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The Mozambican Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce, Ragendra de Sousa, challenged small and medium-sized Japanese companies to invest in Mozambique, pointing to the production of consumer goods as an opportunity.
“Now is the time for small and medium-sized Japanese companies to discover Mozambique and produce consumer goods,” de Sousa said.
De Sousa was speaking on Wednesday on the sidelines of a conference organized by Exame magazine and Barclays bank called “Economic Partners of Mozambique: Japan”.
Stressing their mutual good relations, de Sousa said that Mozambique wanted to learn from the experience of Japan in a number of areas, with a focus on new technologies.
“The partnership continues to grow and we believe this will continue to be the case in the near future,” de Sousa said.
The improvement of the business environment continues to be one of the main challenges for the Mozambican executive and the promotion of contact between the business community and the government is pointed out as a condition for overcoming this problem.
“There are difficulties, of course, but the government is open to listening to the private sector and, within its abilities, trying to solve the difficulties,” he added.
Japan’s ambassador to Maputo Toshio Ikeda reaffirmed the country’s intention to help the Mozambican people, calling Mozambique as a promising country despite difficulties in the business environment.
“The Mozambican government has to work to remove some of the difficulties facingJapanese investment in the country,” he said, without mentioning specific problems.
Japan is Mozambique’s ninth largest trading partner. Imports of goods and services from Japanese totaled US$108 million in 2016, according to the Mozambican National Statistics Institute, while Mozambican exports amounted to about US$31 million.
In 2016, the Brazilian company Vale sold a minority stake in the Moatize coal mine and half of the Nacala Logistics Corridor to Japan’s Mitsui, and there were also contacts in the natural gas field.
The government of Japan has supported the construction and rehabilitation of bridges across the country as part of a program which donated US$12 million dollars to Mozambique a year ago.
At the time, the then Japanese ambassador, Akira Mizutani, said that “despite the issue of undisclosed debt, Japan will continue to conduct non-reimbursable financial cooperation with Mozambique.”
The two countries signed a bilateral cooperation agreement in 2014 to rehabilitate the port of Nacala, build educational and research centers in Nampula and Maputo and build the current fish market in the capital.
The conference “Economic Partners of Mozambique: Japan” brought together representatives of the Mozambican Government, the Japanese Embassy, the Japanese business federation, JETRO (Japanese External Trade Organisation) and firms Mitsui and Sumitomo.Source: Lusa / Miramar