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Weak capacity and lack of information are preventing Mozambican companies from exploiting the excellent opportunities to export their products to the US without paying customs duties, producers and trade experts say.
The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), part of the American government’s efforts to boost the African continent’s exports, allows Mozambican companies to place 6,500 different products on the US market.
But entrepreneurs and experts say that AGOA is little known among entrepreneurs.
At the moment, Mozambique exports shrimp, tuna and sugar to the US, but sugar’s production goal is compromised, Industry and Commerce Director Josefa Sing Sang says, and if export targets are not met, only shrimp and tuna will remain, very little considering the AGOA’s job creation remit.
Farmer António Niquice however denies that the issue has to do with lack of information. There are export chain constraints and rigid US hygiene requirements too, he says.
The Confederation of Mozambican Economic Associations (CTA), which is supposed to help companies,. especially with market research, says that the lack of information about the AGOA is real enough, but that there are other important aspects.
While Mozambican authorities insist that it is essential to invest in increasing exports, CTA economist Eduardo Sengo says many Mozambican companies have very low levels of production and productivity.Source: Voa Portugues