Event name

The Euromoney Morocco Conference 2019

19 February 2019
Rabat, Morocco

Sponsors

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Lead Sponsor

BMCE Bank of Africa

Co-Sponsor

Moody's Investors Service

Digital Payments Partner

Visa International

Supporting Organisation

LOGO - Marco Clear - 2nd Tier - DO NOT USE

Africa Regional Partner

LOGO – AFDB - 2nd tier - DO NOT USE

Association Partner

British Chamber of Commerce Morocco
German Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Morocco
ICMA

Media Partner

Capital Markets in Africa
Finances News HEBDO
GlobalCapital
Industrie du Maroc
La Nouvelle Tribune
La Quotidienne
Les ECO
Les ECO.ma

Event Overview

The Euromoney Morocco Conference explored the strategic financial implications of Morocco’s ‘pivot to Africa’. We heard from policy-makers, business people, financiers and investors. Whilst all were positive on the Morocco story and opportunity, all also felt that there was much work still to be done to bring Morocco towards its 2030 goals. In particular, education and training were cited as drags upon the speed of economic development and social inclusion. Capital market depth and breadth, financial inclusion and digitisation all needed to accelerate in order to deliver the benefits of economic growth across wide segments of the population. However, Morocco was praised for its energy and commitment to a multi-lateral model of development, regional leadership/integration and the economic and political stability which make it stand out in the region.

 

 

Speakers

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Keynote Speaker

H.E. Abdellatif Jouahri

Governor
Bank Al-Maghrib

Full Profile

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Keynote Speaker

Othman Benjelloun

President
GPBM (Professional Group of Banks of Morocco)

Full Profile

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Keynote Speaker

Douglas Kelly

Regional Director, Enterprise New Supplier Development
The Boeing Company

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Keynote Speaker

Samer Samaha

Commercial Director, Maghreb and West Africa
Givaudan

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Verity Adamthwaite

Conference Manager
Euromoney Conferences

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Said Adren

General Manager
BMCE Bank of Africa China

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Alejandro Alvarez de la Campa

Finance, Competitiveness and Innovation Manager, Middle East and Africa
IFC

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Richard Banks

Consulting Editor
Euromoney Conferences

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Victoria Behn

Director Middle East and Africa
Euromoney Conferences

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Zin Bekkali

Chief Executive Officer And Group Chief Investment Officer
Silk Invest

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Khalid Benhamou

Managing Director
Sahara Wind

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Angus Blair

Chief Operating Officer
Pharos Investments

Full Profile

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Karim El Aynaoui

Managing Director
Policy Center for the New South

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Hicham Elalamy

Director
Autorité Marocaine du Marché des Capitaux

Full Profile

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Mohamed Elmandjra

Chairman
Endeavor

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Nawfal Fassi-Fihri

Managing Director
Endeavor

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Karim Hajji

Chief Executive Officer
Casablanca Stock Exchange

Full Profile

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Hicham Iraqi Houssaini

Morocco Country Manager
Microsoft

Full Profile

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Majeed Hujair

Senior Director, School of Public Policy
Visa International

Full Profile

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Francois Jurd de Girancourt

Partner, Head of Africa Financial Institutions Practice
Mckinsey & Company

Full Profile

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Sean Marion

Managing Director, Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service

Full Profile

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Leila Farah Mokaddem

Country Manager
African Development Bank

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Marie-Alexandra Veilleux-Laborie

Director, Head of Morocco
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

Full Profile

Videos

Programme en français

 

Voir le programme en français ici.

 

Q & A

Ahead of the conference,  we asked H.E. Abdellatif Jouahri, Governor, Bank Al-Maghrib five questions.
Read the full Q&A below.
 
Question 1: How does Morocco's economic strategy need to develop in order to reach its potential?
 
Morocco has made important progress during the last decades. Thanks to major economic, social and institutional reforms, as well as an ambitious infrastructure development program launched at the beginning of the millennium, Morocco has been able to significantly speed up its growth, reduce unemployment and poverty, and improve human development indicators.
These projects have been followed, since the second half of the 2000s, by a set of sector-based strategies aiming to diversify the country's economy and improve its competitiveness and exportable offer, along with an opening-up process that led to signing several free trade agreements.
 
Despite these achievements and the ongoing efforts in terms of reforms and public spending, the social gap remains important. In addition, growth and employment have witnessed a considerable slowdown during the last 5 years.
In order to overcome these challenges, authorities must make a qualitative leap in their reform efforts, with two objectives: strengthening the competitiveness and the resilience of the economy, on the one hand, and narrowing social gaps, on the other.
 
To this end, there is an urgent need to improve the quality of the education and training system. In fact, there is a national consensus about considering this point a top priority given its impact on the achievement of both objectives. All evaluations made have confirmed that the quality of our education system is poor, which negatively impacts both its internal and external outputs. Indeed, repetitions and dropout rates generate today a very high social and economic cost. Youth unemployment also represents a real challenge for authorities and for society. A vision has been developed in this regard, and there is a consensus about it. An effective mobilization is nevertheless needed for its implementation.
 
Another important crosscutting project is the implementation of a comprehensive framework that would ensure greater consistency and better synergies for public policy and anchor it to a shared vision that would help prioritize reforms and optimize the use of resources and ultimately, achieve better results. This can be materialized through making the practice of public policy assessment systematic. It will ensure that the choices made are always relevant and will enable introducing appropriate adjustments possible during their implementation phase.
 
 
Question 2: Added value, trade, technology, finance, infrastructure - what are the foundations of the future Morocco?
 
All of them. In view of the frequent and rapid changes in its external environment, economic diversification is a way to strengthen our resilience and enhance our competitiveness. Morocco is fully aware of this challenge, and has relentlessly sought to diversify its productive fabric and exportable offer. Look at the change in the structure of Morocco’s exports and the importance of the weight of Morocco's new global crafts in this structure. Since 2014, cars have topped the list of all exported products. At the same time, Morocco also capitalizes on its traditional comparative advantages. Specifically, the production, processing and exportation of phosphate, of which Morocco has the world’s largest reserves, is witnessing a qualitative leap, as the OCP Group has developed and implemented an ambitious strategy with national and continental objectives.
 
Morocco is also pursuing a policy to diversify its economic partners, particularly since the beginning of this millennium. The opening-up towards Africa, with which our country shares strong geographical and historical ties, is the fruit of this policy implemented at the highest level of the State.
 
Aware of the challenges of climate change but also the related opportunities, Morocco has designed a strategy to develop renewable energies that will help the country reduce its energy dependence and also position itself as a hub of expertise and a success story in this area. The other major challenge today is the digital revolution. The country needs to brace itself for the challenges that this revolution imposes and also to seize the opportunities that it presents, bearing in mind that the impact of such revolution can already be seen in many areas.
 
As far as infrastructure development is concerned, I think it is not hard to observe the progress made in this area since the beginning of the 2000s. Morocco has significantly transformed its infrastructure; building highways and numerous ports including the one in Tangier, which is today one of the most important ports in the Mediterranean. The last major project in this respect is Africa’s first high-speed rail.
 
 
Question 3:. How can Morocco achieve sustainable employment?
 
Employment today represents a real economic and social challenge that Morocco faces alongside a large number of developing and even advanced countries. It is a challenge that has been further exacerbated by the repercussions of the digital revolution and the massive arrival of cohorts of job-seekers resulting from the demographic transition in the Kingdom. 
 
It is a multi-dimensional issue. Job creation needs a rapid and sustained growth, to which should contribute the efforts of diversifying the economy and enhancing its competitiveness. Besides, the education and training system should aim at preparing a qualified workforce with the needed skills for the job market. Last but not least, appropriate regulations of the market would be needed to smooth its functioning.
 
 
Question 4: What can the financial sector and the Moroccan banks do in order to support this development? 
 
The banking sector, which is the main component of the financial sector in Morocco, is crucially important for the economic development of our country. It contributes to mobilizing savings and financing investments, helps companies and corporation, and also helps meeting household’s housing and consumption needs. Over the last 15 years, the credit penetration rate increased sharply from 55 percent to almost 90 percent of GDP and the share of loans benefiting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) grew to 34% of the companies’ loans portfolio.
 
This change stems from various measures and actions, undertaken by Bank Al-Maghrib, public authorities and the professional associations of the banking sector to facilitate access to banking services and promote the financing of the SMEs as an essential component in the Moroccan economy. 
Those measures and actions include the following:
     •      Enhancing financial transparency of companies and the establishment of a Credit Bureau;
     •      Adapting the loans government guarantee system to the needs of the SMEs;
     •      Setting up a national observatory for the SMEs and a foundation for financial education. 
 
Bank Al Maghrib has also set up a support mechanism for the SMEs through the granting of banking refinancing backed by loans to this target, as well as the creation of a financial support fund for this category of businesses, intended for co-funding, with banks, viable businesses that are experiencing temporary difficulties.
 
The microcredit sector is also key to promoting financial inclusion and funding of microenterprises. 
 
Additionally, the recent establishment of a participative banking offer aims at diversifying the sources of the economy financing.
Building on the actions that have been made, Bank Al-Maghrib is working, in coordination with the Ministry of Economy and Finance, to set up a national strategy for financial inclusion aiming at promoting a more inclusive and a better targeted economy, to serve young people, women and very small companies, taking into account the regional aspects in financing economic actors.
 
Furthermore, while most of the financing of the economy continues to be provided by the banking sector, reliance on alternative sources of financing should be boosted, particularly through the capital market, including for the SMEs.
 
 
Question 5: How should the regulatory environment adapt to the future of the Moroccan economy? 
 
During the last 15 years, Bank Al-Maghrib stepped up efforts to enhance the resilience of the banking system to ensure its stability and its ability to sustainably finance the economy. Several reforms were thus initiated both at the micro and macro-prudential levels.
 
On the micro-prudential level, Bank Al-Maghrib reformed the Banking Act twice, in 2006 and 2015, to give the Central Bank a large autonomy in banking supervision. It worked on the implementation of the Basel standards, following a progressive approach. First, it started, in 2007, with the Basel II, particularly its three pillars, and has then gradually raised the solvency ratio to reinforce the banks' financial base, and also to pave the way for the adoption of the new Basel III.
 
In 2013, Bank Al-Maghrib implemented equity capital and short-term liquidity standards under Basel III and, at the same time, started identifying qualified banks of systemic importance that were subject to appropriate prudential supervision.
 
Aware of the impact of these reforms and their possible impacts on the financing of the economy, especially on the SMEs, Bank Al-Maghrib opted for a gradual implementation of these reforms. Impact assessments were conducted over a multi-year period and were fundamental in determining each and every aspect of the transitional provisions to have smooth impacts over a five years period.
 
At the cross-border level, the three Moroccan banking groups have implemented, over the last ten years, a development strategy beyond the national borders, targeting mainly sub-Saharan Africa. These groups are currently present in 34 countries, including 26 in Africa. This expansion is itself a driver for growth for these banks. It’s also a vehicle for the financial inclusion of the local populations and for financing the economic and social needs of the host countries. Whilst supporting this strategy, Bank Al-Maghrib ensures that its implementation is carried out on a sound basis, through the regulatory standards and a cross-border supervision; contributing sustainably to financial stability and to strengthening cooperation with the supervisors’ community from the host countries.
 
On the macro-prudential level, Bank Al-Maghrib has stepped up efforts, in coordination with the other financial sector regulators, to establish a system with an institutional, analytical and operational framework. The aim is to better control the various systemic risks that can impact the economic growth and to strengthen the resilience of the banking and financial system to shocks.
 
Undoubtedly, strengthening bank regulation is essential to preserve the resilience of banks and ensure long-term sustainable economic growth. Yet, Bank Al-Maghrib pays particular attention to balancing financial stability objectives and to the need to preserve banks' ability to finance the economy. 
 
In addition, and in order to diversify the sources of economy financing, reforms are being undertaken to have a model of non-banking actors. This is made possible through new concepts like Crowdfunding and also by reviewing the framework governing microcredits to boost this activity through a framework governing the collection of micro-savings.

Presentations

View McKinsey & Company's conference presentations below:

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