Chinese buses to boost public transport in Mozambique

19 June 2006

Maputo, Mozambique, 19 June – Thirty-five Chinese-built buses arrived in Maputo port, Mozambique to boost the public transport fleets of seven main Mozambican cities, local authorities said.

After being processed for customs purposes, the Chinese buses will be use don the streets of Maputo, Inhambane, Beira, Quelimane, Tete, Nampula and Pemba, at the service of the cities’ respective public transport companies.

The buses are of the Yutong brand, produced by the Zhengzhou Yutong Bus Co. Ltd located in the Chinese province of Henan, and were imported into Mozambique by Técnica Industrial, of Mozambican group João Ferreira dos Santos.

“It was the first import of buses from China and we were considering the factors of quality and price,” a source from Técnica Industrial told Macauhub.

The same source added that a further 20 Chinese buses would be off loaded in Maputo later this year and this shipment would include four vehicles adapted to run on gas, which would begin a pilot project in the Mozambican capital.

In 2005 the Yutong Automobile Co Ltd exported over 2,400 buses valued at US$140 million.

In 2004, the company, which is China’s largest bus manufacturer, sold US$5 million in vehicles to Cuba, Iran, Chile, Egypt and Bangladesh.

This boost to public transport follows increasingly high prices of public transport over the last nine months set in place by private operators, especially in Maputo, which led the government to invest in public transport by initially importing 10 German-manufactured buses from South Africa, which are already being used in Maputo.

The option of making a bigger order from the Chinese manufacturer was announced by Mozambique’s prime minister, Luísa Diogo, during an official visit to Beijing in September 2005.

“There are clearly more advantages in importing buses from China, because via Europe or America the price is two or three times higher,” Diogo said at the time.

“It makes no sense to buy from third parties, if we can do it directly at a much lower price,” Diogo said.

The use of Chinese buses in Mozambique follows the arrival of the first shipment of trucks manufactured in China, ordered by a Maputo-based company.

The company, Shanghai Comercial, which has already made its third order of Chinese trucks, produced in Hefei by the Anhui Jianghuai Autombile Co., Ltd, has announced it will also import mini-buses and tourist buses from China. (macauhub)