commandments for Trading with Morocco
- Morocco belongs to the group of francophone countries. The official languages are Arabic and Berber, but French maintains a strong position in education and government. French is therefore the most common language used in business negotiations, and Spanish is also used in the northern and southern regions of the country. In the last 10 years, it is possible to occasionally meet English during negotiations, especially in Casablanca. Taking into account the above, it is necessary to prepare the correct language version of the documentation for the meeting.
- The state religion in Morocco is Sunni Islam. However, Moroccans are relatively tolerant of the other major religions. They automatically assume that a European is a Christian, and this fact is not an obstacle for business and later perhaps even friendly relations. There is also a considerable degree of tolerance towards the Jewish religion. Moroccans, on the other hand, have a very hard time understanding atheism.
- Moroccans are proud of their country’s past .It will be highly appreciated if the guest shows interest and any knowledge in this field.
- Do not try to do business in Morocco during the holy month of Ramadan. During the day, social life is practically stopped, at night it takes place mainly in the family circle. Observance of religious rules also affects the work pace. In 2013, Ramadan began on July 9 and ended on August 7. The start of Ramadan moves forward approximately 10 days each year. Similarly, you cannot count on business meetings on Friday afternoon – this period is reserved for great prayer.
- You have to be prepared for the fact that time is perceived differently in Africa (and thus also in Morocco) than in Europe .Therefore, it is necessary to allow for a larger time reserve for negotiations and meetings and sometimes tolerating the possible late arrival of a partner.
- Unknown “no”. Culture and the Arab flowery way of thinking and speaking lead to the fact that a Moroccan usually does not use the word “no”. On the contrary, in an effort to please his partner, on various occasions he is ready to promise things that can hardly be expected to be fulfilled. This feature can cause serious misunderstandings, especially among inexperienced Europeans, and must be taken into account.
- Clothes matter. A Moroccan, especially during first personal meetings, expects correct clothing from his partners, i.e. a suit with a tie for men and a suit, or pants suit for women (covered shoulders and knees, blouse without a provocative neckline). Moroccans, unlike some other Muslim countries, do not have a problem dealing with a woman as long as she observes the above dress code.
- Moroccans do not close deals at a distance. They want to get to know their business partner personally. When entering the Moroccan market, it is therefore necessary to count on at least one, but rather several trips to Morocco.
- Experienced Moroccans. In Morocco, it is increasingly possible to meet a businessman who has extensive experience from Europe or the USA, where he either worked for a long time himself or at least completed an internship. Dealing with such a partner has a European rather than an African character. It is therefore useful to find out about your partner before the meeting.
- Avoid sensitive topics. A sensitive political topic is the question of the southern regions (the disputed territory of the Western Sahara), which in the country are called the Moroccan Sahara (also the Southern Province). Moroccans are sure – and prove it with a number of historical arguments – that the territory in question is an integral part of Morocco. A discussion on this topic can evoke strong emotions, and we therefore do not recommend opening this topic with a Moroccan partner. Other topics that must be approached with sensitivity and rather with restraint are the relationship of Moroccans to the king and his family and questions of religion.