Basic facts about Morocco   2012-01-17 15:16:20            

Morocco nestles on the northwestern tip of Africa, bordered by Algeria to the east and the Sahara Desert to the south. The Moroccan coastline fronts onto both the Mediterranean and the Atlantic. Across the Straits of Gibraltar, Spain is only a dozen kilometers away.

The Islamic country, whose capital is Rabat, has a population of some 30 million, mostly Arabs. Arabic is Morocco's national language, but French is also widely spoken.

Morocco is not highly industrialized, and agriculture remains the major sector of its national economy, with about 44 percent of its population being farmers. Agriculture accounts for more than 14 percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP).

Morocco has rich phosphate deposits of some 110 billion tons, or 75 percent of the total world reserve.

With a coastline of more than 1,700 km, Morocco is rich in fishery resources and is the largest fish-producing country in Africa. It is also the largest sardine exporter in the world, with sardine accounting for more than 70 percent of its fish products.

The North African country has many famous tourist attractions, with revenue from tourism constituting a major foreign currency earner for the country.

Rabat is noted for historical monuments in the kingdom. The ancient cities of Fez, Marrakesh and Casablanca are all well-known tourist destinations frequented by visitors from all over the world.

Morocco, like many other Arab countries, saw anti-government demonstrations at the beginning of this year, protesting high unemployment and weak economy.

King Mohammed VI, in an attempt to appease rising dissatisfaction, proposed a referendum on July 1 in which voters approved a package of reforms to limit powers of the king through changes in the constitution, and brought forward the parliamentary elections due to be held in September 2012.

Editor: Chen Zhi
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