CAPE TOWN- Participation of the South African companies in the Maputo International Trade Fair could not have come at a more opportune time as the country’s economy is recovering from the challenges it experienced last year, said SA High Commissioner to Mozambique Mandisi Mpahlwa.
Mpahlwa was speaking in Maputo on Sunday at a briefing session organised for the South African business delegation ahead of the opening of the trade fair today.
More than thirty SA companies that are funded by the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) and those supported by the Mpumalanga Economic Growth Agency (MEGA) will participate in the trade fair which runs until September 3.
“The Mozambican economy is in the process of recovering from the challenges that it experienced last year. The government has not only committed to ensuring that the expected economic growth of 4.6% for 2017 is achieved, but it is also reaching out to the private sector and soliciting its active participation and support as an important partner in stimulating the country’s economic growth,” said Mpahlwa. He added that in an attempt to pursue business and gain its confidence, the Mozambican government has recently hosted two major conferences on infrastructure development and investment to engage business.
“The conferences, which outlined the country’s infrastructure development projects and identified investment opportunities in various sectors, demonstrated the government’s resolute determination to accelerate the growth of the Mozambican economy. This is the opportune time for the South African companies to seek investment opportunities and also contribute to strengthening our economic relations and growing trade between the two countries,” said Mpahlwa, adding that the political environment in Mozambique was also conductive to doing business in the country.
He also said that the timing companies’ arrival was also perfect as it came hot on the heels of the high-profile meeting of Bi-National Commission between South Africa and Mozambique that took place on Friday. President Jacob Zuma and his Mozambican counterpart, President Felipe Nyusi attended the meeting where they emphasised the need for increased economic cooperation and invited business people from both countries to take advantage of the opportunities that exist in SA and Mozambique to invest and expand the existing business.
“The participation of the South African companies in FACIM received a particular recognition during the BNC as one of the platforms that business communities in the two countries can use for engaging in possible cooperation and partnerships for increasing trade and investment between our countries,” Mpahlwa said. Mozambique is South Africa’s third largest trade partner in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region after Botswana and Namibia. Trade between the two countries increased from R29 billion in 2012 to R43 billion in 2016. There currently 300 South African companies operating in Mozambique.
- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE