Morocco; a country that is Arab, yet so different from the rest of its neighbors. The recent stride it has made regarding its economy has valuable lessons for the Arab world. They should learn from Morocco’s example which is a state that is breaking away from tradition and into modernity.
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The nation of Morocco has been in existence since a long time even before it was colonized. Even while it was a colony, it was never stripped away from its state status by the French powers. At that time this made governing morocco a bit difficult but this same notion of statehood during colonial times turned out to be a blessing in disguise during the current times. Since the state is an old one, its people have begun to recognize it as its own. This is very unlike other Arab states such as Libya or Saudi Arabia where the people simply think their government is one that is acting as a puppet for others.
A hundred years from now, the people of these countries may recognize their states as really their own but there is still time for that to occur. Thus Morocco being an old state has an advantage over its Arab neighbors. The people may not like the government appointed by King Muhammad but whatever it is, it is a legitimate government and not just any other puppet regime. The people of Morocco liking its government have strong implications for the economy. People normally acquiesce to the policies of the state and thus the country is easier to run. Whether it is taxes or educational reforms, these policies are followed vehemently.
Another point worth pondering is that Morocco is not rich in oil resources like much of its Arab neighbors. They are hardly any resources and even those barely satisfy the country’s needs. Thus the government needs taxes and those taxes go well with political representation. Also we find that the Moroccan government is very committed to sectors like education and healthcare. Maybe something it wants to do to keep the unemployment at low levels.
Also there is less gender discrimination. Taking about discrimination, Morocco has established new laws that say that both the genders are equal. Something hardly anyone would expect for its Arab neighbors.
The current growth in the Morocco is being fueled by foreign investments which are not surprising due to the political and social stability offered by the country, Furthermore; its cheap labor also plays its part in attracting the investment. Both these aspects are missing or incompletely present in the other states.
Thus we find that Morocco has mainly benefited from its liberal and modern policies something missing in the other Arab states. However the challenges affecting stronger economic growth and development in Morocco include low agriculture and agribusiness productivity; poor development of non-agriculture business opportunities; and slow adaptation of the business environment to the needs of an open, competitive economy. It should thus modify its current policies to address these issues. For example it can promote research in agriculture and further open up the economy and modernize further.
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