Dynamique des investissements, mutations sectorielles et convertibilité du compte de capital : impacts des mesures de libéralisation et expériences comparées Tunisie – Maroc

Morocco and Tunisia are performing in term of economic growth better than the average economic growth of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and middle-income countries. Tremendous efforts in terms of reforms and restructuring of the economy have been deployed in the early 80s. The outcomes of theses efforts start to make their fruit: limited inflation, controlled public deficits, and cautious exchange rate policy. In brief, the macroeconomic environment has been substantially improved. Both countries are also traditions of well anchored opening, in particular towards the old continent, as evidenced by their opening rates. This openness has increased with the signing of a multitude of partnership agreements of which the most important mattering is the one which concerns the free trade area with the EU on the horizon 2010-1012. These advances are important, but they must not ignore the inherent obstacles to growth and development of both countries. Without being comprehensive, external debts remain a source concern, especially in the case of Tunisia. Similarly, the quality of human resources, especially in terms of middle managers, is lacking. The policies of R & D and innovation are still in their infant stage. At least, many similarities exist between the two countries, but it should be noted that Morocco and Tunisia are not on the same growth path. Thus, wealth per capita in Tunisia is twice Morocco one. The aim of this study is to identify the strengths on which Morocco and Tunisia may rely to build their growth on solid and sustainable growth. We have identified two. One is based on a change management more flexible than current practice the two countries. The second concerns the effects of FDI on productivity. In a third time, we try to link the two leverage factors; in order to determine the impact of exchange rate policies on flows of FDI (and productivity). The originality of our approach lies to two levels: Concerning the relationship FDI – exchange rate policy, we propose a misalignment estimate, which is defined as the deviation of the real exchange rate relative to its equilibrium value. Unlike volatility, the distortion of the real exchange rate can have a much greater impact on the economies of small countries like Morocco and Tunisia. Indeed, steady deviations from the real exchange rate with regard to its trend of balance modify the internal relative prices and lead important costs of adjustment. These distortions can create at least four important phenomena of imbalance Indeed, continuous deviations of real exchange rate from its equilibrium modify the relative internal prices and induce important adjustment costs. These distortions may lead at least to four important phenomena of imbalance: i) external imbalance leading to a crisis of exchange, ii) an effect of deindustrialization followed by weak growth over a long period, iii) inflationary pressures and iv) protectionist pressures that tend to persist. The misalignment will be put in relations with the FDI flows in both countries. As for the methodological and in order to capture the effects of FDI on productivity, we estimate a production function using the approach proposed by Olley and Pakes (1996). The latter corrects the simultaneity bias due to the correlation between unobservable shocks of productivity and production factors. Finally, we propose recommendations with sector profiling and refocused specializations of the two countries.