Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Country Insight - Morocco & South Africa

Morocco: The Government expects total tourist arrivals in 2010 to reach 9.4 million, 6% higher than in 2009 but below a target of 10 million set before the global recession. Despite the global financial and economic crisis, Morocco managed to keep visitor numbers growing by 6.5% but tourism income slipped by 5% to 52.8 billion dirhams (USD 6.2 billion).

The Government plans to lease 74,000 acres of farmland per year to improve yields, satisfy growing national demand and boost export. But it reported that it has no plans to sell farmland outright to foreign companies or governments that want to secure their future food supplies.

South Africa:
South Africa's trade account improved significantly turning into a surplus of 460 million rand (USD 61.8 million) in March 2010 after a deficit of 5.7 billion rand (USD 770 million) the previous month. Compared with the previous month, exports were up by 27.5%, while imports increased by 11.2%.

The Government has launched a new incentive scheme for the textile industry, effective May 2010, replacing the old export regime. This new incentive scheme will be based on 10% of the value that a producer’s manufacturing process will be adding to the raw materials over the entire year. This 10% will then be applied as a credit at the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) in the form of a "discount" on capital and operating capital dues.

The Government also plans a 5.3 billion rand (USD 710 million) financial incentive to promote energy efficiency among electricity consumers. The scheme would enable electricity consumers to claim a rebate with respect to the amount of energy they had saved from the electricity system.