Morocco Culture of Business

By | July 24, 2022

Subchapters:

  • Introduction
  • Addressing
  • Business Meeting
  • Communication
  • Recommendations
  • Public holidays

Introduction

The culture of business dealings in Morocco has its own specifics. Here we find elements of Arab culture together with the European way of communication. It is always good to know which topics to avoid and which elements of behavior are not fully desirable in Morocco

Addressing

Recommendations and common contact are very valuable in Morocco. If you approach someone based solely on an internet search engine, the road is a bit more thorny. Arabic surnames are usually written in Latin on business cards. The transliteration of Arabic names into Latin in the Maghreb is usually based on the French transcription. It is appropriate to address it as Mrs., Mr. in the French translation. Moroccans involved in foreign trade will usually have a very good command of French. To a lesser extent, you will then meet English-speaking businessmen. Spanish is also commonly spoken in the north of Morocco.

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Business meeting

Addressing directly does not often have much success. The best way is to be introduced by a common contact. If you have a referral, the journey to the meeting is much easier.

The Moroccan working week is the same as in Europe unlike the rest of the Arab world. However, Fridays are public holidays and it is not advisable to make appointments on this day. For the time of the meeting, it is advisable to choose the morning after 10 o’clock and count on an often protracted course until the afternoon.

communicating with authorities and Moroccan partners is better in the morning.

The meeting time is kept, however, not always to the minute. However, it is advisable to be ready for the meeting on time and not to rely on other concepts of time.

The partner’s premises and offices are a good place for a meeting, and Moroccans will be happy to invite you to their home. In return, it is advisable to arrange a meeting in a good restaurant. Gastronomy is essential in Morocco.

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Prepare for several meetings and you can see your partner several times in one week.

Do not schedule meetings for the period of Ramadan and Fridays, when the great prayer takes place. It is good to have a calendar of Moroccan holidays at your disposal, be careful, some holidays shift and are not always on the same date. Handshakes are quite common in society. Social wear, suit for men, longer dresses for women.

A large number of Moroccan traders are very experienced and linguistically equipped with foreign experience. It is important to be properly prepared for the meeting. Moroccans don’t like to say no. You may come across traders who do not have such experience in a specific industry, but even that does not stop them from negotiating with you about business. In such a case, it is necessary to be prudent and approach the trade with care and determine all the details of the trade precisely. In Morocco, there is a widespread informal network of contacts, which is also related to the tradition of the extended family. It often happens that even if the person you are negotiating business with is not from your field, he is able to recommend someone else to you.

Some Moroccans claim their Berber roots. So you can’t generalize and consider all Moroccans only Arabs.

Islam is the state religion, but attitudes may vary. Many Moroccans have studied or lived in Europe and their approach may be somewhat different. Easy, but you will also come across traditional old families where it is better to be more restrained.

Casual wear for men and women is always a good choice.

In Morocco, being invited home is a sign of respect. Moroccans are hospitable and will certainly be happy to invite you for a good mint tea. It won’t hurt to wrap a small suitable gift. Beware of alcoholic beverages, better to buy flowers or sweets. A Czech-made gift, such as glass or jewelry, will surely make you happy. Morocco is known for its ceramics and Moroccans like decorative things. Be prepared for a longer conversation about topics that are completely unrelated to business. It is important to build trust.

Economic diplomacy projects in the form of participation in trade fairs, business missions or in other forms are undoubtedly a practical tool for gaining contacts. Before the Covid-19 pandemic, there were a number of international trade fairs in many sectors, especially in Casablanca, which were a great opportunity to get contacts for local distributors and partners. A project to support economic activities called PROPEA is also launched in Morocco. Its implementer is a Moroccan entity. You can read more about the project on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or contact the embassy in Rabat.

The negotiating team can be made up of different types. There are no clear rules that would determine what a negotiation team should look like. However, Moroccans will prefer to deal with a higher-ranking representative of the company, reflecting the local society’s setup, where hierarchy plays an important role.

Communication

If you speak French, communication in Morocco will be much easier for you. Otherwise, it is not out of the question to invite an interpreter to the meeting. The young generation also speaks English. However, one cannot expect such a broad knowledge of the English language as Czech entrepreneurs from other regions are used to. Visit Allunitconverters for more information about Morocco culture and traditions.

During the meeting, it is advisable to avoid topics such as religion or politics. Neutral topics like food, sports or travel are always a good choice.

A personal meeting is the basis of a successful meeting. Communication via phone or WhatsApp is far more widespread than email communication.

Recommendation

It is always important to carefully consider the risks associated with the local market. In order to operate successfully on the Moroccan market, it is advisable to establish a branch according to local legislation. You need to prepare for longer bureaucratic processes and be patient enough. A local partner can greatly help you succeed in the Moroccan market. It is important to know local conditions, culture and tradition if you want to operate in the Moroccan market for a long time. Knowing the French language at a communicative level will be a huge advantage in the beginning of your business in Morocco.

Public Holidays

The Kingdom of Morocco has a total of thirteen public holidays, four of which are “moving”. They are mostly related to the holy month of Ramadan, which also shifts every year.

January 1 – New Year

January 11 – Public holiday (1944 release of the Manifesto of Independence)

May 1 – Labor Day

April 1 – the beginning of the fasting month of Ramadan

May 1 – Aid Al Fitr – the end of the fasting month of Ramadan

June 30 – Throne Day (King Mohammed VI’s accession to the throne in 1999

July 20 – Aid Al Adha (Feast of Sacrifice)

August 14 – Oued Eddahab (Sahara Province Holiday) August 20 – Revolution, King and People’s Day

  1. Sprna – Youth Day

October 19 – Aid Al Mouloud (the birth of the Prophet Mohammed), the so-called mawlid

November 6 – the anniversary of the Green March

November 18 – Independence Day

Morocco Culture of Business