Posted by: Morocco World News

Alexandre Laurent, a French surgeon and businessman, has brought attention to 1980, the year when Morocco was five times richer than China.

L’express, a French magazine, published Laurent’s article comparing the two nations, in which the businessman highlighted the different trends and cultures between the two countries in the past and present.

The businessman made the comparison based on the average income per capita of each country and their current trends and investment levels.

Laurent explained that Morocco’s average income per capita in 1980 was $1,075, five times higher than China’s $195.

Although Morocco outweighed China in average income, Morocco’s economy mostly relied on the agriculture sector, focusing on ways to achieve self sufficiency in food production.

Morocco’s major source of foreign currency depended on processing phosphate ore into fertilizers and phosphoric acid, in addition to textiles and clothes made of domestically produced cotton and wool.

“China has become a great scientific power, while Morocco remains a poor country that still has a 40% illiteracy rate among women,” said Laurent.

However, Laurent praised the Moroccan technocratic elites who surround Morocco’s King Mohammed VI.

“King Mohammed VI is an enlightened king surrounded by high-quality technocratic elites, but this is not enough to keep up with the pace of Asia, which invests heavily in research, innovation and education,” he said.

Morocco is aware of the challenges that it is facing to enhance the business, research, and education sectors that all constitute the main sectors responsible for the future of its economy.

In an attempt to improve these sectors, Morocco’s government introduced reforms. This month, the King urged the cabinet to increase their efforts to address education issues and to empower youth as they represent the “wealth” of Morocco.

The August report of Bank Al Maghrib also showcases many irregularities in government that hamper Morocco’s economy and its development.

Laurent attributed Morocco’s inability to follow China’s growth in all sectors to China’s great emphasis on investment in research, innovation, education, and artificial intelligence.

According to Laurent, globalization saved the lives of hundreds of millions who were living in misery. Life expectancy doubled for Chinese people.

The businessman believes that all Asian countries are leaders when it comes to innovation, education, and creativity.

He added, “There is still no research center worthy of the name in North Africa…. Even several European countries that claimed to be advanced cannot keep up with the Asians’ path.”

Regarding the political class in France, the author noted that the Asian countries’ progress in PISA ranking, the international assessment of students’ achievement, is a taboo topic in France. He explained that France is no longer a leader of “knowledge capitalism,” a mantle taken up by Asian countries.

Laurent reminded readers that in 1970, France was three times richer than Singapore, and only now that French people realized that Singaporeans have twice France’s quality of life, which will hold France’s political class accountable.