모로코의 4차 산업혁명 대응번략과 한국의 협력방안(Morocco’s Strategy for the 4th Industrial Revolution and Implication for Korea)
104 Pages Posted: 1 Oct 2020
Date Written: December 28, 2019
The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) refers to the fourth most important industrial era in history since the first industrial revolution that took place in the eighteenth century. The 4IR represents a convergence of technologies that transcend the boundaries of physical, digital and biological sectors, which are represented by robotics, artificial intelligence, nano-technology, quantum computing, bio-technology, the internet of things, 3D printing, and autonomous vehicles. The introduction of 4IR technologies could be a challenge and opportunity at the same time in terms of trade, labor, and industrial environments, not only for technologically advanced countries, but also for emerging economies which depend on labor-intensive industries, such as electronics, textiles, and clothing.
Morocco, which has recently established its position as an export base to Europe and been rapidly changing its economic structure, is seeking ways to respond to changes caused by the introduction of 4IR technology. If the introduction of smart factories spreads in Morocco’s main market, Europe, Morocco could lose the comparative advantages it possesses in terms of low production and logistics costs, which are the key foundation allowing Morocco to participate in the regional value chain. On the other hand, new innovative companies based in Morocco in various fields such as finance, construction, agriculture, and energy are developing and distributing so-called “appropriate technology” through the African countries. This situation could be a huge challenge and opportunity for Morocco.
This phenomenon is common in many manufacturing-based emerging economies, but their strategies are still at the stage of following the lead of advanced countries. In this context, this study aims to derive policy suggestions on the strategy of Morocco as an emerging country for 4IR based on Korea’s policy experiences, and to propose tools for Korea-Morocco economic cooperation and agendas in related fields. Korea is rapidly shifting its economic structure from labor-intensive manufacturing to cutting-edge manufacturing, while actively responding to the 4IR by utilizing world-class information and communication technology (ICT). Korea’s response strategy is regarded as a major reference for emerging countries such as Morocco. This study presents a plan for Korea-Morocco cooperation measures that can derive, promote, and utilize policy suggestions that meet the economic environment and demands of Morocco as well as related policy experiences of Korea and emerging countries in manufacturing industries. In particular, this study was conducted as a part of joint research between KIEP and the Royal Institute for Strategic Studies (IRES) to establish Morocco’s 4IR Strategy, as proposed by IRES to KIEP.
Morocco is recently showing relatively stable economic growth but still faces economic problems such as high unemployment and worsening inequality. Certain external factors continue to threaten the Moroccan economy, such as unrest in the Maghreb region and the European economic risks. The Moroccan government is supporting new industries and promoting foreign investment and expanding its influence in Africa to solve its economic challenges and pursue further economic growth. The major new industries that Morocco is currently developing under the government’s leadership are the information and communication industry and the renewable energy industry. The Moroccan government has announced mid- and long-term plans for these sectors and increasing infrastructure investment.
In order to promote foreign investment, Morocco is improving its investment environment through free trade agreements with major countries, including the EU and the United States, and revising related policies, laws, and systems to be more investment-friendly. Tangier, a northern port city in Morocco, has been designated as an economic free zone and offers various benefits to foreign investors. Morocco also re-entered the African Union (AU) in 2017 and is expanding its political and economic influence in Africa by conducting several development cooperation projects and encouraging Moroccan private companies to operate in other African countries. Upon this background, Morocco has displayed much interest in 4IR and how advanced countries are responding to this change. Rather than a natural trend created by ICT development, 4IR should be viewed as a business strategy established by companies and governments in the face of the new challenges and opportunities brought on by technological advances in their economies and businesses. Therefore, all the 4IR strategies in advanced countries devised to cope with these changes reflect the industrial and technological background of each country. Korea also is trying to implement relevant policies well suited for its industry and technology.
The Korean government is pursuing a new-business opening strategy in line with efforts to secure 4IR technologies at the national level. In 2014, Korea started its 4IR strategies focused on the manufacturing sector to realize the vision of smart factory plans. In 2016, the “Committee for Intelligence Information Society” was launched to expand 4IR preparation from manufacturing to the society level. In 2017, the Committee was upgraded to the Presidential Committee on the Fourth Industrial Revolution (PCFIR). The PCFIR has four major missions: deliberation and coordination of policies proposed by ministries and committees; promotion of 4IR campaigns to encourage citizens’ participation; establishment of the necessary environment for regulation and organizational reform for publicprivate cooperation; and the development of ecosystems for new industries like smart city and healthcare based on ICT.
The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Information and Communication are at the center of R&D policies for the development and innovation of 4IR related technology. 4IR is only possible when Operation Technology (OT) and Information Technology (IT) are developed in balance. In order to develop and innovate OT, an area in which Korea is regarded as relatively weak, the Korean government supports projects for the six so-called root technologies, including casting, mold, heat treatment, surface treatment, plastic processing, and welding technology. However, most of the response policies for 4IR still favored IT than OT. On top of that, the smart factory policy has been extended to small and medium enterprises. Most SMEs lack the resources to build smart factories, and they consider smart factoring to be a costly expense, regarding smart factory as a threat rather than an opportunity. In this regard, the Korean government has smart factory guidelines and implements systematic support programs to help SMEs better understand and understand smart factory issues.
In order to establish 4IR strategies in manufacturing-based emerging countries, including Morocco, the following measures are important and necessary: (1) long-term R&D plans focusing on the OT sector to overcome technol\logical dependence on advanced countries; (2) convergence of efficient IT-OT; (3) fostering engineering service capacities critical for IT-OT convergence; (4) standardization of technology at national and industrial levels; (5) exploration of new markets and business models; (6) strategic approaches to human resource development; and (7) the determination of horizontal and vertical strategic areas in each country to carry out global cooperation. Morocco has traditionally adopted a market-opening strategy to participate in global value chains, and is seeking to expand its production capacity by attracting foreign investment. The country is taking a similar approach to 4IR technology as it did with its market-opening strategy, and this trend is expected to be strengthened in the future. However, the role of the public sector to support expansion in the private sector through this opening of the market is yet to be established, nor has a proper cooperation platform between the private and public sectors been formed yet. It will be necessary to build a platform to discuss 4IR strategy at the national level, as Korea’s PCFIR serves to comprehensively forecast and analyze demands, and concentrate on supporting primary sectors.
In emerging economies like Morocco, governments and entrepreneurs tend to take an IT-centric approach to 4IR. Morocco has already begun to expand its ICT infrastructure by region, but it needs to establish a data-sharing system between OT and IT. Both the hardware infrastructure and software infrastructure related to 4IR remain under-established. Even in Korea, it is necessary to reform the labor market structure by retraining and redeploying current human resources, as well as fostering new human resources with high capacity for new technologies which are able to make appropriate applications in manufacturing processes. To this end, it is necessary to invest early and intensively focus on areas in which Morocco can lead in the future, based on a careful investigation and analysis of the current status and outlook of Morocco by industry and region, as well as general investment in the labor supply structure (e.g. education). From reform of the public education curriculum to vocational training, we can expect to see demand in the areas of cooperation and business by Korea’s edu-tech industry and educational evaluation system. As Morocco’s understanding of new technologies and education levels vary considerably by region, industry, and income, it will be necessary to conduct overall research and survey on the status and demands of the education sector. We also confirmed a need for joint research between Korea and Morocco on the Moroccan education system, and in particular diagnosis and improvement of engineering education in the country.
There is also a need for technical cooperation between the two countries, especially in the 12 strategic industries specified within Morocco’s Industrial Promotion Plan 2014-2020. As Korea has top-level technologies in many industries such as automobiles and electronics among the 12 strategic industries, it worth considering how to transfer the appropriate level of technology to build Morocco’s production capacity and seek investment of Korean firms in Morocco based on this. This is also important in the sense that Moroccan examples can be used to extend technological cooperation to the Maghreb region as well as to sub-Saharan Africa. In addition to manufacturing, there is a growing demand for bilateral cooperation in agriculture, health care, and renewable energy, which Morocco is concentrating on. As there are many cases where Korean companies have entered the field of official development assistance (ODA) projects in agriculture and health care in Morocco, smart agricultural technology and efficient health care system utilizing big data may support the Morrocan government on these fields. It is necessary to establish a platform to share the Moroccan government’s policy information and to support the entry of Korean companies into the field.
Note: Downloadable document is in Korean.
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