Tuesday, 27 February 2007

More retirees 'may consider' Morocco in the near future

More retirees 'may consider' Morocco in the near future
The north African country of Morocco looks set to become a new hotspot for people thinking of retiring to the sun, after a planned tunnel with Spain received ministerial backing.

Recently, the plans for a tunnel linking Morocco with Spain have gained steam. In an interview, Karim Ghellab, Morocco's minister of transportation said: "It's not easy to predict a date yet, but it is a project that will happen. It will completely change our world."

With several low-cost airlines already offering cheap flights to the country, the new tunnel is only going to improve access to the country for people looking to retire abroad.

According to a Moroccan property expert, Property Borders, foreign investment in the country is already at an all time high and 10 million tourists are expected to visit annually by 2010.

The Independent reports that property in Morocco is also showing impressive returns. According to the paper, a record number of Britons are buying property and experiencing capital gains of more than 20 per cent per year.

Abby Aron, author of Buying a House in Morocco, told the paper that the costal towns of south-west Morocco are particularly suitable for people thinking of buying a property to retire to.

"This stretch of coast is exciting for those looking for a second home, because property prices are still very reasonable," she explained.

26th February 2007

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Saturday, 17 February 2007

Morocco leading the way for reform in the Arab World

16/02/2007 By Adil Dekkaki for Magharebia in Washington – 16/02/07

The Center for Strategic and International Studies has published a study on political and economic reform in Morocco and the extent to which it can be considered an exemplary model for other Arab states.

A study titled "Arab Reform and Foreign Aid: Lessons from Morocco" was conducted by the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, to evaluate the experience of Morocco in the field of economic and cultural reform. The authors of the study -- Haim Malka and John Alterman -- conducted a series of interviews with hundreds of Moroccans from various sectors, including members of the government, university teaching staff, journalists, and members of non-governmental and civil society organizations.

Evaluating reforms in Morocco

The study states that the King Mohammed VI, has embraced changes in the country's political, economic and social fields over past years. As a result, an extensive debate is currently under way in Morocco regarding democracy and power, and there is an indication that neutral reform is taking place.

The study also shows that the participation of citizens in political life has risen considerably over past years, since the scope of human rights, individual liberties and women’s rights has been widened, and journalists now are testing the limits permitted by the government in the field of freedom of opinion and expression.

There is considerable and evident consensus among different groups in Morocco that priority should be given to political reform and social change. However, the report shows that the image of Morocco is not all rosy. There is some concern over the future of the country, particularly as Morocco is suffering from difficult economic and social problems like rising unemployment, the ongoing conflict over the Western Sahara and the risk of terrorism.

The study shows the reforms that were adopted by the late king of Morocco, Hassan II, during the 1990s were all positive and noticeable developments. They did however lead to a greater consolidation of power in the hands of king than previously, instead of achieving the goal of drawing the parties and civil society organisations into the running of the country’s affairs.

The challenges and stumbling blocks experienced by the reform process and the changes in many of the Arab states over the past decades have not affected the reform process in Morocco. In the eyes of many international observers, Morocco has become an exemplary and outstanding model for Arab reform. The study attributes this to Morocco itself choosing to adopt a reform agenda, and endeavouring to obtain foreign aid, and to this reform agenda not being imposed on from the outside. Western countries efforts were not focused on launching the reform process in Morocco, but rather on encouraging a programme of reform which the Moroccan government itself originally began and pursued.

The nature of the amendments and reforms

The study indicates that it is possible to divide the latest amendments in Morocco into two basic categories. The first relates to individuals in relation to society and to the government. The amendments that were adopted within this framework include the changes to the Family Code; the formation of the Justice and Reconciliation Committee; the human development initiative; and openings in politics for Islamists and other political groupings.

The second category of reform includes the composition and functioning of the Moroccan government. Economic reforms -- privatisation, opening up economic sectors to foreign investment, relaxing the restrictions imposed on investment, reviewing the Journalism Law, and parliamentary and judicial reform -- have all been implemented.

Morocco is developing quickly with regard to reform, but the report emphasises that time will tell whether Morocco is moving sufficiently fast in this regard. It is too soon to describe the reforms adopted by Morocco as a success story -- the main indications of success will appear over the coming years.

Lessons to be learned

According to the authors, Morocco provides a valuable lesson in political and economic reform, which others in the Arab world can draw on. The Moroccan experiment in the field of reform exposes the importance of the government taking a leading role in the setting-up and managing of the reform process, since the monarchy in Morocco is the real driving force for the adoption of reforms as it made them a strategic choice for its political programme, and thus gave the process of change thrust, strength and efficacy.

The Moroccan model confirms that it is possible to adopt political and economic reform simultaneously, and that the processes of political and economic reform support and assist each other. Morocco has also proved that it is possible to accommodate Islamist movements and bring them into the political process successfully, as shown by the important experiment of the Justice and Development Party’s participation in political activities in Morocco.

An important lesson to draw from the Moroccan experiment, the study concludes, is that reform must be accompanied by a genuine domestic desire for change.

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Monday, 12 February 2007

Morocco - Tunnel Vision

The recent excitement in Morocco and Spain about the potential tunnel linking Morocco Africa with Spain Europe is gaining more ground report UK based Moroccan property agents Property Borders. In a recent interview with Karim Ghellab, Morocco's minister of transportation he stated "It's not easy to predict a date yet, but it is a project that will happen. It will completely change our world,". With many thousands of Moroccan's and tourists crossing the straits of Gibraltar every year on ferries "the tunnel makes sense" says Mustapha Mezouri a Moroccan director for Property Borders.

Property Borders are the UK's leading Moroccan run property agency in London. They sell a wide range of Moroccan property whether it is for a holiday home in Morocco, retirement home or for investment purposes. The tunnel will have a positive effect for both countries, Europe and North Africa if it goes ahead. By 2010 Morocco expects to become part of the Euro-Med free trade zone and is working towards a close relation with the EU this is a significant development that will undoubtedly boost the Moroccan economy further still. Mustapha Mezouri says FDI (Foreign Direct Investments) in Morocco is at a all time high from investors across the globe, France and Spain are a big part of this. The effects of Vision 2010, Morocco's drive to have 10 million tourist by 2010 and the planned tunnel are evident everywhere with the Tangier Med Port the biggest in north Africa and new motorways being constructed. Tangiers airport is being extended in preparation for the flood of low cost and charter carriers that will likely use it. The open skies agreement, signed recently with the EU, will open up the skies to allow no-frills/ low cost airlines to fly to Morocco.

Property Borders receive a large amount of enquiries about the Plan Azur resorts of which they are official agents. They recently released the first units of La Plage at Port Lixus an Exclusive beachfront condo hotel in Larache. Port Lixus is the second of the Plan Azur resorts to be launched. The first 25 units of the condo hotel units at La Plage Port Lixus were sold out in two weeks and Property Borders have a list of clients waiting for the second release which is imminent. Mustapha Mezouri comments "the dynamic King Mohammed VI has made northern Morocco a priority for development with Tangier at its heart and incentives for investors such as 0% Annual property tax for the first 5 years 0% tax on rental income for the first 5 years 0% capital gains tax if profit is under £40K or after 10 years of ownership 0% inheritance tax when a property passes to a family member 100% repatriation of funds when you sell your property."

Tangier which was once seen as a seedy area has changed immensely over the past years. The highly capable mayor Mohamed Hassad has brought in plans to make this area a centre for tourism and business trade. Property Borders have properties for sale in all areas of Morocco including the Exclusive La Baie Panoramique in Tangier the first phase of which is due for completion in December 2007. So if you have tunnel vision about buying a property in Moorish Morocco why not give Property Borders the UK's leading Moroccan run property agency a call. 0208 508 9905

View property borders website
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