Trade between China and Portuguese-speaking countries increases 3.8% from January to May
Picture: Presidencia da Republica de Moçambique
Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi on Monday night urged business people in the central province of Manica to be more aggressive so that they can benefit from the incentives granted by the government in its attempts to improve the business environment.
He threw down this challenge at a dinner in the provincial capital, Chimoio, where he was responding to concerns raised by businesses.
One of the main concerns raised was the provision of services by Mozambican businesses to the foreign investment driven mega-projects, particularly in the area of hydrocarbons. Despite the government’s commitment to what is generally referred to as “local content”, the Manica businesses say they are facing difficulties.
In reply, Nyusi said that when the documents on foreign investment were signed, the need was stressed to prioritise Mozambican companies when the mega-projects were buying goods and services.
But this depended on the local companies taking active advantage of the possibilities. “You need to be aggressive, rather than waiting for the government to organise business”, said Nyusi. “We need a business class that intervenes, that looks for solutions, and competes for projects”.
He warned, however, that the provision of services to mega-projects obeys rules, which Mozambican business people must take into account.
“One of the rules is that the product has to be certified”, said the President. “If it’s not certified, even if it’s good, then it’s nothing. After that, it has to be of good quality, and supplied on a regular basis”.
Nyusi cited the case of businesses that wanted to supply eggs to a large company, to feed 5,000 people every day. But for this to happen, the supplier must show that he is able to meet this demand.
“We have to be demanding with ourselves, so that we can prove we have capacity and we have quality”, he insisted. “You should be people who seek out business, who seek out money”. This was the role of business people and not of the government.
Participants at the dinner also complained at the excessive red tape required in order to benefit from the incentives offered by the government. Nyusi was not sympathetic to this claim.
“I don’t know why you’re murmuring”, he said. “The fiscal system creates incentives, but if you don’t take advantage of them, you are the losers. You must understand the rules. We proclaimed incentives and, even in the response to cyclone Idai (which hit the central provinces in mid-March), there are a range of fiscal incentives”.Source: AIM