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The Soalpo neighbourhood in Chimoio city, capital of Manica province in central Mozambique, will be transformed into a Special Economic Zone, Prime Minister Carlos Agostinho do Rosario announced on Thursday, during a meeting held with former workers at Textáfrica factory, Notícias reports today.
The idea of transforming the neighbourhood into a Free Industrial Zone, said the Prime Minister, is meant to create the conditions for national and foreign investment to take place, thus enabling the emergence of business companies and consequent job creation for the local residents, especially for young people, some of them descending from former company workers.
Carlos Agostinho do Rosário announced that all industrial, commercial and other ventures to be implemented in the future Soalpo Special Economic Zone are to be exempt from paying taxes and customs duties on equipment imports, so as to ease business for entrepreneurs wishing to invest in the project.
The Government, according to the Prime Minister, is committed to continuing efforts to identify partners to invest in Soalpo’s Special Economic Zone.
On the occasion, Carlos Agostinho do Rosário also announced that the Government has already paid US$1 million to the International Bank of Mozambique (Millenium BIM), an amount owed by Textáfrica to this financial institution, as a result of a loan guaranteed by the houses where former workers currently reside.
The debt, according to Agostinho do Rosário, was paid through the State Holdings Management Institute (IGEPE), allowing for the houses to become the property of former workers. To this end, the Prime Minister announced the beginning of the process of assigning real estate property titles to new owners.
According to the Prime Minister, in a first phase of this process, 50 houses will be delivered next week to the same number of families living in the neighbourhood while the process of registration of heirs to assign the documents of the remaining houses is underway.
On the occasion, Textáfrica’s administrator and workers’ representative Paulo Sandramo responded to the Prime Minister’s announcement by saluting the Government’s effort and stating that this is one of the most promising ways out of the current state of abandonment of Textáfrica, whose bankruptcy left more than 3,000 people jobless. Sandramo called on workers to continue to collaborate with the Government in this endeavour, stating that it is important to cherish the initiative because it is beneficial to boost Soalpo.
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