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President Nyusi arrives in Moscow on August 20, 2019. Picture: Imago Images
Analysts interviewed by DW Africa believe this is a historic visit from which Mozambique will gain if it is able to attract Russian investment, particularly in agriculture and oil and gas exploitation.
The Mozambican head of state, Filipe Nyusi, on Tuesday (20.08) began a working visit to Russia at the invitation of his counterpart, Vladimir Putin, whom he is scheduled to meet.
Mozambican commentators interviewed by DW Africa believe this is a historic moment from which Mozambique could profit if it manages to attract Russian investment in agriculture and gas and oil exploitation.
Nyusi’s visit is the first by a Mozambican head of state to Russia since the dissolution of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) in 1991. The last Mozambican statesman to visit Moscow was Joaquim Chissano, in 1987.
Mozambique-Russia Business Forum
President Nyusi will be in Russia until next Friday (23.08.), and will hold official talks with Russia’s President Putin, participate in the opening of the Mozambique-Russia Business Forum and meet members of the Mozambican community living in Russia.
For Mozambican journalist Boaventura Mandlate, the visit opens up various economic perspectives for Mozambique, especially in the areas of agriculture and mineral resource exploitation.
“I see in this visit the possibility of a very clear emergence of Russia in the exploitation of hydrocarbons (oil and gas). But there is also a lot of other exploitation in this country, like agriculture, that certainly can interest Russia, at this time when world powers are looking for raw materials for their industries,” Boaventura says, adding that “the country could gain if it can attract Russian businesspeople to invest in Mozambique in different areas.”
Russian eyes on Mozambican oil and gas
In this Tuesday’s edition (20.08.), the Mozambican newspaper Noticias writes that the Russian state-owned oil company Rosneft is preparing to open operations in Mozambique as part of the ExxonMobil consortium producing liquefied natural gas in the Rovuma basin.
The Russian Ambassador to Maputo, Alexander Surikov, said in an interview with Noticias that the arrival of the Russian oil company in the Rovuma Basin was awaiting only the final investment decision by the consortium.
Russia also wished to increase the volume of investments in Mozambique, Ambassador Surikov said in an interview with Noticias.
Bilateral trade had increased 25 percent in 2018 compared to 2017, totalling US$115 million, he said, and in the first three months of this year, trade between Mozambique and Russia doubled compared to the same period of 2018, from US$11.2 million to US$24.3 million.
Economic journalist Boaventura Mandlate said that Mozambique needed to do more to attract foreign investment. “It must solve the old problem of the business environment. We need to create ease for doing business which is a very serious problem in our country,” he explained.
Economic and political cooperation
Filipe Nyusi’s visit to Moscow is also seen as a reactivation of political relations between the two countries, according to analyst Fernando Gonçalves.
“Russia has been a long-standing partner for Mozambique since the days of the Soviet Union. A wide range of cooperation instruments between the two countries were affected by the dissolution of the Soviet Union,” Gonçalves says. “I think there is a new opening now for the relaunch of this cooperation.”
We asked Gonçalves what political and diplomatic impacts the visit could have.
“We know that, politically, Russia is one of the great world powers. It is true that it has strained relations with the West, but Mozambique is not part of this equation,” he answers. “The two countries cooperate on a basis where both benefit. So I see no problem with this cooperation.”Source: Deutsche Welle