Trade Forum Features

Propelling Morocco to new markets

7 March 2016
ITC News
As head of Maroc Export, Zahra Maafiri reaches across borders groups of society to help small businesses export

From aerospace to seafood, Maroc Export helps small and medium-sized enterprises in a wide range of sectors to tap new export markets.

As the national trade promotion organization of Morocco, Maroc Export helps businesses to sell goods and services in 40 markets around the world by providing services such as market information and opportunities to participate in business-to-business and business-to-consumer events.

In 2015, nearly 800 companies met clients and sold to international markets using Maroc Export’s services.

The key to the organization’s success, according to Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Zahra Maafiri, is remaining flexible in changing times.

‘Maroc Export is always questioning itself about how to adapt its services to companies and to the environment in international markets,’ she said. ‘And it also goes hand-in-hand with the private sector. We should always be looking towards the expectations of the private sector, the government and international markets.’


By collaborating with the business community and policymakers, Maroc Export works to create a business-friendly environment for local enterprises, laying the foundation for them to develop relationships with clients, tap new markets and increase exports.

Later this year, Maroc Export will expand its role by providing a platform for trade promotion organizations around the world to improve their services, as the host of the 2016 Trade Promotion Organization Network World Conference and Awards in Marrakesh.

‘We will share what we have succeeded in and also accept the experiences of others who have succeeded, so there will be a good exchange and a positive and mutual benefit for all parties within this network,’ Maafiri said.

The biennial conference co-organized by the International Trade Centre facilitates the sharing and learning of best practices, discussions about the latest issues affecting trade promotion organizations, and opportunities for cooperation among organizations to strengthen and widen their service delivery.

‘This event won’t only be an event for Morocco, it will be the event for Africa,’ said Maafiri. ‘We are working with our network of African trade promotion organizations to show to the world the potential of Africa as an exporting continent.’


Looking ahead, Maroc Export is working to broaden its base of exporting companies to meet the national target of doubling or even tripling exports by 2018. One element of achieving this goal is to encourage more women-owned businesses to export.

‘We don’t have a lot of women CEOs of exporting companies,’ Maafiri said. ‘Just to let them know that there are trade promotion organizations that can help them to launch their businesses toward international markets and to go one step further in this kind of business.’

Maroc Export is teaming up with the business community to explore new export markets and trade opportunities in countries including Brazil and Viet Nam.