Moroccan Press Review: Echoes of Monday February 12

The Moroccan press review of Monday February 12 offers a captivating overview of the economic, political and social events that marked the day. Topics ranging from technological innovation with the promotion of project banking by OMPIC to the increase in the reference price of industrial sardines, including concerns about the increasing cost of credit for private non-financial companies . In addition, the new political configuration in the Sahel, housing issues and debates on the Moroccan agricultural model are also discussed. Finally, efforts to strengthen relations between Morocco and Mauritania add an important diplomatic dimension to this press review.

This compilation offers an in-depth look at the challenges and opportunities Morocco faces, reflecting the diversity and complexity of its socio-political and economic landscape.

L’Économiste: Ompic Encourages Innovation Through its Project Bank

After the industrial technical centers (CTI), the Moroccan Office of Industrial and Commercial Property (OMPIC) is preparing to welcome the clusters at its headquarters at the beginning of March. The objective of the workshop, which will be organized on this occasion, is to present to them its project bank and the IP Marketplace platform as well as the multiple opportunities they offer. Indeed, these two tools put in place by Ompic are intended to boost technological innovation through the marketing and valorization of invention patents in Morocco. The bank of innovative projects thus brings together innovations drawn from the global patent database. It includes in particular invention patents that have fallen into the public domain or are free to be used in Morocco.

Eco Inspirations: Increase in the Reference Price of Industrial Sardines

The news of the increase in the reference price of industrial sardines could have the effect of a bomb. Coastal fishing professionals have just agreed on the revision of the ex-port reference price of sardines which goes from 2.80 to 3.05 DH per kilo, all taxes included, an increase of 25 cents . This poor man’s fish, as it is commonly called, remains the most accessible sea food. Thus, this increase could cause an outcry. However, there is no need to worry. Despite the increase in reference prices for industrial sardines, the consumer will not be affected.

Morning: Cost of Credit for Private Non-Financial Enterprises at the Highest Level

The interest rate on credits granted to private non-financial companies reached 5.42% in the 4th quarter of 2023, a high not seen since at least 2019. Large companies are particularly affected, with a lending rate reaching a peak of 5 .25%. SMEs are not spared, with a rate of 5.70%, among the highest in the last five years. This surge in credit rates, combined with an apparent stagnation in financing conditions, raises concerns about the accessibility of credit for economic actors.

Opinion: A New Configuration in the Sahel where Morocco Occupies a Central Place

The divorce of Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso from ECOWAS is now complete. Brought together by a new political-military alliance, the three countries, led by new transitional regimes, seem to see their future beyond the West African community, guilty in their eyes of brutality towards them after the regime changes. In this new geopolitical reconfiguration, access to the Atlantic is made a strategic priority by the new Bamako regime which has already joined the initiative proposed by Morocco to facilitate access for the Sahel States to the Atlantic Ocean, alongside Niger, Chad and Burkina Faso, following the ministerial coordination meeting held on December 23 in Marrakech. The Kingdom thus positions itself as an important parameter in the new reconfiguration of the region.

Al Bayane: Housing Assistance, a boon for unscrupulous developers

We are already denouncing an upward revision in the sale prices of real estate. The price of economic housing quickly rose from 250,000 to 300,000 dirhams, or even more a few weeks before the start of the housing assistance program covering the period 2024-2028. An increase which also affects other goods whose acquisition price is greater than or equal to 700,000 dirhams. Worse still, misinformation and practices favoring corruption and the granting of black money take full effect and penalize the customer. Furthermore, some real estate projects are still under construction and delivery times are not displayed or known. And yet, the sales agents confirm that the project in question benefits from the housing subsidy and offer the payment of an advance amount to reserve the property.

Liberation: The Current Agricultural Model? A Fiasco

“There will be no change in the Moroccan agricultural model,” declared government spokesperson Mustapha Baitas during his last press conference. According to him, “the country must ensure agricultural products at reasonable prices as well as jobs in the rural world”. For Mohamed Chaoui, political scientist, the response of the government spokesperson is not surprising despite the recurrence of requests calling for a rethink of the Moroccan agricultural model which demonstrated its limits during the Covid-19 crisis and during the war in the Black Sea. “The government cannot, under any circumstances, call into question the national agricultural model since Akhannouch assumed responsibility for this file for a long time as Minister of Agriculture before being responsible for it as head of government” , he told us. Worse, the Executive seeks to make people believe that the current surge in prices of fruit and vegetables is due to external and cyclical factors, going so far as to consider any criticism that does not go in this direction.

Al Ahdath almaghribia: Strengthening Moroccan-Mauritanian Relations

The strengthening of relations between Morocco and Mauritania was at the center of a series of talks held on Saturday in Nouakchott between the President of the House of Representatives, Rachid Talbi Alami, and several members of the Mauritanian government. These talks took place as part of Talbi El Alami’s working visit to Mauritania, at the head of a large parliamentary delegation, aiming to further contribute to the positive dynamic of Moroccan-Mauritanian relations and raise them to the highest level. of the aspirations of the leaders of the two countries, His Majesty King Mohammed VI and the Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Cheikh El Ghazouani.

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