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All photos: Courtesy of União Europeia em Moçambique
Business in Mozambique will either hold or improve its 2018 billing levels this year, according to most of the 55 European companies responding to a survey presented in Maputo on Monday.
The study was carried out by Eurocam, an association of European chambers of commerce in Mozambique, and presented during a conference promoted by the European Union under the theme “Mozambique–EU: A New Partnership for Investment and Sustainable Employment”.
One of the questions was: “How do you foresee the evolution of your company’s revenue in 2019, comparing it to 2018?” – and only a fifth of respondents think figures will be any worse. The remaining four fifths think that levels will be equal to or better in 2019.
The announcement of final investment decisions by gas megaprojects is eagerly anticipated as an energiser for the entire economy, while the October general elections are a source of uncertainty, according to some responses.
Corruption in Mozambique is considered a very important issue for most companies, another question reveals, and most still feel that they are being hampered by the quota system that limits the hiring of foreign workers at a time when there is still a shortage of skilled labour in the country.
A total of 30 companies considered the quota system to be “restrictive” or “very restrictive”.
Most of them do not rely on bank financing, with several businesspeople at the conference complaining about high interest rates (the benchmark rate is 19.5%), but the business of many is susceptible to currency fluctuation.
Almost everyone predicts that the metical will either fall or remain steady against the US dollar in 2019.
The survey remains open to receive more responses from European companies in Mozambique, a number currently standing at more than 200.
The newly formed Eurocam aims to serve as a platform for discussion and the promotion of improvements in the business environment in Mozambique, and names “confidence as the main value” among economic agents, the association’s director Simone Santi says.
Eurocam brings together five chambers of commerce with presence in Mozambique (Spain, France, Greece, Italy and Portugal), plus representatives from other European countries.
Yesterday’s conference was also the occasion for the presentation of tools associated with the new Africa-Europe Alliance, which aims to create 10 million jobs on the continent over the next five years, as well as mobilising EUR 44 billion of co-financed investment.