Morocco’s strategic position on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea makes it a key gateway to Southern Europe and North Africa. Morocco’s location, fast growing economy and increasingly modern infrastructures are attracting more and more foreign investment. Understanding Morocco’s unique set of cultural values and attitudes and how they impact business and social culture is extremely important for any organisation doing business in Morocco. The following are some of the key challenges of doing business in Morocco.
Morocco is known as a highly collectivistic country. When doing business in Morocco this is something that may present a challenge. A traditional Moroccan family is very extended and includes children, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. The father tends to work the most to support the whole family and each member of the family has its own specific task to support the families well being.
Importance of Relationships
Directly linked with Moroccan collectivist attitudes, relationships and connections are vital for anyone doing business in Morocco. Suppliers and potential customers are more likely to sign contracts with people they already know and being introduced by agents or third parties can be a shortcut to success. Doing business in Morocco can as a result be more time consuming and frustrating for people coming from a culture which emphasises performance over relationship.
Islam is practised by an overwhelming majority of Moroccans and has an impact on every aspect of life in Morocco. Foreigners doing business in Morocco should be aware of the dedicated time to prayers or other religious events such as Ramadan when the country’s economic activity and business slows down. Islam also impacts relationships between men and women so female entrepreneurs should be aware of the appropriate behaviour and dress code when doing business in Morocco.
The Concept of Face
The concept of face is really important in Arabic countries and Morocco is no exception. Damaging your counterpart’s dignity or honour and causing him or her to lose face will seriously harm your business opportunities in Morocco. Harsh criticisms, negative feedback or direct confrontation should be avoided at all costs when doing business in Morocco.
Communicaid’s cultural awareness training programmes such as Doing Business in Morocco or Living and Working in Morocco can help you and your organisation to avoid cultural faux pas and key challenges of doing business in Morocco. Tailored cross cultural tools and strategies provided in cross cultural training will ensure more successful communication and interactions when doing business in Morocco.
© Communicaid Group Ltd. 2010