Key stakeholders met in Rabat on 3rd March 2009 to discuss how Morocco performs in implementing the Charter - (62 KB) compared with its neighbouring countries. The national meeting was organised by the National Agency for the Small and Medium-Sized Company (ANPME) which coordinates the Charter implementation in Morocco. The 4-hour meeting was attended by fifty organisations and received high attention from the media.
The European Commission, assisted by its partner organisations - the OECD, the European Training Foundation and the European Investment Bank -, summed up the main conclusions from a pilot exercise conducted in 2007-2008 (4 MB) to evaluate the Charter implementation. They highlighted strengths in Morocco and in the eight neighbour countries where the evaluation was performed. They also suggested ways for Morocco to make further progress, for instance by better coordinating policies and programmes, by implementing measures across the whole country and by developing an evaluation culture.
Mr. B. Hilia, Secretary General of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and New Technologies and Ms L. Echihabi, Director General of the ANPME explained that a large number of these recommendations have already been taken on board : a 2009-2015 National Pact for Industrial Emergence was adopted in February 2009 and includes 111 measures of which 48 target SMEs. A broad range of issues are addressed including new ones such as business transfer. Ms L. Echihabi confirmed that the EU’s recently adopted Small Business Act will further inspire SME policies in Morocco.
In the ensuing, lively debate, participants highlighted further initiatives that have been taken recently, for instance the creation of a one-stop-shop for exporters. They also asked for more details on good practice in neighbour countries, for instance on ways to decentralise the implementation of policies and measures.
Mr T. Deloge, of the Delegation of the Commission in Morocco underlined the EU's activities in the field of private sector development in Morocco. A programme for supporting enterprises has just been completed. A programme to promote investments and exports is under preparation, a programme to promote training and human resources development in enterprises will be launched in 2010. He informed participants that activities can be planned within the framework of the TAIEX and TWINNING programmes giving access to public expertise.
Ms M. Corman, of the Enterprise and Industry DG, of the European Commission; presented the 2009-2010 Work programme on Euro-Mediterranean Industrial Cooperation that was approved by Industry Ministers at the 7th Euro-Mediterranean Conference on Industry in Nice in November 2008.
Mr. A. Jaouani, of the European Training Foundation, invited Morocco to participate in a pilot project on entrepreneurial learning in higher education that was launched after the conference in Nice. Prof. M. Barkaoui, President of the Hassan II University -Casablanca expressed his interest to take part in this initiative. Mr. A. Jaouani presented as well, the other ETF projects in some partner countries, undertaken as follow up to the charter assessment.
To build on Morocco’s sustained commitment to the Charter process, Ms Echihabi invited the Charter stakeholders to appoint a deputy coordinator for each of the ten dimensions of the Charter. The ANPME will create a virtual platform to encourage exchanges of information and networking.