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Cablegate: Morocco Economic Highlights

VZCZCXRO7612
RR RUEHLMC
DE RUEHRB #2258/01 3061729
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 021729Z NOV 05
FM AMEMBASSY RABAT
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1975
INFO RUEHCL/AMCONSUL CASABLANCA 0843
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS 3542
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS 8474
RUEHNK/AMEMBASSY NOUAKCHOTT 2853
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 3860
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 1398
RUEHMD/AMEMBASSY MADRID 5243
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 2649
RUEATRS/DEPTTREAS WASHDC
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC
RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC
RUEHRC/USDA FAS WASHDC 0811
RUEAORC/USCBP WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEHLMC/MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORPORATION WASHINGTON DC
RHMCSUU/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC
RUEAEPA/HQ EPA WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 RABAT 002258

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR NEA/MAG, NEA/OFI AND INL/AAE
DEPT ALSO FOR EB/TPP, EB/IFD AND DRL/IL
STATE PASS USTR FOR DOUG BELL
STATE PASS USAID FOR JENNIFER RAGLAND
USDOC ITA/MAC/ANESA FOR DAVID ROTH
USDOC FOR FSC/OIO AND CLDP
USDOL FOR ILAB
PARIS FOR ZEYA
LONDON FOR TSOU
ROME FOR ROSE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON ECPS EFIN KCOR KIPR MO
SUBJECT: MOROCCO ECONOMIC HIGHLIGHTS


RABAT 00002258 001.2 OF 002


-----------------------------------
GOM Sees 5.4 Percent Growth in 2006
-----------------------------------

1. The Government of Morocco's 2006 appropriation bill
forecasts a 5.4 percent growth rate and a two percent
inflation rate, with oil at $60 a barrel and an exchange
rate of nine Moroccan dirham to one U.S. dollar. Finance
Minister Fathallah Oualalou revealed these figures during
his presentation of the nearly $20 billion 2006
appropriation bill to the lower house of parliament.
Oualalou predicted a stable balance of payments in 2006, and
a budget deficit of 3.2 percent of GDP.

-------------------------------------
Perception of Corruption "Stabilized"
-------------------------------------

2. The Corruption Perception Index (CPI), a composite
measure of corruption calculated annually by Transparency
International (TI), scored Morocco 3.5 points on a one
(worst) to ten (best) scale. The CPI is based on surveys
conducted among the business community and market analysts.
According to this year's study, Morocco was ranked 78th out
of 159 countries, slightly behind last year (77th).
Historically, Morocco's position improved from 45th in 1999
to 37th in 2000, but the trend reversed in 2002 (52nd), and
continued to fall in 2003 (70th). Morocco was 11th among
Arab countries, with Oman taking top honors (6.3 points),
and Iraq coming in last (2.2 points), at 137th out of 159
countries surveyed.

-------------------------
Banking Reform Law Passed
-------------------------

3. Minister of Finance officials confirmed to EconCouns
that Parliament has finally passed the long-awaited Banking
Reform Law. The new law formally establishes the separation
of roles between the Central Bank (Bank Al Maghrib) and the
Ministry of Finance, giving the Central Bank more
independence. Texts detailing the implementation of the law
and (and other associated "circulars") have not been
distributed yet and Central Bank officials told Econoff they
expect to send them out shortly. Finance officials claim
the new law will strengthen the role of the central bank in
bank supervision and control, enlarge auditors' roles, and
give more protection to depositors. Meanwhile, banking
sector contacts said the law, although significant in
legally formalizing Central Bank independence, will actually
have little day-to-day impact on commercial banking
operations.

--------------------------------------------- ---
Morocco is Third Largest Mobile Market in Africa
--------------------------------------------- ---

4. According to "Jeune Afrique" Magazine, Morocco is the
third largest mobile market in Africa with about 9.8 million
subscribers, following South Africa and Nigeria (22 million
and 11 million, respectively). Morocco's mobile penetration
of 244 per thousand dwarfs sub-Saharan Africa's average of
nine per thousand, according to statistics from the United
Nations Development Program (UNDP).

------------------------

RABAT 00002258 002.2 OF 002


Prison Time for Fake CDs
------------------------

5. A Casablanca court has sentenced seven people to serve
two months in prison and pay a fine of $1,600 each for
producing counterfeit Compact Discs. $1,100 of each fine
will go to the Moroccan Cinematographic and Musical
Association, a grouping of musicians, artists and
performers.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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