2022 broke all records in terms of money sent by Moroccans living abroad to their country, while the largest amount of money came from France

Record remittances to Morocco

PHOTO/FILE - Dirhams
photo_camera PHOTO/FILE - Dirhams

2022 has been a spectacular year in terms of money sent by Moroccans living abroad (MRE) to their own country from abroad. A record was broken thanks to the 110.7 billion dirhams (around 10.2 billion euros) that Moroccans living abroad sent to the North African country.

These 110.7 billion dirhams represent an increase of 16 per cent compared to 2021, according to data released Thursday by the Bureau de Change, the state entity in charge of overseeing this area.  

The Bureau de Change issued its annual report, giving details on this very important data for the economy of the Moroccan kingdom. According to the data provided, this sharp rise is mainly due to the money issued from the main countries where Moroccans are based abroad, mainly France, from where almost half a billion euros more were sent than in 2021, representing a rise of 17.9%. France continues to be the leading country in terms of money sent to Morocco, with 32.2% of the total remittances sent by MREs.

dirhams-marruecos-dinero (1)
PHOTO/FILE - Dirhams

As for another essential destination for Moroccans living abroad, Spain, the contribution reached 138 million euros more than in 2021, with a rise in 2022 of 10.9% compared to the previous year. Italy saw money sent from there 250 million euros more than in 2021, up 26.2%, and Saudi Arabia sent 148 million euros more to Morocco, up 23.5% compared to 2021. 

Precisely, Spain, Italy and Saudi Arabia are the nations that follow France in the ranking of the main countries of origin of Moroccan remittances from abroad. France accounts for 32.2% of the total volume, Spain 13.4%, Italy 11.5% and Saudi Arabia 7.6% of the total remittances sent by MREs. 

The Bureau de Change report also highlights that in the last five years, remittances from Canada have recorded the highest average annual growth (+28%), followed by those from Spain (+27.6%) and Italy (+20.3%).

Remittances sent home by Moroccans living abroad are a major source of foreign exchange for the North African nation and, according to a report by the Central Bank of Morocco (Bank al-Maghrib) and the World Bank, more than 80% of emigrants' remittances go to their families, which in many cases greatly alleviates their economic situation. 

REUTERS/YOUSSEF BOUDLAL - El Banco Central de Marruecos

Tourist income

Travel receipts almost tripled in 2022 compared to 2021, surpassing pre-pandemic levels, according to the data revealed. Foreign exchange tourism receipts thus recorded a 170.8% rise in 2022 compared to 2021 to reach 93.6 billion dirhams, under the combined effect of the economic recovery and the measures taken by the Moroccan government to revitalise the tourism sector, as noted by the Bureau de Change itself. 

In this case, France also consolidated its position as the main source market for these revenues (31 billion dirhams in 2022 compared to 13.2 billion dirhams in 2021, an increase of 135.2%). At the same time, travel revenues from Spain and Italy, the second and third largest outbound markets, increased by 335.1% and 238.1% respectively.

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