Major opportunities as trade and technology links evolve with Morocco
Enhanced links between countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and North Africa will have a major economic and technological impact, according to experts set to gather in Dubai in December.
In particular, a rise in the number of outsourcing agreements with Morocco – built upon strong Arabic resources and a highly trained workforce – could produce significant business benefits.
Morocco’s strength as an ICT outsourcing center stems from the rapid expansion of its ICT industry and its use of advanced global networks. The Moroccan IT market expanded from US$403.88 million in 2001 to US$638.69 million in 2006, representing an average annual growth rate of 9.6%.
With more than 1,500 ICT firms employing over 41,000 people, the country is now firmly established as one of the leading suppliers of IT services in the Middle East.
IDC’s major meeting – Agenda for a Shrinking Globe: Seizing Opportunities in a Connected World – will draw representatives from government, telecommunications, utility and transport companies to meet with senior representatives from Apebi, the Moroccan Federation of Information Technologies, Telecommunications and Offshoring.
“In order to capitalize on such investment and promote its progress, Apebi took the initiative in 2004 of developing a strategic vision, throughout a Public Private Partnership voluntary Policy, under the umbrella of our Prime Minister, that it has presented as a Progress Contract to all operators and decision makers,” said M. Bachir Rachdi, Chairman of Apebi.
“We will be present at this event to share our experiences due of contribution of the Moroccan ICT core competencies, and allow companies in the region to benefit from their economic and social impact,” he added.
Agenda for a Shrinking Globe will be part of a major government initiative to encourage Gulf companies to take advantage of Morocco’s rapidly developing base of services.
“The Gulf region has mushroomed into the business center for the Middle East, as governments have invested oil revenue into economic diversification and encouraged business development across the board,” said Jyoti Lalchandani, Vice President and Regional Managing Director of IDC Middle East and Africa.
“The side effect has been rising costs, with both office buildings and IT services providers charging premium prices as demand has soared. Until recently, there were few options for outsourcing IT at low-cost to providers that truly understand the Middle East. Morocco has emerged as a viable location for offshore IT investment and services,” he added.
The Moroccan government is taking steps to ensure this growth continues. The Kingdom has committed to a public-private agreement and strategy for expanding the country's ICT sector to $9 billion by 2012, which will help solidify Morocco's position as a premiere center for outsourcing.
The private sector is represented by Apebi whose members use global networks to supply a wide range of services to clients, both regionally and globally.
© 2007 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)