Country Focus Data: Morocco
October 01, 1999
by Mindy Dake
The capital of Morocco is Rabat.
Demography: Population 29.1 million, 1.9% growth rate (1998 estimates); Arabic official language, French widely spoken and predominant in business and diplomatic sectors; Muslim religion.
Geography: Northern Africa, bordering Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean.
Government: Constitutional monarchy. Chief of state is King Mohamed, who assumed the role following the death of his father King Hassan in July; head of government is Prime Minister Abderrahmane Youssoufi.
Official agricultural agencies: Ministry of Agriculture.
Economy: Mostly market. During the past decade, with the assistance of international lending institutions, the government has worked to liberalize the economy. Agriculture's contribution to gross domestic product varies depending on the amount of rainfall, accounting for as much as 20% in good crop years. About 50% of the labor force is employed in agriculture.
G.D.P. per capita: U.S.$3,500 (purchasing power parity);
-2.2% growth rate; 16% unemployment (all 1997 estimates). G.D.P. in 1998 was forecast to expand by 8% to 9%, based on a bountiful grain harvest.
Currency: Moroccan dirham. Aug. 26, 1999 exchange rate: 9.8768 dirhams per U.S. dollar.
Exports: U.S.$6.9 billion (f.o.b., 1996), food and beverages, phosphorous, consumer goods.
Imports: U.S.$9.7 billion (c.i.f., 1996), semi-processed goods, capital.
Major crops/agricultural products: Wheat, barley, citrus and vegetable crops.
Wheat: Production is highly variable based on rain. In the past five years, output has ranged from a low of 1.1 million tonnes in the 1995 drought year to a high of 5.9 million the following year. The average is 3.162 million tonnes. Imports vary with production, averaging 2.3 million in the past five years. Use has increased steadily and should reach a record high of 5.8 million tonnes this year.
Barley: Five-year production averaged 1.825 million tonnes in a range of 600,000 to 3.8 million. Imports averaged 455,000 tonnes.
Transportation: Rail, 1,907 km, all 1.435-m gauge; highways, 60,626 km, 30,556 paved; major ports, Casablanca, Tangier, Rabat