Interview with Ali Seddiki, Director General AMDIE, Kingdom of Morocco

Interview with Ali Seddiki, Director General AMDIE, Kingdom of Morocco


Can you highlight how Morocco’s recent legislation has helped foster investments and generate jobs for Moroccans? What are the recent trends are we seeing now in terms of inbound foreign direct investment (FDI)?

The recent legislation under the new investment charter has significantly bolstered investment and job creation in Morocco. In the first quarter of 2024, we recorded an unprecedented MAD 9.7 billion ($974 million) in FDI, marking an all-time high. This achievement aligns perfectly with the implementation of the support mechanisms introduced by the new investment charter, highlighting its immediate and intended impact. Furthermore, when comparing the ratio between outward and inward FDIs, our revenues have surged by nearly MAD 5 billion ($502 million). This is particularly noteworthy as it comes at a time when outward FDIs are also increasing. This robust performance underscores the vitality of the Moroccan economy and the impact of the investment charter.

The combination of enhanced support mechanisms, a more favorable business climate and improved governance structures has not only attracted substantial investments but also paved the way for significant job creation for Moroccans. The upward trend in inbound FDI is a clear indicator of investor confidence in Morocco’s economic landscape, further reinforcing the effectiveness of our strategic initiatives.


How would you assess the country’s ease of doing business and how is AMDIE working to lighten the burden for investors?
Today, Morocco’s ease of doing business has significantly improved under the enlightened vision of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, may God assist him, thanks to comprehensive efforts to streamline procedures and enhance the business environment. The Ministry of Investment Convergence and Evaluation of Public Policies, which oversees AMDIE, is spearheading a vast project aimed at reducing bureaucracy. This initiative ensures that both economic operators and citizens experience simpler, more convenient procedures. AMDIE plays a crucial role in the transformation by acting as a facilitating body designed to ease the process for companies interested in Morocco. As a national one-stop shop, relayed by regional investment centers, AMDIE is responsible for simplifying life for investors and exporters. This involves acting as an intermediary between private and public operators and coordinating various requests to ensure everything in one place.

In concrete terms, AMDIE contributes to the simplification of procedures by maintaining constant contact with economic operators throughout their investment or export projects. This regular interaction allows us to gather valuable feedback, which we share with regulators and the ministerial department to drive continuous improvement. Our various sector departments engage in ongoing exchanges with operators, enabling us to learn what approaches need to be improved or discarded. This dynamic feedback loop allows us to adapt and refine our processes, contributing to a more favorable business climate.


What sectors are showing the most promise and garnering the most interest from foreign investors?

If we look at foreign investors, nearly all sectors are attracting significant interest. The manufacturing sector and industrial sectors are experiencing strong growth. Within the industrial sector, the automotive segment stands out, with sales rising by almost 30% last year, which is remarkable given the current market uncertainties. The aeronautics segment is also booming, driven by increased production rates post-COVID. Morocco’s deep integration into global aeronautical ecosystems and the availability of qualified engineers and technicians have made it a prime destination for investment in the field.

The textile segment is witnessing an uptick as well, especially in sustainable textiles. The focus on the circular economy and the shortening of production chains highlights Morocco’s potential in this area. The agri-food sector is seeing numerous projects aimed at serving both African and international markets with aquaculture emerging as a fast-growing sub-sector.

Beyond the industrial sphere, the tourism sector is also booming, partly due to the World Cup effect and the impressive performance of our national team which has generated magnificent publicity for the kingdom. This has sparked increased interest of tourists, leading to a surge in hotel projects, particularly in preparation for the 2030 World Cup.

Another sector where we’ve seen substantial recent activity is the digital sector. Digital services, outsourcing and I.T. engineering is expanding rapidly with Morocco evolving into a digital hub offering complex services such as cybersecurity and data analysis, beyond traditional call centers. This sector is seeing growing investment, exemplified by the recently signed MOU with Oracle at the Gulf Information Technology Exhibition to establish two cloud regions in Morocco, which will significantly boost digital project development in the Kingdom.

Morocco is the only country in Africa with a free trade agreement with the USA. How important a partner is the US to Morocco
and in which sectors do you hope to see increased cooperation in the future? 

The U.S. is first and foremost a historical partner, as the Kingdom of Morocco was the first country to recognize the United States of America. Over time, our relations have only grown stronger, with the U.S playing a crucial role as a trade partner. Currently, we have over 120 companies established in Morocco across key sectors. For example, in the aeronautics industry, major players like Hexcel, which manufactures composites, have chosen Morocco. This trust from American companies is a testament to the solid and growing partnership between our nations and we anticipate this relationship to accelerate further.

His Majesty the King, may God assist him, has reiterated his royal vision of opening up the Atlantic arc to fully leverage our relationship with the U.S. The free trade agreement has already led to impressive economic performances, but we believe there is still untapped potential. This sentiment was echoed during our recent visit to the United States, where numerous American operators expressed awareness of the opportunities Morocco offers. At a time when global value chains are being reevaluated, Morocco is seen as a stable and attractive alternative.

Political stability is paramount for American investors and Morocco, as a secular monarchy, with a sovereign monarch who has a long-term vision, coupled with a democratically elected government, is putting this vision in place and deploying it. This gives them a high level of predictability and assurance. In other words, they have a clear understanding of what to expect when they invest in Morocco. Our macroeconomic stability, exemplified by controlled inflation, further reassures investors. Additionally, Morocco boasts excellent infrastructure, human capital with a skilled workforce and significant potential for decarbonization — an increasingly critical factor as companies seek to reduce their carbon footprint.

We’re actively promoting the kingdom’s value proposition to potential US Investors. One of our key strategies involves engaging with major tech companies, including Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Meta and Microsoft. We’ve been in contact with these industry giants and they have shown significant interest in what Morocco has to offer. Our country boasts substantial assets that align with their sectors, such as a highly skilled workforce and excellent level of connectivity, which make Morocco an attractive destination for investment.

Microsoft and Amazon already have offices in Morocco and regularly receive positive feedback from their local teams. They recognize the dynamic momentum in Morocco and are keen to capitalize on it. This positive perception strengthens our long-term prospects for increased interest and collaboration from these major players.

We see enormous potential in sectors such as electronics, biotechnology and the digital sector. In the field of artificial intelligence, there is a growing demand for new skills and data center capacities. The enthusiasm for collaboration in these areas is palpable and we are well-positioned to capitalize on these opportunities. This strengthened partnership with the U.S. will undoubtedly contribute to Morocco’s continued economic growth and integration into the global economy.


What flagship programs does AMDIE currently have underway and what are some of your big goals for the coming years?

One flagship brand is the ” Morocco Now Invest and Export” initiative, which promotes Morocco as an attractive investment destination and enhances the kingdom’s economic brand. Through this program, we regularly participate in international roadshows to present Morocco’s value proposition to potential investors and companies looking for new locations to establish their operations.

In addition to promoting investment, we focus on the export component, which is a core mission of the agency. We collaborate closely with partners such as the Department of Commerce, the Ministry of Trade and Industry, as well as the Moroccan Exporters’ Association, under the “Export Morocco Now” program. This initiative supports Moroccan companies in promoting their products and services around the world in our core business sectors. We participate in various international fairs and exhibitions to showcase the quality and diversity of products and services made in Morocco. Furthermore, AMDIE is also responsible for organizing major exhibitions within the kingdom, aimed at promoting both national product and service, as well as attracting investment to Morocco. These events play a crucial role in highlighting the strengths and opportunities that Morocco offers to international investors.

Our big goals for the coming years include continuing to drive significant investment into the country, fostering job creation and enhancing Morocco’s presence on the global economic stage. By leveraging our strategic programs and maintaining strong partnerships, we are confident in our ability to achieve these objectives and contribute to the sustained growth and development of Morocco’s economy.


What next steps does Morocco need to take to attract foreign investors and make it the nation of choice for those investing in the African continent?
The Morocco Now brand serves as a beacon, showcasing the country’s transformation and its potential as a prime investment destination.  With its rich history and stunning landscapes, Morocco has long been admired on the international stage, particularly for its tourism offerings. However, Morocco Now goes beyond mere aesthetics; it communicates the significant strides the country has made under the visionary leadership of King Mohammed VI, may God assist him, over the past 25 years.

Morocco has evolved into a world-class hub, committed to sustainable investments and exports. We’ve developed world-class infrastructures so we’re ready for take-off. The message of the “Morocco Now” brand is a compelling call to action: come invest and export from Morocco. It invites investors and exporters to seize the opportunities available here emphasizing that the country is primed and ready for transformative partnership. Nevertheless, seeing  is believing: While the figures and images can paint a compelling picture, there is no substitute for immersing yourself in the dynamic atmosphere that defines Morocco today.

The success of the Morocco Now brand is evident in the increased interest and inquiries from international investors, many of whom have approached us proactively. This indicates that our extensive international promotional campaigns have resonated effectively, bolstered by positive word-of-mouth from the growing number of international companies operating in Morocco. We witness firsthand the shift in perception towards the brand through the steady stream of delegations visiting us from around the globe.

Looking ahead, Morocco must continue to build on this momentum to solidify its position as the preferred investment destination in Africa. This involves further enhancing the business environment, nurturing innovation and entrepreneurship and fostering partnerships with key stakeholders. By capitalizing on our strengths and maintaining a proactive approach to attracting foreign investment, Morocco can unlock its full potential and emerge as a leading economic powerhouse on the continent.