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Women dominate the sector that moves millions of dollars. Photo: A street market in Pemba, Cabo Delgado province. Voa Portugues
Cross-border trade, which is emerging as a significant priority for the development of the Mozambican economy, will be a highlight at the Bank of Mozambique meeting today, Wednesday, January 24, in Lichinga, in the northern province of Niassa.
There are no reliable figures, but estimates mention more than US$200 million of exports and about US$400 million of imports through cross-border trade.
It is estimated that between 70 to 80 percent of cross-border traders are women, and that 90 percent of these women depend on this trade as their only source of income.
A recent survey by the Bank of Mozambique indicated that the trade is buoyant, and the metical playing an important role results in large amounts of the Mozambican currency ending up in neighbouring countries’ banks.
The debate on cross-border trade comes at a time when a number of opinion polls advocate the taxation of informal operators, given the predominance of the informal sector in the country.
The president of the Association of Small Importers, Sudecar Novela, does not oppose taxation, but complains about corruption schemes at some border posts reducing the effectiveness of the Simplified Tax for Small Taxpayers regime.
Dozens of Mozambican women in border provinces daily cross back and forth carrying various products to sell.Source: Voa Portugues