It was with a large delegation of government officials and business leaders (including several bankers) that Morocco participated in the seventh international conference on the development of Africa in Tokyo that ended Friday, August 30 in Yokohama.
The strong presence of companies and international organizations is a specificity of this conference. Seen from Tokyo, it is through private investment that the development of African economies is played out. On the continent, Morocco is the second destination for Japanese investors, behind South Africa.
In Osaka, Shizuoka, Kyoto as in Tokyo, the Kingdom enjoys a large capital image of stability. All the leaders of the Japanese companies repeated it. But this asset does not translate enough in the trade balance. Morocco’s exports to Japan mainly concern seafood products (59%).
In the other direction, Moroccan imports from Japan include machinery and mechanical appliances (30%), electrical appliances (16.5%) and vehicles (22%). Moroccan-Japanese foreign trade accounts for 5% of the volume between Morocco and Asia.
In total, 66 Japanese companies are currently operational in Morocco. This goes from the SME (everything is relative, the qualification criteria are not the same) to the big multinational. Two of the flag-makers of the Japanese industry have relied heavily on Morocco: the Yazaki group which has three factories there and will open a fourth in January and Sumitomo Electric, a world leader in the submarine cable industry, industrial equipment, electronic components, and equipment for energy and the environment.
According to a survey conducted by Jetro (Japan External Trade Organization), one out of two Japanese companies in Morocco forecast an improvement in operating profit compared to a forecast of 34.8% in 2018 The proportion of companies planning to expand their business was particularly large: at least 2/3 or 65.2% and 7 out of 10 expected a rise in turnover in the local market.