After several dozen versions, the work of which began under the mandate of Moulay Hafid Elalamy, the investment charter will see the light of day under the mandate of Mohcine Jazouli.
Draft framework law N°03-22 forming an investment charter was finally adopted by the government council, then by the ministers and landed this Friday, July 22 in parliament. A reform that promises to revolutionize State policy in terms of development and investment promotion.
This major reform concerns both the investment support mechanism itself and the measures aimed at strengthening the attractiveness of the Kingdom, it is specified in the preamble to the text.
The text comprises six chapters: general provisions; investment support schemes; the various investment support measures; guarantees given to investors; investment governance; dispute resolution.
In terms of investment support mechanisms, it comprises a main mechanism and specific mechanisms. The main mechanism aims to support investment projects that meet defined criteria, to reduce disparities between the provinces and prefectures of the Kingdom in terms of attracting investment and to develop investment in priority sectors of activity. With regard to specific mechanisms, they tend to support investment projects of a strategic nature, very small, small and medium-sized enterprises and the development of Moroccan companies internationally.
Details of investment support schemes
The main device includes:
– common investment premiums granted to investment projects according to criteria defined by regulation. These premiums are granted to investment projects for which the total amount or the number of stable jobs to be created are greater than or equal to thresholds set by regulation.
– an additional investment bonus, known as the “territorial bonus”granted to investment projects carried out in the provinces or prefectures, the list of which will be determined by regulation.
The bill specifies that when an investment project is carried out in the territorial jurisdiction of two or more provinces or prefectures, the territorial bonus is granted in proportion to the total investment amount carried out in each of the provinces or prefectures concerned.
– an additional investment bonus, known as the “sector bonus”granted to investment projects carried out in priority sectors of activity, the list of which will be determined by regulation.
When an investment project is carried out in two or more sectors of activity, the investor concerned can only benefit once from this bonus, which corresponds to the sector of activity in which the largest part of his total investment is carried out.
Specific measures intended for investment projects of a strategic nature, for very small, small and medium-sized enterprises and for the development of Moroccan companies internationally:
>> System dedicated to investment projects of a strategic nature:
An investment project can be qualified as strategic when it fulfills one or more criteria set by regulation. Projects under defense industry are automatically considered as projects of a strategic nature.
These projects can benefit from specific negotiated advantages. The text specifies that the specific support mechanism for projects qualified as strategic and the main support mechanism are not cumulative.
>> Device intended for very small, small and medium-sized enterprises:
Within the framework of this draft framework law, the State undertakes to
- pursue the reform of the financial sector through the establishment of support and guarantee mechanisms intended to facilitate access to financing for very small, small and medium-sized enterprises;
- take measures in favor of these companies in terms of access to public procurement, strengthening of productive capacities, training and support
- put in place a specific support system intended for very small, small and medium-sized enterprises, the terms of implementation of which are set, as the case may be, by legislative or regulatory means.
>> Device intended to encourage the development of Moroccan companies internationally
A specific support system intended to encourage the development of Moroccan companies abroad will be set up, the terms of implementation of which are set by regulation.
Any investor wishing to benefit from the main or specific support mechanism must conclude an investment agreement with the State which defines, in particular, the reciprocal commitments of the State and the investor and the terms of their implementation.
The draft law specifies that the basis for calculation and the rates of the common investment premiums, the territorial premium and the sectoral premium are set by regulation. These bonuses are cumulative between them within the limit of 30% of the eligible investment amount.
However, the cumulative total of the investment grants granted to investment projects carried out in the field of the production of energy from renewable energy sources may, under no circumstances, exceed an amount set by regulation.
Land, logistics, energy,… the State is committed to cross-cutting measures
In addition, the draft charter defines other investment support measures to achieve the fundamental objectives of State action in terms of investment development, improvement of the business environment and facilitating the act of investing.
These measures concern cross-functional sectors that affect the company’s competitiveness.
Thus, the state strives to facilitate investors’ access to easily mobilized land at competitive prices. To this end, measures will be taken to encourage:
– planning, development and operation of industrial, logistical, commercial, tourist and service activity zones meeting the needs of investors;
– the development of plots of land intended for investment projects that create added value and stable jobs.
It also undertakes to take the necessary measures to:
– to reinforce the competitiveness of the logistics sector,
– reform the energy sector and promote the use of renewable energies,
– put in place a training offer, initial and continuous, adapted to the needs of companies.
– promote research and development activities and facilitate access to new information technologies and communication.
– work on diversification of financing methodsthe facilitation of access to the capital market and the implementation of innovative financing solutions.
– ensure speeding up the process of simplifying administrative procedures related to the realization of investments and their dematerialization.
– continue its policy in terms of deconcentration of administrative decisions and acts of management related to the act of investing.
The charter fully operational one year after its promulgation
The text defines an implementation framework with short deadlines. The implementation of main support device and specific support device applicable to investment projects of a strategic nature, must be within a period not exceeding three (3) months from the date of publication of the framework law in the Official Bulletin ;
The implementation of specific support device intended to encourage the development of Moroccan companies abroador be done within a period not exceeding nine (9) months from the same date;
Finally, the implementation of the specific support mechanism intended for very small, small and medium-sized enterprises must be done within a period not exceeding twelve (12) months from the same date.
The objectives of the State in terms of investment
In its first article, the draft law defines the fundamental objectives of the action of the State in matters of development and promotion of investment. They are fixed as follows:
– the creation of stable jobs;
– the reduction of disparities between the provinces and prefectures of the Kingdom in terms of attracting investment;
– the orientation of investment towards priority sectors of activity and professions of the future;
– strengthening the attractiveness of the Kingdom with a view to establishing it as a continental and international hub for foreign direct investment;
– the encouragement of exports and the development of Moroccan companies internationally;
– encouraging the substitution of imports by local production;
– improving the business environment and facilitating the act of investing;
– increasing the share of private, national and international investment in total investments made.
It also defines the principles on which the State’s policy in terms of development and investment promotion is based:
– freedom of enterprise;
– free competition and transparency;
– equal treatment of investors regardless of their nationality;
– legal certainty;
– the principles of good governance.
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Investment Charter: what the draft framework law says – Medias24
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