His Majesty King Mohammed VI addressed a message to participants in the first edition of the "National Industry Day", which kicked off on Wednesday in Casablanca.
Here follows the full text of the Royal Message, which was read by Minister of Industry and Trade, Ryad Mezzour.
"Praise be to God,
May peace and blessings be upon the Prophet, His Kith and Kin
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It gives me great pleasure to send this message to the participants in the first National Industry Day, which I have decided to place under my high patronage, given my interest in the development of this crucial sector in the economic fabric of our country. Indeed, industry is a key lever for, and a pillar of comprehensive, sustainable socioeconomic development.
I hope the National Industry Day will henceforth be included in the calendar of major events concerning our economy as an annual get-together for industry and the stakeholders involved. I also want the next Industry Day sessions to be held at regional level to shed light on local industrial capabilities and look into the specific challenges faced by each region.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Over the last two decades, significant progress has been made in Morocco's industrial sector thanks to our country’s opening up to the global economy, and the adoption of clear, ambitious strategies based on a comprehensive, sectoral vision.
These strategies were designed to make industry a crucial lever for economic development in Morocco, a major source for the creation of jobs, a stimulus for productive investment and exports, and a driving force for growth and development for the benefit of citizens. These strategies were accompanied by the development of industrial, logistical and energy infrastructure, not to mention structural reforms to improve the business climate, reinforce qualifications and skills, and enhance the competitive edge of the Moroccan industry.
Thanks to these gains and to the Kingdom's political and macro-economic stability and to industrial expertise and geographical proximity to promising markets, our industry has managed to carve out a place for itself in highly technical professions and specializations, thus becoming an engine for growth, production and export.
As a result, Morocco has today become an inevitable destination in the global market for some advanced sectors like aviation and the automotive industry – sectors in which the Kingdom provides an attractive platform for the production of the equipment, components and spare parts needed by these industries.
In parallel, the Kingdom has strengthened its position as a key player in food security in the world - particularly in Africa - through the development of the fertilizer industry. Morocco has thus been providing farmers with reasonably priced, high-quality products that take into account soil and crop needs in each region.
Our food industry has also been contributing to the valorization of Morocco’s fish and agricultural resources, and to the consolidation of our country’s food sovereignty.
As for the textile and leather sector, it has benefited from the shifts which have affected global value chains, focusing more closely on sustainable, high value-added market segments.
The resilience of our industry in the face of challenges has been enhanced thanks to the important role played by these industrial sectors, as well as others, which have seen similar growth, especially in terms of exports. These sectors not only made it possible to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 crisis, but they also played a crucial role in strengthening our country’s industrial, health and food sovereignty.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The current global economic crisis and the geopolitical conflicts the world is witnessing have led to the emergence of a number of areas of tension and turmoil – a situation which has been further compounded by climate change and its ever-growing consequences. This has had a negative impact on the provision of vital supplies and led to a surge in commodity prices. Given the fragility of global value chains, and the significant dependence on imports, our country’s sovereignty in this domain remains a top priority. Indeed, our industry is called upon today, more than ever, to promote local production in a competitive manner in order to reduce this dependence, enhance our resilience, increase our competitiveness, and consolidate Morocco's position in promising sectors.
We also have to be fully prepared to enter a new industrial era in which the concept of sovereignty is both a goal and a means. To rise to this challenge, our country needs an industry that incorporates new activities and skills, and creates more jobs.
Therefore, the ability to provide steady jobs to young people should be our industry’s foremost concern, given that we cannot achieve any of our industrial ambitions without highly qualified human resources.
This means the new industrial stakeholders should systematically seek to strike a balance between human capital and industrial project needs, in addition to enhancing managerial skills. To achieve that, we need to provide our youth with solid training that takes into account current developments and changes while being open to modern technology, within the framework of a stronger public-private partnership.
Accompanying mechanisms should also be put in place and expanded to strengthen technology and research within Moroccan companies. To this end, a system bringing together industry, academia and research centers should be set up to spur innovation and make it an engine for the growth of our industry.
Moreover, the industrial development we yearn for should be accompanied by efforts to accelerate carbon-neutral manufacturing, through the use of competitively-priced electricity from renewable sources, and greater energy efficiency.
Our industry must contribute to the preservation of water resources through water conservation measures and wastewater reuse, and also through the adoption of new technologies and solutions.
The Kingdom can thus become a reference in the field of responsible, sustainable, carbon-neutral production patterns, enabling us to attract foreigners looking for investment opportunities in the green economy.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Given the important priorities identified, and the role played in industry by the private sector, alongside that of the state, and considering the responsibility of the private sector in terms of rising to challenges and making the most of the opportunities at hand, I call on private operators to take advantage of the dynamic created by the new investment charter. They should make full use of the numerous incentives for private investment at the regional level, in light of the particularities, resources and potential of each region. This should make it possible for each one of them to create an economic hub that provides jobs and allows for the optimal use of its production potential.
I also invite the private sector to be engaged in areas where Moroccan brands are involved, including through investment in advanced, future-oriented sectors that rely on innovation, and to help with the emergence of a new generation of businesses across the country. The private sector would thus contribute to the development projects underway in Morocco, thus serving the country and the citizens.
I hope this national forum will provide an opportunity to anchor our industrial development in solid ground. The aim is to make our industry an engine for growth and sustainable development, as well as a means to create value and jobs.
May Almighty God grant you every success.
Wassalamu alaikum warahmatullah wabarakatuh."