Morocco is where Europe and Africa meet. Lying just across a narrow stretch of the Mediterranean Sea from Spain, and with close historical ties to France, it is a major business hub for francophone Africa and a key link in trade flows between the two continents.
Since 2011, when it drafted an updated constitution, the country has become increasingly stable, both politically and economically, allowing it to become a base of operations for businesses across the EMEA region. Inflows of investment from the US, Europe, China, Korea and Japan focus on the the automotive and aeronautics sectors, as well as other types of heavy industry. Suppliers to Peugeot and Renault have set up plants in the Tangier automotive free zone, which is home to many large carmakers. In 2020, for the first time, more cars were built in Morocco than in South Africa.
Casablanca Finance City (CFC) offers significant tax incentives to financial and professional services companies, creating a strong hub for the region's finance industry, and the renewable energy sector is an important driver of economic activity, with development agency Masen concluding many large solar projects.
Typically for the region, family-run law firms still play a key role in the legal market. Kettani Law Firm and Hajji & Associés are among the most prominent. Nevertheless, new and independent law firms such as ADNA and BFF LAW FIRM are increasingly involved in market-leading work and are becoming key partners for international law firms with no local office. Bennani & Associés LLP, Naciri & Associés Allen & Overy and international law firms with local offices such as Clifford Chance, Norton Rose Fulbright, Gide Cuatrecasas Casablanca and DLA Piper are among the most visible firms for regional and international work. Dentons Sayarh & Menjra is also building its market presence. New to the market is ASAFO & CO. MOROCCO Sarl, which has rapidly built a strong team in its Casablanca office by hiring well-known partners from international firms who have long track records in the local market.