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The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia, Retino Marsudi, yesterday attended a Mozambique-Indonesia business and investment forum in Maputo focusing on aircraft manufacturing, ships, trains, hand-held tractors, textiles, tourism and banking.
During the debate, attention focused on the potential in the areas of natural resources, especially gas. Eduardo Sengo, representing the Confederation of Business Association of Mozambique (CTA), noted that Mozambique had abundant natural resources yet to be explored.
“At 2,075 megawatts, the Cahora Bassa hydroelectric plant Songo is one of the largest hydropower facilities in Africa. In addition, Mozambique has large sedimentary natural gas basins: three large onshore gas reserves (in Pande, Temane and Buzi) have been discovered and the offshore Rovuma basin is now being explored because of the probable existence of large gas and oil reserves,” Sengo said.
Besides natural resources, Sengo urged Indonesian entrepreneurs to consider agriculture. “It has always been a priority for Mozambique. Agricultural exports represent only 16 percent of total exports, a low figure if we look at the potential of the sector. Despite substantial production growth in recent years, Mozambique remains a net importer of agricultural products,” he said.
Analyzing the economic situation of the country in 2016, Sengo admitted that the Mozambican economy faced challenges resulting from its productive structure and fluctuations in larger world economies affecting the prices of the main raw materials produced by Mozambique. Sengo said these challenges had led to the economy performing below par, and a better year ahead with more production was therefore foreseen.
“The government forecasts economic growth of 5.5 percent, exceeding the 3.9 percent achieved in 2016, and average annual inflation of 15 percent, compared to 27 percent in 2016,” Sengo said. This prognosis, together with the announcement of the cessation of military hostilities in the country, was undoubtedly a contributor to the recovery of business confidence among both national and foreign investors.
The Indonesian foreign minister said that the forum would strengthen ties between the two peoples and aid development in both countries.Source: Diário de Moçambique