Maputo, Mozambique, 11 July – Mozambican exports of manufactured products are expected to show an annual net increase of US$20 million over the next three years, according to a recently published United Nations (UN) report.
In the same period, exports will continue to be mainly sent to South Africa, Zimbabwe and Malawi according to the UN’s Africa Foreign Investor Survey 2005, published by the United Nations Industrial development Organization (UNIDO).
The survey was carried out in 15 sub-Saharan African countries, within the three language areas used on that part of the continent – English, Portuguese and French – and was aimed at analyzing the impact of foreign investment on their respective economies.
Figures obtained from the survey showed that most Mozambican exports (76.9 percent) were sent to regional markets, while 7.5 percent were sent to Europe and just 0.9 percent to the United States.
Economic stability was one of the relevant factors mentioned by foreign investors that were surveyed in Mozambique, while the fact that the country benefited from some bilateral trade initiatives, such as AGOA (African Growth and Opportunity Act) or EBA (Everything But Arms), was seen as having little importance by business owners.
Mozambique was seen negatively in the categories related to legislation, specialization of its workers, presence of key customers and existence of raw materials, in which it had the worst classification of all 15 countries included in the survey.
Despite this the number of foreign investors in Mozambique saying that their businesses were performing in line, above or much above their expectations, increased from 72 percent to 90 percent between 2003 and 2005.
The survey, which covered over 1,200 companies in the 15 countries, concluded that South African businesspeople had the highest average investment in each of the markets, were those who invested most in professional training and paid the highest salaries.
They were also those who showed themselves to be most satisfied with the development of their investments in relation to the expectations they had for them.
Figures from Mozambique’s National Statistics Institute showed that in the first quarter of this year Mozambican exports increased by 36 percent, mainly due to an increase in aluminum sales by Mozal, the heavy aluminum factory on the outskirts of Maputo.
In that period, exports totaled US$534.6 million, against US$393.5 million in the same period of 2005.
Lobster was the most exported product in the first three months of the year (US$166 million), followed by power (US$106 million, or 18 percent less than in the year-ago period). (macauhub)