The Morocco Economic Competitiveness program (MEC) of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) aims to reduce obstacles to trade and investment by improving many economic and social fields.
This program aims to promote the economical Morocco development, and develop productivity through major areas such as agriculture&émàx and food industry, trade, investment and entrepreneurship.
The program MEC has many partners both nationally and locally in target regions: Doukkala-Abda and the Oriental region. It also has an experienced team, made of Moroccan and American engineers.
Technical areas of the program can be divided to three major areas:
1 Business climate which will be improved through a set of legal and regulatory reforms in order to boost trade morocco, and increase the investment rate.
2 Water and Agriculture: the goal is to promote agriculture trying to enhance productivity, trade, and employment through the optimisation of water resources use. Agricultural development stimulates exports of agricultural and agro-processed products as well.
3 Workforce: the improvement of economic activities relies also on a strong labor force, so incorporating essential requirements to increase competitiveness is indispensable to achieve this goal.
In collaboration with regional and national partners, the projects are implemented in order to meet with the main objectives by supporting reforms, strenghtening institutional capacities and invovling the private sector.
Legal and regulatory reforms:
1. The MEC program supports the Moroccan government to modernize the Commercial Register and to establish the Common Business Identifier.
2. Pricing policy and water-saving agriculture, Treatment and reuse of wastewater in agriculture, Access to financing and agricultural water conservation, Improvement of energy policy to support the optimization of water use in agriculture
3. Labor market and the renewable energy sector
Strengthening institutional capacity
1. The Regional Surveys on the Business Climate, Pilots Projects resulting from the Regional Surveys, Deployment of e-invest in two Moroccan regions
2. Support for an institutional and operational framework for wastewater reuse in agriculture, Support for the Maroc Plan Vert, New information technologies supporting water resource management, Support for the delegated management of the irrigated perimeter of Doukkala-Abda
3. An information and communication system for vocational training, Support youth employability in the pottery sector
Increased private sector participation
1. Improve the competitiveness of key sectors, mprove access to markets (in particular the U.S. market), Measure trade, Support territorial marketing, Develop a system for the dissemination of wholesale prices of agricultural products
2. Strengthening organizational capacity, management, and governance of small farmers, Promoting water conservation in the agro-processing industry, Optimization of water in small farms through the development of local products (produits du terroir)
3. Professional integration and skill building among the workforce currently employed in dairy businesses, Support for the commercialization of Safi pottery in the domestic and international markets, Support for youth self-employment in the pottery sector
The MEC program has also many pilot projects. The program promotes an approach integrating its three components which are: Improving the Business Climate, Water and Agricultural, and Professional Capacities or workforce).
These pilot projects are still being reviewed by the program and will soon be unveiled and put online.
The grant mechanism is meant to support Morocco’s civil society and its private sector. It’s estimated around 5 million U.S. dollars. The assistance will take the form of direct financial support or in-kind subsidies, through cash advances or on a reimbursable basis.