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Editorial

BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT

Contributed by Hajji and Associes

2015 versus 2016 - What has changed in the last year that has impacted the way business is conducted?

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MOROCCAN INVESTMENT CHARTER

Law No. 18-95 established the Investment Charter of October 3rd, 1995 and its enacting Decree No. 2-00-895 of 31st January 2001(hereinafter the ‘Decree’) provides several incentives for foreign investments in Morocco.

Under aforementioned regulation, any foreign investor must enter into an agreement with the government of the Kingdom of Morocco, which provides for the specific incentives granted to the investor while complying with regulations.

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Legal market overview

Morocco has long enjoyed an important position on the global stage, thanks partly to its enviable geographical position at the intersection of Europe and Africa, and also to the efforts of King Mohammed VI to strengthen ties with major economies and ensure that the country is business-friendly. Foreign investment continues to find its way to Morocco, which, as a hub for North Africa and further afield, is an obvious choice for investors looking for a gateway to the region. Casablanca Finance City (CFC) remains a draw, allowing foreign companies to avail themselves of CFC status and favourable fiscal conditions by setting up headquarters in Casablanca.

Energy projects continue to keep law firms, both domestic and international, busy; the country’s potential for solar and wind power has been targeted, and a number of renewable energy projects are planned or under way.

On the domestic market, well-established firms such as Kettani Law Firm and Bennani & Associés LLP maintain their foothold, while international law firms such as Naciri & Associés Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance and Norton Rose Fulbright remain extremely active, often taking leading roles in major cross-border transactions.

Dentons opened an office in 2014, and was quick in establishing a position in the market thanks to the hire of Patrick Larrivé and Christophe Simonnet from UGGC & Associés. The opening of DLA Piper’s Casablanca office in 2015 further illustrates the appeal and importance of the country.

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