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Cablegate: Iom Conference Highlights Importance Of

VZCZCXYZ0013
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHRB #0876 3011852
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 281852Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY RABAT
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0779
INFO RUCNMGH/MAGHREB COLLECTIVE
RUEHCL/AMCONSUL CASABLANCA 4746
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1171

UNCLAS RABAT 000876

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EEB/IFD/ODF, PRM, NEA/MAG AND NEA/RA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EFIN SMIG PREF MO
SUBJECT: IOM CONFERENCE HIGHLIGHTS IMPORTANCE OF
REMITTANCES TO MOROCCO'S BALANCE OF PAYMENTS

REF: RABAT 0782

1. The Government of Morocco (GOM) and the
International Organization for Migration (IOM)
organized a conference on the Impact of the World
Economic Crisis on Migration, October 12 and 13, in
Rabat. Minister-delegate for Moroccans Living
Abroad Mohammed Ameur, IOM Director General William
Swing and Moroccan central bank governor Abdellatif
Jouahri set the stage with statistics, noting that
the world's 220 million migrants would constitute
one of the world's ten wealthiest and most populous
countries with if they all lived together.

2. Governor Jouahri emphasized that remittances
from Moroccans living abroad accounted for eight
percent of GDP and 27 percent of domestic bank
deposits. Morocco is thus the 15th most important
destination for remittances in the world and the
second largest in the Middle East and North Africa -
- after Egypt. (NOTE: Revenue from tourism is just
slightly greater than remittances as a source of
foreign income. END NOTE.)

3. While remittances rose pretty steadily in
Morocco and worldwide from 2002 through 2007, the
World Bank estimated that they will decline between
7.3 and 10 percent in 2009 before likely rising 3
percent in 2010. Sixty-seven percent of remittances
to Morocco flow from Europe. Interestingly, while
anecdotes suggest that the crisis has
disproportionately affected Moroccans residing in
Europe, over 2 million Moroccans residing in Europe
crossed the Strait of Gibraltar to visit their
native country this summer, and the number was
higher than in 2008.

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