Oct. 1, 2020


Mehdi Tazi

Morocco

Mehdi Tazi

General Vice-President, General Confederation of Moroccan Companies (CGEM)

“As a confederation of entrepreneurs, our goal is to save as many companies and as much employment as possible.”

BIO

Born in Casablanca, Morocco, Mr. Mehdi TAZI graduated from the engineering and management school Télécom Paris Sud in 1999 and received an MBA from the European Institute of Business Administration (INSEAD) in 2004. He began his professional career in KPMG Consulting France in 1999. In 2005, he joined Saham Group as Development Director. In 2008, he was appointed Managing Director of Isaaf Mondial Assistance, a subsidiary of the group, after serving as Deputy Managing Director for 14 months. In 2014, he became the CEO of Saham Assurance after spending 3 years as Managing Director. Between 2010 and 2017, he was a board member of several insurance companies of the Group : Saham Insurance Morocco, Niger, Rwanda, and Angola, as well as Taslif and CAT Morocco. He also held the position of CEO of GA Angola Seguros from 2013 to 2014. In 2017, Mr. TAZI acquired the firm Beassur and sold, two years later, a minority share to Marsh, the world leader in insurance brokerage and risk management." Mr. TAZI was distinguished by the Jeune Afrique Group in 2013, among the 25 young African leaders and, in 2020, among the top 50 disruptors. He was chosen to be amongst the Top 10 economic leaders of the continent by the prestigious Choiseul Institute for three consecutive years from 2014 to 2016.In terms of his civic engagement, Mehdi TAZI was Vice-President of the Moroccan Federation of Insurance and Reinsurance Companies (FMSAR) from 2010 to 2017. He also spent four years from 2010 to 2014 as the President of the Royal Moroccan Federation of Sports for All (FRMSPT). Within the General Confederation of Moroccan Companies (CGEM), he served as Vice-President in charge of the New Growth Drivers before being elected by his peers on the 22nd of January 2020, as General Vice-President of the Confederation.


What has been the impact of COVID-19 on your operations and decision-making, and how is the confederation reacting to the socioeconomic impact of the pandemic?

The confederation is heavily involved in all of the discussions with the government. During this crisis, we have been in greater contact with the different entities so that we can bring our point of view on the decisions that have been made. There are three main impacts from the crisis: sanitary, social, and economic. We are involved in the social and economic sides through an entity that has been created with ministers, parts of the government, the government body of banks, and CGEM. This is where decisions are being made on the social and economic sides. From that perspective, we are heavily involved; it is almost a full-time job on that front. That is our impact. Many measures to help the private sector and its workers, as well as those in the formal economy, have emerged from this. That is where we are acting the most in this crisis.

CGEM conducted an investigation of the economic repercussions of the pandemic and surveyed 1,820 companies on their expectations of payment periods post COVID-19. How were these results?

The results show that the crisis is deep and impacting everyone in all sectors. Another thing we learned is that about one-third of people are not working. That is a massive number. The third message we got from the survey is that nearly all companies are in a difficult situation; out of 33 sectors, 28 sectors are declaring falls in revenues of more than 25%. The second part of the study allowed us to test how the private sector has accepted our measures in our government body between the government, CGEM, and the banks. In total, two-thirds of the companies have used the measures, while all of the measures have been used by roughly half of the companies. This means the measures that have been taken have been extremely helpful for the sector. The last thing the study showed was that payment delays have increased by more than 60 days as a result of the crisis. That's a huge problem worldwide, and it suggests that the economy will fall everywhere around the world. If people cannot pay, companies will go bankrupt.

Which sectors have been most affected?

Getting back to normal is extremely important as the base for GDP growth and revealing the sectors that can bounce back first. Today, industry is a strong sector for Morocco because it is starting up with a relocation and redistribution of demand and the offer. Not everything will be made in China anymore, and we anticipate more industry spreading out to different countries. There will be opportunities everywhere. Morocco has done a fantastic job in showing that it has a strong industry in the aeronautics and automotive sectors. We were strong in textiles and clothing as well, but also in others. The pharmaceutical industry, for example, has potential. We have a base and are close to and friendly with Europe. Most likely, we have a role to play to be an alternative to the European market in terms of supplying industrial products. I would not bet on tourism in the short term, however.

What are your priorities and goals for the year ahead?

As a confederation of entrepreneurs, our goal is to save as many companies and as much employment as possible. We need to protect our supply. That means protecting our people and our companies. At the same time, we need to be realistic and understand that we cannot stay at home forever. We need to do it, but also keep in mind other safety measures that can be taken in this situation.

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