Morocco, a country in northwest Africa, is unique because up until recently it mostly exported only raw goods like yarn, cotton, and leather. This singular way of selling textiles has limited the growth of the industry.
You might associate Morocco with its famous rugs, but these are traditionally handmade by tribal or nomadic peoples, and not produced on an industrial scale.
The textile industry employs approximately 200,000 people which makes it a large employer for the country, but the goods sold are very limited. The one textile that Morocco did sell other than raw goods, was yards of beautiful coloured fabrics. They are known for their bright colors and patterned material that other countries use to make clothing and other products.
Although its textile industry is minimal in comparison to some, the Minister of Trade in Morocco has realized there is a gap in textiles that it can fill. Recently, China has turned inward with their textile market, and has started to see the need to create textiles for their own people.
This drive to sell in their own economy has taken a lot of products away from the United States and other markets. This is where Morocco has decided to capitalize. In 2014 they saw a 26% growth of textile exports to the US, and 10% to Europe.
Future of Textiles for Morocco
Morocco has set up a plan to increase their industry in the next decade. They will start creating their own whole goods, not just raw product, thus giving them a larger array of products to provide as exports. Since their trade has already increased with the US, due to China’s recent change, Morocco’s Minister of Trade has started to get investments for the industry to grow to a competitive size.
The textile industry. A source of business opportunities in Morocco
The big companies of the textile sector, in their expansion plan begun to contemplate the fact that rising prices and the excessive concentration of production engines in certain areas are a true reason why within the industry textile is taking place the bet of companies to invest and be present in more emerging markets.
Morocco is a clear example of an emerging market. Motivated by the free trade agreements and by the strong infrastructure network, the textile industry has become business opportunities in Morocco. In fact, it is considered by many textile companies as a real engine of production and export to Europe, as well as to other parts of the world such as the United States or the MENA region.
The Moroccan country wants to continue increasing their economy.
The current situation is positive, and even accelerating the contribution of the textile industry to the economy. A clear example is the active search for foreign investment (repeated loudly by the Moroccan Government) or the increase of more than 30% in jobs in this sector that unions want to run until the next year 2020. Without going any further, two years ago, Morocco increased its textile exports to the European Union by 9%, with an approximate market share of 3.1%.
The geographical location. The key that generates business opportunities in Morocco.
The fact that an area as important as Tangier is one step away from Spain is a differential value. At the operational level, a lot of cargo that can be handled at the end of the week can be perfectly in the Spanish stores on a Monday. To this is added the small differences in the schedule of each country or the short transit times. In definitive, factors that BCN Alie Maghreb tried to squeeze to the fullest.
We should consider that Turkey is its main competitor. The reason? They have an important fabric of fabric manufacturers and their salaries are very similar to Morocco. From the Moroccan country itself do not consider that other African countries, for example. South Africa, are at your level. In conclusion, the textile industry comes to be a reference of the Moroccan economy not only at present but also in the medium and long term.
The textiles and clothing sector in Morocco is of strategic importance for the country’s industrial development. Its 1200 companies employ 165,000 people and thus contribute to 27% of industrial employment. The T&C sector accounts for 7% of all industrial added value and 5% of all industrial production. T&C exports represented 13% of all Moroccan exports in 2016 with a value of 34.2 billion MAD dirhams or 3.7 billion US$. Exports increased to 36 billion MAD dirhams in 2017
Exports consist mainly of ready-made garments, which represents 73% of all T&C exports. Major export markets in 2016 were Spain where 54% of all clothing exports went and France with 21%. Other markets were the United Kingdom, Germany and Portugal.