Prime Minister Aziz Akhannouch announced on Tuesday an improvement in employment indicators compared to the pre-pandemic period, attributing this recovery to a drop of 68,000 in the number of unemployed between the first quarter of 2021 and that of 2022, as well as by the increase in the number of employees declared to the National Social Security Fund (CNSS) to 2.7 million last March, compared to 2.6 million employees in February 2020.
Responding to a central question during the monthly plenary session in the House of Councilors devoted to general policy under the theme “The investment and employment equation”, the Head of Government stressed that the efforts undertaken by the Executive have made it possible, in the six months following his training, to overcome many of the consequences of the health crisis, which have paralyzed the dynamics of a set of productive sectors.
In this regard, he indicated that income from foreign direct investment amounted to 4.1 billion dirhams until the end of February 2022, an increase of 8% compared to the same period last year (3, 8 billion dirhams), citing the “remarkable” recovery of the industrial sector, the dynamism of which is reflected in the indicators of employment and exports, which have in fact gradually improved in various industrial activities.
He also mentioned the projects presented within the framework of the industrial recovery plan to substitute for imports, “which constitutes a strategic bet and a national priority in the government program”, noting in this context that the operationalization of the “Made in Morocco” resulted in the emergence of 918 projects with a total investment value of 39.4 billion dirhams, which promise approximately 197,000 direct and indirect jobs.
Among the activities targeted by these projects are the food industries (26%), the chemical and semi-chemical industries (19%), the mechanical and metallurgical industries (13%) and the textile industries (12%), added Akhannouch. .
The new industrial strategy, he continued, aims to consolidate Morocco’s industrial sovereignty by 2026 and is based on key sectors and vital strategic issues to create 400,000 industrial jobs nationwide. , indicating that this strategy also aims to ensure the sovereignty of the national economy with regard to strategic goods.
In order to give new impetus to private investment, the government has held, since the start of the current legislature, five meetings of the National Investment Committee, which have resulted in the approval of more than 46 draft agreements and annexes worth more than 33.3 billion dirhams, which will help create more than 14,200 direct and indirect jobs, said the head of government.
Through this dynamic, continues the Head of Government, the various investment agreements concluded over the past six months, whether within the framework of the National Investment Committee or within the framework of the Industrial Acceleration Plan, should mobilize a total envelope estimated at 51 billion dirhams and create more than 57,000 jobs.
He also mentioned the measures taken to save the Moroccan company, whose activity has declined due to the health crisis, noting in this context that the government has sought targeted and far-reaching measures, accompanied by support and financing to save the entrepreneurial fabric from the consequences of the crisis and give new impetus to private initiative and promote its competitiveness, in particular VSEs and SMEs.
To strengthen liquidity among companies, the government has endeavored to clean up the arrears of Value Added Tax (VAT) for the benefit of the private sector, while the payment periods for public procurement have been improved and reduced. on average to 18.6 days, he noted, adding that the government has allocated 2 billion dirhams to revive the tourism sector and maintain its competitiveness, and 10 billion dirhams for the agricultural sector to mitigate the effects rainfall deficit.
The measures taken by the government also include the acceleration of the implementation of a set of initiatives aimed at mitigating the impact of high prices and the scarcity of raw materials at the global level for national companies awarded public contracts. , especially VSEs and SMEs. In particular, this involves extending the execution deadlines for current contracts to avoid the application of late payment penalties, refunding the late payment penalties collected, allowing the termination without confiscation of guarantees, revising the prices of works contracts, speed up the payment of the principal sums due to the contractors and to return the guarantee bonds.
This interactive government dynamic, Akhannouch noted, has been welcomed by national and international actors. “The International Monetary Fund has welcomed the targeted measures adopted by Morocco to put the national economy in a comfortable position. Most national productive sectors have also expressed satisfaction with the measures taken,” he said.
And to conclude by emphasizing the need to take advantage of Morocco’s achievements and to continue the mobilization in order to strengthen the confidence enjoyed by the national economy, to preserve national sovereignty and to create sustainable employment opportunities for young people, women and men throughout the national territory.