Introduction

    A promising sector for the national economy

    Offshoring is a promising sector for the national economy because of its potential to create jobs for young people and its contribution to the country's balance of trade.

    The activities of offshoring concern primarily two main fields and six sectors:

    • The field of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) which includes general administrative activities and functions, activities for management of client relationships and business-specific activities;
    • The area of Information Technology Outsourcing (ITO), which includes infrastructure management, software development and software maintenance.
    Morocco was elected the best offshoring destination for the year 2012 by the European Outsourcing Association (EOA). By 2020, the Industrial Acceleration Plan aims at achieving a GDP of 16 billion dirhams and creating a workforce of 100,000 jobs.

    Main companies of the sector:

    CAPGEMINI, CGI, BNP PARIBAS, AXA, IBM, ACCENTURE, DELL, AMAZON, UBISOFT, WEBHELP, ATOS, STERIA, GFI INFORMATIQUE, SQLI





Ecosystems of the sector

    Ecosystems, the cornerstone of the Industrial Acceleration Plan 2014-2020, are designed to reduce sectoral fragmentation and to promote integrated development of industrial activities. The aim is to integrate the local industrial fabric around leading companies by encouraging mutually beneficial partnerships with SMEs, first by acting as catalyst and second by providing perspective and visibility, which in turn bring creativity, a sense of innovation and dynamism.

    Appropriate and targeted support is provided to companies in the ecosystems regarding finance, industrial land and training. The Industrial Development Fund (FDI), operational since 1 January 2015, allocates 3 billion dirhams per year for the period 2014-2120 to ecosystem companies to enable them to realize their ambitions in upgrading, development and internationalization.

    State support is also backed up with integrated and competitive bank financing.

    The ecosystem companies can also:

    • Have access to quality industrial land thanks to the innovative concept of industrial rental parks;
    • Benefit their employees through relevant staff training courses.

    The ecosystems approach arrives at the right time given the rapid growth of the automotive sector which calls for a greater integration to boost its quality, responsiveness and thus its competitiveness.

Assistance and Support

    1. Support for the sector’s ecosystems

    Appropriate and targeted support is provided to companies in the ecosystems regarding finance, industrial land and training.

    The Industrial Development Fund (FDI), operational since 1 January 2015, allocates 3 billion dirhams per year for the period 2014-2120 to ecosystem companies to enable them to realize their ambitions in upgrading, development and internationalization.

    State support is also backed up with integrated and competitive bank financing.

    The ecosystem companies can also:

    • Have access to quality industrial land thanks to the innovative concept of industrial rental parks;
    • Benefit their employees through relevant staff training courses.

    2. Investment Promotion Fund (FPI)

    Under the Investment Charter, the FPI offers partial coverage by the Government of certain expenses related to the acquisition of property (up to 20% of the cost of land), external infrastructure (up to 5% of the total amount of the investment programme, or 10% in the case of an investment in the sector of spinning, weaving or finishing) and vocational training (up to 20% of the cost of the training).

    These contributions may be combined as long as the total contribution of the state does not exceed 5% of the total investment programme; or 10% in the case of investment in the sector of spinning, weaving or finishing; or when the investment project is located in a suburban or rural area.

    Eligibility criteria:

    The investment project must meet at least one of the following five criteria:

    • Represent an amount of 200 million dirhams or more over a 3-year period;
    • To be located in one of the provinces or prefectures mentioned in Decree No. 2-98-520 dated 5 Rabii I 1419 (30 June 1998);
    • Create a minimum of 250 stable jobs over 3 years;
    • Provide technology transfer;
    • Contribute to the protection of the environment.

    3. Tax incentives

    Tax incentives are provided for by article 123-22°-a) of the General Tax Code and Article 7.1 of finance law No. 12-98 for the 1998/9 budget year as amended and supplemented by the following:

    • The exemption from import duty on capital equipment, materials and tools necessary for the implementation of an investment project with a total cost greater than 200 million dirhams during 36 months after the signing of the investment agreement; this exemption is extended to parts, replacement parts and accessories imported at the same time as the aforementioned equipment;
    • The exemption from VAT on imports of capital equipment, materials and tools necessary for the implementation of an investment project with a total cost greater than 200 million dirhams until 36 months after the start of activity by the company or from the date of issuance of the building permit, and which may be extended by six months in the event of force majeure (renewable once); this exemption is extended to parts, replacement parts and accessories imported at the same time as the aforementioned equipment.

    4. Support for SMEs

    SMEs in the sector may benefit from special support within the programmes developed by the National Agency for the Promotion of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (ANPME):

    5. Free zone status

    A free trade zone (ZFE) is a specified area of land devoted to export activities for industrial purposes and related service activities. Each free zone is created and delimited by a decree that determines the nature and business activities that can be established there.

    The operational free trade zones are located at Tangier (Tanger Free Zone – TFZ and Tanger Automotive City – TAC), at Kenitra (Atlantic Free Zone – AFZ), at Casablanca (Midparc), at Rabat (Technopolis) and at Oujda (Technopole d’Oujda).

    To obtain free zone status under law No. 19-94, companies must have obtained authorization from the local commission of the free export zone, which is presided over by the wali or governor of the region, and must make at least 70% of their turnover from exports.

    Free zone status allows for the exemption of foreign trade and exchange controls, as well as access to the following state aid:

    Tax incentives resulting in:

    • Exemption from income tax (IR) during the first 5 years, and then a reduction of 80% of tax on gross earned income during the following 20 years;
    • Exemption from corporation tax (IS) for the first 5 years, and then a rate of 8.75% for the following 20 years;
    • Exemption from professional tax for the first 15 years;
    • Exemption from urban tax for the first 15 years;
    • Exemption from participation in national solidarity;
    • Exemption from tax on income from corporate rights, dividends and similar income for non-residents and a reduction in tax to 7.5% for residents;

    Customs benefits:

    • Exemption from import duties, and simplified customs procedures;
    • Unlimited exemption from value added tax in respect of products delivered and services supplied to the free export zones and from the subjected territory;

    Administrative facilitations:

    • Exemption from registration fees and stamp duty on instruments of incorporation or increases in the capital of the company, as well as on land acquisitions;
    • The establishment of a one-stop service to the investor.

    6. Specific aids

    Tax assistance dedicated to offshore companies has been provided, namely:

    • State contribution pertaining to income tax for offshoring companies established in Integrated Industrial Platforms (P2I) in order to reduce the burden of income tax so that it does not exceed 20% of taxable gross revenue;
    • Full exemption from company tax during the first five years, and a taxation rate of 17.5% thereafter.

    Moreover, under the Industrial Acceleration Plan, an agreement was concluded with the national telecommunications operators with the goal of improving the telecommunications services offered to the companies of the sector (CRM, ITO and BPO) in order to increase their competitiveness.

    Various public and private teaching institutions offer training courses targeting a number of offshoring sectors.

    In parallel the Call Academy programme is intended to meet the needs of the call centre industry through the training of employees in the French language and in customer relations. The state offers a contribution to training in the sector of up to 65,000 dirhams per person.

Training

    The training of human resources is a strategic activity of the Industrial Acceleration Plan 2014-2020. The availability and quality of human resources determine the attractiveness of Morocco as a destination, and increase the productivity and competitiveness of the companies.

    Amongst other things the strategy aims at providing the ecosystems in place with skilled profiles.

    The detailed mapping of training needs - with a quantification of the human resource requirements by sector, profile, region and year - and the identification of training opportunities available in Morocco are ongoing, which will enable the development of a national training plan.

    Various public and private teaching institutions offer training courses targeting a number of offshoring sectors. The Call Academy programme is intended to meet the needs of the call centre industry through the training of employees in the French language and in customer relations.

    The state offers a contribution to training in the sector of up to 65,000 dirhams per person.

    Consult the list of training needs for performance contracts signed by end - May 2017

Reception infrastructure

    General and sectoral Integrated Industrial Platforms (P2I), possibly benefiting from the free zone status, guarantee the availability of property at an attractive price, comprehensive and diverse real-estate and logistics options conforming to the best international standards, as well as on-site services and a one stop shop for administration.

    In the framework of the Industrial Acceleration Plan, the Ministry plans for the mobilization of 1,000 hectares to create Integrated Industrial Rental Parks (PIL) with turnkey premises: each park will include a one stop shop for administration, a local job pool, ad hoc services and a training programme.