SA businesses explore opportunities in Pemba and Maputo, Mozambique
Photos: A Verdade
The Standard Bank has just created “a space especially dedicated to the service of Chinese businesspeople” in its Maputo headquarters, the chief executive of Mozambique’s third largest commercial bank has revealed. “When we look at the Chinese only we see the shops but we forget, for example, the involvement in big investments like in the oil and gas sector,” Nwokocha explained. The floating liquefied natural gas plant that will extract gas in Rovuma Basin Area 4 has Chinese funding.
For the second consecutive year, Standard Bank brought together some of its Chinese clients with interests in Mozambique to update them on the state of the economy and investment opportunities, and the convenience that the bank provides with its dedicated space where service is provided by managers originally from China.
“They have wide banking experience and are able to offer the best business advice as well as indicate the financial solutions best suited to the needs of each Chinese investor,” Nwokocha explained.
Nwokocha told @Verdade that “the Chinese business portfolio in Mozambique will grow, the trend is for it to grow and be much more relevant. Often when we look at the Chinese we only see the shops but forget, for example, the involvement in large investments, as in the oil and gas sector, where China is well represented”.
Through China’s Industrial and Commercial Bank (ICBC), which holds 20% of the Standard Bank Group, the giant Asian country has funded the US$1.75 billion floating liquefied natural gas plant that Eni and partners are building to extract gas in Area 4 of the Rovuma Basin in northern Mozambique.
Nwokocha said that, “for large Chinese companies, Standard Bank is a preferred destination”, and that this was because the financial institution was at the forefront of the use of Chinese currency in its operations, allowing the conversion of meticais to yuan at its service counters right across Mozambique.
The representative of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Sun Gang, said that in addition to investments in the oil and gas sector, the interest of his country’s entrepreneurs is “in the construction of electricity plants, hydroelectrics and in the construction of infrastructure”, with a view to taking advantage of the US$60 billion the China-Africa Cooperation Forum has available to African countries.
Contrary to the widespread perception that the Chinese mainly import Mozambican wood, the National Foreign Trade Statistics indicate that titanium ores and concentrates are the main Mozambique exports to China. In 2017, exports of the ore reached US$156.5 million and accounted for 62% of all imports of Mozambican products by China. Wood accounted for only 16% of Mozambican exports to the Asian country.
By Adérito CaldeiraSource: A Verdade
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