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Morocco’s Textile Industry

The sector is firmly focused on exports and, in 2022, these jumped by a fifth year-on-year to reach a record $4.25bn. Despite fierce international competition, the country is now Europe’s eighth-largest textile and clothing supplier. Even after the pandemic disrupted manufacturing and global demand, Morocco’s textiles industry still accounted for 15 per cent of industrial GDP in 2021 and 11 per cent of its exports, according to a recent report by the International Finance Corporation. So-called “fast fashion” accounts for 52 per cent of production. Predominantly, this involves the assembly of designs provided by wholesale and retail customers using fabrics, yarn and other accessories imported from countries led by Turkey — although there is increasing diversification. “Its proximity to southern Europe — specifically Spain — is a huge advantage given the speed of supply in fast fashion,” says Martin Stone, partner at Zenobia Intelligence, a business consultancy focused on the Middle East and north Africa. “Moroccan textiles make up most of brands like Zara and Mango’s garment supplies.” However, EU rules on what counts as “substantive stages of production” — depending on the sourcing of materials — constrain what can be exported free of duties in the Pan-Euro-Med trading zone.