Morocco is the leader among the countries of the Maghreb region when it comes to attracting foreign direct investment (FDI). The North African country attracted $2.3 billion worth of FDI last year, followed by Algeria with 1.5 billion, Tunisia with 958 million, and Libya with 493 million. Among the Arab countries, Morocco is preceded only by the UAE, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon.
FDI flows to the North African kingdom were mostly dominated by investments in the country’s major manufacturing base – in 2015 it attracted sizeable FDI amounts in the automotive industry especially from France. Much of the growth was due to investments in the two countries, driven mainly by the expansion of foreign affiliates in the financial industry (CIB Bank and Citadel Capital) and pharmaceuticals (Pfizer). Egypt’s inward investment flows also benefitted from major investments in telecommunications, such as the purchase of Mobile Towers Services by Eaton Towers (United Kingdom) and ongoing investment in the gas industry by Eni (Italy).
The Arab countries in total attracted about $30.8 billion worth of FDI in 2016, a 25 percent increase compared to 2015. Overall, there was also a dynamic investment activity – with an increase by almost 50% – in Egypt, suggesting that a degree of investor confidence returned to North Africa as FDI flows went up by 9 percent.