Mozambique: Zambezi Valley Development Agency has 700 million meticais for SMEs - RM
Speakers of the AEZO Workshop hosted by BIP. [Photo courtesy: Beluluane Industrial Park]
Beluluane Industrial Park and Free-trade Zone (BIP) hosted the online Workshop “SEZs: Drivers of Economic Growth and Sustainable Industrialisation – The Mozambican Experience” in partnership with Africa Economic Zones Organisation (AEZO) and with the contribution of Investment & Export Promotion Agency of Mozambique (APIEX), Federation of Mozambican Chambers of Commerce (FMCC) and the Confederation of Economic Associations (CTA).
The event addressed the essential contributions of the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to the growth and development of an economy, playing a critical role in accelerating industrialisation, increasing development and growth, attracting targeted foreign direct investments and domestic investments, growing and diversifying value-added exports and ultimately building a regionally diversified industrial economy.
To debate this key topic, the online event hosted various specialists from prestigious institutions, such as BIP, AEZO, APIEX, United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
Onório Manuel, Beluluane Industrial Park General Manager, presented the Mozambican experience in the field of Economic Zones stating that “since 2000, more than US$ 3 billion have been invested in the Beluluane Industrial Park, which has allowed us to attract 42 companies from 17 different countries, generating 6,500 jobs. We are currently in the process of a nationwide expansion, creating industrial parks to support large anchor projects, ranging from extractives to food industry”.
The parks expansion plan together with the creation of Special Economic Zones will play a critical role in accelerating industrialisation, which will contribute to the growth and development of the economy in different regions throughout the country.
Commenting on the BIP’s expansion plan and the expected economic boom in Mozambique in the coming years, Gregor Binkert, member of the Beluluane Industrial Park board of directors said “we are working on creating Special Economic Zones in areas where there are large scale extraction projects, and at the same time, working to increase local content, skills development, ensuring a positive impact on the local communities”.
With regards to investment plans to stimulate the country’s economic growth, Jaime Comiche, UNIDO Country Director for Mozambique, recommended a strategic approach to Industrial Policy where the public and private sectors, together identify and lift the restrictions that prevent the transformation of the industry. “The Beluluane Industrial Park & Free-trade Zone, which is already a good example of best practice of PPP, can become a magnet of know-how, technology transfer and normative support to inform the industrial policy” stated Jaime Comiche.
Beluluane Industrial Park is a Public-Private-Partnership between the Mozambican Government Agencies for Investment & Export Promotion (APIEX) and Swiss-Mozambican investors. It is the biggest industrial park in Mozambique and offers special tax exemptions and benefits to companies operating in its free-trade zone. The park is strategically situated in the South of Mozambique, where it sits on the backbone of the Maputo Development Corridor, offering the best entry to the Southern African Development Community, Asian and European markets.
Africa Economic Zones Organisation (AEZO) is a continental association consisting of leading public and private institutions in charge of the Development, Management and Promotion of Economic Zones in Africa.
Founded in November 2015 by Tanger Med, Africa Economic Zones Organisation (AEZO) is striving to support African Economic Zones projects and strengthen relationships within its ecosystem with devoted focus on growth and prosperity.
Africa Economic Zones Organisation (AEZO) is guided by its strategic orientations to “foster collective knowledge sharing, provide strategic and technical assistance, connect with international business network and promote sustainable economic models and practices”.
AEZO is counting 80 members representing 45 countries.