Praise be to God alone
Great Seal of His Majesty the King Mohammed VI
Our obedient servant and Prime Minister, Mr Abderrahmane Youssoufi, God protect you and guide your steps on the right track,
1. as you know, we have expressed on several occasions, our desire to promote investment, including projects of small and medium-sized crafts, tourism, housing, industrial and agro - industrial and mining enterprises that are creating jobs and wealth, promoters of development and factors of reinforcement of productive capacities and savings of our youth and middle-classes who aspire legitimately to get access to more progress, responsibility and development.
- 1.1 As we stated in the speech that we had delivered at the opening of the parliamentary session of October 2000, the interest of creating a clearing house in each region ... is to fix a reasonable and shorter lead time... to decide on issues of investment projects.
- 1.2 Indeed, our attention has often been drawn to the difficulties faced by entrepreneurs because of the numerous and complex formalities required for creating companies or single proprietorships and the completion of administrative procedures necessary to the act of investing.
- 1.3 These legal or regulatory procedures are often necessary, because the freedom to entrepreneurship -enshrined in the Constitution, requires a binding legal framework, alone by itself able to reassure investors and ensure the safety and equality of all before the law as well as the involvement of a healthy and fair competition. Nevertheless, these procedures should be simplified and their implementation must be close to investors.
- 1.4 To this end, and in compliance with a gradual and realistic approach, taking into consideration the absolute necessity to propose only credible and effective reforms, we believe that the regional framework can be the best territorial and administrative dimension, taking into account the means currently available to our territorial administration, to resolve problems related to procedures for investment.
2. This process, in fact, is in coherence with our rethinking of the concept of authority for the promotion of investment, the privileged tool for growth.
- 2.1 Since we announced this new concept, we have noted with interest the efforts of our administration, and especially those in charge of the internal affairs of our kingdom, to give a concrete content to the concept.
2.2 It is incumbent upon us and we are enjoying it today, by the grace of God, to address you this letter in order to expand and implement, in a key area of economic and social development, our vision of the role of authority serving the citizen.
- 2.3 We would also like that the approach we describe in this letter be considered as an illustration of the methods of an administration reform, a reform that requires a new revision of objectives that the administrative body must pursue, together with a reform of procedures it uses and an adaptation of training and experiences of those who are in charge of its procedures.
3. For these considerations, we decided it will be created under the responsibility of the Walis of Our Majesty, the regional investment centers, with two main functions: support for the creation of enterprises and for investors -consisting therefore of two clearing houses.
- 3.1 The clearing house for business creation is the single point of all those who want to create a business, in whatever form, and who wish to use this service. This clearing house may have annexes at provinces, prefectures and communes, according to the needs and means. Its staff makes available to applicants a single form containing all the information required by law or the regulation for the establishment of the company.
- 3.1.1 The staff performs all necessary steps to collect, with the competent authorities, documents or certificates required by law or regulation, and which are necessary for the creation of a firm. Within a period determined by the Wali, he gets the applicant in possession of documents issued by the government proving the existence of the company.
- 3.2. The second clearing house for investors: - provides investors with all information relevant to regional investment - considers all requests for administrative permits or prepars all administrative acts needed to carry out investment projects in industrial sectors such as agro-industrial, mining, tourism, crafts and housing sectors, when it comes to investments whose amount is less than 200 million dh, so as to enable the Wali of the region to issue authorizations or sign administrative acts relating to these investments – considers -for investments concerned by the above sectors, but whose amount is equal to or greater than 200 million dh- contracts’ projects or agreements to be concluded with the State, in order to benefit the investor from advantages, and forwarding them to the competent governmental authority for approval and signature by the contracting parties.
The Wali, within his competence, prepares and executes authorizations, acts and contracts necessary for the realization of the investment envisaged by the Convention which it is responsible for enforcement - provides amicable solutions to disputes between investors and administrations.
- 3.2.1. The studies are conducted in compliance with laws and regulations governing the subject, by regional delegates of ministerial departments which report the exercising of their skills to the Wali.
- 3.2.2. The Regional Investment Center, placed under the authority of the Wali, which is the territorial administration and privileged interlocutor for investors is to be managed by a senior official whose rank must commensurate with the level of his responsibilities. That is why we decided they would be appointed by Our Majesty, chosen for their expertise in the field and for their human qualities, and with the status of Director of central administration.
- 3.2.3. The Director will moderate and lead a regional commission composed of representatives of regional administrations concerned with investment and competent local authorities. They will be assisted by a staff with a motivating special status.
- 3.2.4. We ordain, moreover, that national commissions whose opinion are required for certain land transactions, be transferred to the regional level, mainly the commission in charge of the study of the declaration of non-farming land and those relating to the protection of Coastal and sensitive areas, and placed under the authority of the Wali or governor, his delegate.
- 3.2.5. We hope, furthermore, that the development and management of industrial, touristic and residential zones should be entrusted to private persons approved by the State, who will play towards the investor the role of the clearing house for the concerned area.
- 3.3. We invite our government to recast regional representations of the central government, focusing on economy structures and their rapprochement for more synergy and coherence, and to consider a territorial status of personnel and ensure motivation and encouragement of the best and the brightest of our administration to make career choices in the regions of the kingdom and not only in the central administrations.
- 3.4. To enable the Wali to assess the facilities he will provide the opening of a regional centre so that it can be followed by immediate effects; such opening will be decided by a joint-decree of Ministers of the Interior, Finance, Commerce and Industry, on a proposal by the Wali of the concerned region.
- 3.5. The Wali of the region is responsible for the organization and operation of the center, as well as the creation, organization and functioning of annexes to support the creation of enterprises in provinces, prefectures and municipalities in the region .
- 3.6. The implementation of the measures we have ordered requires that the Walis of Our Majesty are endowed with legal powers and necessary regulations to take charge, on behalf of members of the government, the necessary administrative actions to carry the investments out.
- 3.6.1 To allow the Walis of the regions to implement the necessary procedures for the realization of investment in the sectors and for the targeted amount in 3.2.
- 3.2. of this present letter, the members of our government and senior officials of our central government should provide the Walis with the necessary skills to conclude or enact, on behalf of the State, the following acts:
- Concerning sale or rent contracts for buildings in the private domain of the State -acts of authorization to occupy public and forestry sector - installation permits or exploitation of industrial activities , agro - industrial and mining sectors;
- Permits for opening and operation of touristic establishments, classification and control of those institutions, issuance of various licenses or permits needed to operate these facilities.
3.6.2. On the other hand, in order to soften the procedures of control of the acts of local collectivities, our Minister of the Interior will delegate to the Walis of the region the powers to exercise supervision of the following acts:
- approval Acts of the deliberations of legislative bodies of local authorities for contracts and agreements entered into by local authorities, when the amount does not exceed 10 million dhs - approval acts and decisions for credit transfer from one side to another, within the budget of communities;
- Acts of approval of the deliberations of legislative bodies of local authorities for acquisition and transfer of land acts.
3.6.3. In addition, we capacitate the Walis to receive the delegation of powers of the concerned government authorities to take all necessary decisions in order to achieve the investment whose criteria do not meet those set out in section 3.2. of this Royal Letter.
3.7. All orders provided in the preceding paragraphs are stamped by the Prime Minister and published in the Official Bulletin. They take effect for the concerned region after the publication in the Official Bulletin of the joint-decree agreeing to the opening of the Regional Center.
In the meantime, the delegated powers continue to be exercised by delegate government authorities.
3.7.1. In any case, decisions concerning delegation of powers should be published in the Official Bulletin no later than 45 days from the date of publication in the Official Bulletin of this letter. 188.8.131.52. The decisions specify the terms under which the delegation is to be exercised, particularly the content and frequency of reports that the Walis of the region would report to the Prime Minister and the delegate Ministers.
3.8. The decisions of the Walis, taken pursuant to this Royal Letter, may be subject to appeal before the Committee on Investment chaired by the Prime Minister or before the commissions established by specific laws or regulations.
3.9. For the Walis, the responsibility of our governors in implementing this new policy remains intact and is expected to strengthen. We wish, to that end, that the governors of Our Majesty participate fully in the implementation of this devolution policy and prepare the necessary structures in the exercise, at provincial and prefectural levels, skills that will be exercised in a first stage, at the regional level.
3.9.1. Our Minister of the Interior will specify the subjects in which the Walis of the region may delegate, to the governors of provinces and prefectures, part of the skills that are invested by this letter, together with the forms and conditions of this delegation.
4. We believe that local communities must become a major player in the process of economic and social development of the territory and provide them with legal instruments and financial resources necessary to enable them to fulfill this mission in a more efficient manner.
We invite, to this end, the parliament to conduct a thorough reading of the bill on the municipal charter and to enrich it, in perfect collaboration with the government, with provisions that would give local communities a real responsibility in the design and realization of economic development programs for the collectivity. Moreover, it will be convenient to consider a revision of the taxation of local authorities in order to simplify it and make it more productive.
4.1. However, in order that all remains consistent, it is important that those responsible for these communities carry out their responsibilities in strict compliance with the law and regulations. In particular, it is necessary to recall that the chairmen of municipal councils are required not only to execute the decisions of the councils, but also to apply the laws that they perform in their capacity as local administrative authorities that we invest in their duties by Dahir.
- 4.1.1. Also, our governors have to ensure that the relevant local authorities, acting as representative of the State, issue, within the time prescribed by law or regulations, necessary authorizations for investment, in particular, authorizations to divide into lots and building permits.
- 4.1.2. When governors delay in issuing permits, and when these delays are attributable to the authorities concerned, they put them on notice to comply with the law or regulation in a lead time they set. If the delay persists, they should notify the Walis of the region and implement the power to substitute which the charter recognizes, and whose methods of application will be determined by the regulation on the proposal of the Minister of Interior of our government.
- 4.1.3. Similarly, the Walis must attract the attention of the concerned governors of provinces and prefectures, when they find that local authorities refuse or neglect to take the measures prescribed by law or regulations in a timely manner. They call, as appropriate, the governors, to exercise the power of substitution.
Our Prime Minister, that God protect you,
5. The reform of certain procedures relating to the establishment of commercial companies involves the revision of legislation governing the matter. We hope that our government can rapidly revise the related bills to enable the parliament to take action as soon as possible.
- 5.1. It will also be convenient to pursue the efforts to modernize the administration of Justice, and to revise procedures for amicable settlement of disputes between businesses in order to enable them to appeal more often to arbitration.
- 5.2. In the same vein, it is necessary to conduct a thorough study on the causes that impede the functioning of the professional Chambers, constitutional institutions, whose role in representing the economic and social forces, should not obscure the mission of intermediation and professional support services and assistance they owe to their members.
Our dedicated Prime Minister,
6. As you know, since the State implemented a privatization policy that strengthens its desire to privilege the role of the private sector in the economic and social development, it sought to establish a legal framework that encourages private investment. The measures contained in this letter come to consolidate that policy.
- 6.1. However, it remains clear that these measures may not produce the expected effect unless the institutional mechanisms of the private sector are mobilized to offer full benefits to investors.
- 6.2. We are convinced that private institutions, especially those responsible for the collection of savings and their allocations among economic agents, will take full advantage of reforms, accompanying, as appropriate, creativity and ambitious investors, especially young entrepreneurs and small and medium enterprises.
7. We are aware that reforms must be implemented by our government, our Walis, our governors and presidents of councils for the purposes of this Royal letter, require vigilance and determination.
Also, we feel it is necessary to provide for the establishment of a commission to prepare the measures of any kind, for the implementation of this reform and to monitor its application.
8. Under the authority of our Prime Minister, the commission will be composed of government members directly affected by the measures to implement, and advisers of Our Majesty we will nominate for this purpose.
9. We are convinced that this commission will inform us periodically about the proper conduct of its work and swift implementation of reforms contained in this Letter.
10. It should also propose to Our Majesty the extension of powers that can be delegated to the Walis as the provision of necessary facilities for this devolution and, under the same reservation, the transfer of skills of the Walis to the governors of provinces and prefectures.
11. We are confident, knowing your commitment to the scrupulous implementation of our high guidelines, you will save no effort to work, together with members of the government of Our Majesty, in order that the noble purposes expressed in this Letter will be realized as soon as possible.
In renewing the expression of our blessing to you, we pray God, the Almighty, to grant you more success and continue to guide you on the right track. That peace and blessings of God be upon you.
Done at the Royal Palace in Casablanca on 24 Chaoual 1422 (January 9th, 2002)