Increased cross-border trade leads business owners to set up South Africa–Mozambique Chamber of Commerce

21 August 2006

Maputo, Mozambique, 21 Aug – Increasing trade between South Africa and Mozambique has led business associations in both countries to set up a South Africa-Mozambique Chamber of Commerce, officials have said.

The refurbishment of Maputo port, which is strategically placed, and a focus on the Mozambique Development Corridor have encouraged movement of goods to the value of 2.8 billion rand year via their shared border.

For logistics companies that are particularly well-positioned for expansion, these moves have been the catalyst for defining new sytrategies.

Edmond Mack, of the sugar division of Cargo carriers, said that the logistics and transport companies listed on the Johannesburg stock exchange that are transporting growing volumes of goods to Mozambique owe it to the location of the port and the construction of infrastructures in Mozambique.

And he added that logistics and transport companies that serve South Africa and Mozambique are benefiting from immense growth, mainly due to Maputo port.

The reason for the attraction of Maputo port is not difficult to understand. Strategically, the location of the port for exporting some products such as fruit and sugar, which contribute largely to the economies of provinces such as Limpopo and Mpumalanga, is closer than that of Durban’s port.

The Mozambique Development Corridor is an infrastructure link between South Africa, Swaziland and Mozambique and, as well as being an obvious transport route, it is also being explored for natural gas and mining as well as for electricity networks.

With commercial agreements being negotiated with China and India and Maputo port being an import exit point onto the Indian Ocean, the importance of this strategically placed corridor cannot be under estimated.

According to Cargo Carriers, cross-border trade is not new as the company began operating in Mozambique in the 1960s with a small sugar operation in Xinavane, an area which has been benefiting from the rejuvenation of its sugar cane industries.

Initially the company only transported sugar cane from the plantations to the factories but later decided to open a branch in Maputo and from there operated a fleet to transport every type of product both within and outside the country. (macauhub)