Roland Berger assesses size of the Moroccan informal economy

25 May 2016

CGEM, the association for private sector enterprises in Morocco, has hired Roland Berger to conduct a market study on the country’s informal economy, also known as the grey market. With the analysis, CGEM aims at drafting a policy which allows the Moroccan government to better integrate informal activity into formalised economic flows.

With a GDP of around $110 billion, generated by a labour force of 12 million registered workers, Morocco is home to one of Africa’s largest economies. Yet as with many maturing economies, in particular in African regions, informal activity can be flourishing, and as a result, officially measured GDP statistics are (highly) undervalued. According to an estimate by the IMF, released in 2012, the informal economy in Morocco is in terms of value estimated to be worth a staggering 44% of officially measured GDP, substantially larger than in several Asian and Latin American countries.

In a bid to create detailed insight into the informal market, Morocco’s association responsible for private sector economic activity, CGEM*, established in 1947, has turned to Roland Berger, a German origin management consultancy. The CGEM commissioned the study after an internal high-level review had shown that, on the back of the country’s economic situation, informal activities have been expanding recently. Besides leading to foregone, hard needed, earnings for the government, grey market activity can pose significant risks on the overall competitiveness of businesses and the Moroccan economy in general.

Roland Berger assesses size of the Moroccan informal economy

The consulting firm, which was appointed by the Steering Committee following a competitive tender process, has been given two main tasks. First, the consultants will define the characteristics of the informal sector in Morocco and then quantify the market. The advisors will further analyse the interaction with the formal economy and measure the impact the grey market has on the competitiveness of companies and the country. The project will be managed by Roland Berger’s Casablanca office, which was opened back in 2008.

According to sources close to the matter, Roland Berger will receive 2.2 million Dirhams (~€200.000) for the engagement. Once the work is completed, CGEM will use the findings to draft a policy roadmap and action plan, and include the key recommendations in its discussions with the authorities.

ONEE tender
Last year Roland Berger won, together with local consultancy Capital Consulting, a competitive tender to design a performance improvement plan for ONEE, Morocco’s national utility company for electricity and water.

* CGEM stands for the General Confederation of Enterprises of Morocco.