|Morocco looks for more tourist investment|
|Adel Duweiri, Morocco's minister of tourism and social economy, announced that the government had decided to establish extra incentives to encourage investors in the tourist sector.
Duweiri said that in the next year the Tourism Ministry would suggest new initiatives to facilitate the funding of tourist projects by reforming means of institutional saving to encourage insurance companies and retirement funds to invest some of their funds in tourist projects.
The minister said these initiatives were paralleled by the agreement with the banks on new types of long-term loans suitable for funding hotels. He added that the local tax system would be simplified and rationalized by the reforms put forward recently by the government, indicating that the ministry had taken a number of measures to encourage investment in the tourist sector.
London-based newspaper Asharq al-Awsat said that the ministry intended to present a number of facilities to help hotel owners reduce the financial pressure from the war in the Gulf and the terrorist events in Casablanca on May 16.
The minister said a number of new areas had been prepared for tourists, an opportunity private sector investors had benefitted from, and added that financial aid had been allocated to tourist areas to enable hotel investors to realize the returns they expect.
As for the tax system, Duweiri said the financial law of 2004 exempted hotel owners from taxes on their earnings for a period of five years and reduced the taxes by 50 percent after that, as well as cancelling four local taxes on the tourist sector.
Beirut,01 10 2005
The Daily Star