Hu Jintao’s visit to Mozambique ends with Chinese support for agricultural sector

12 February 2007

Maputo, Mozambique, 12 Feb – The President of China, Hu Jintao, announced at the end of his 24-hour visit to Mozambique that Beijing would send 10 technicians and agricultural machinery over the next three years to provide training to 100 Mozambican agricultural technicians.

The announcement was made at the end of the visit when Hu and his Mozambican counterpart, Armando Guebuza, were launching a Chinese Agricultural technique Center in Maputo.

The cooperation – which Hu repeatedly called “pragmatic” – was the most talked-about issue over the 24 hours the Chinese head of state was in Mozambique.

On Thursday, at a ceremony held at the presidential palace, several agreements were signed, to a total of US$230 million, including the pardoning of Mozambique’s US$20-million debt to China.

At the same time as Mozambique had its debt pardoned, the country was granted access to new loans from Beijing, with a new credit line of around US$40 million to be offered by China’s Eximbank.

Last year the Eximbank also made available the equivalent of 1.5 billion euros to finance the reconstruction of the Mpanda Nkua dam, the second along the Zambeze river, after Cahora Bassa.

Mozambique was also able to make use of another preferential Chinese loan to the value of US$150 million to finance projects eligible to be part of bilateral cooperation in the 2007-2009 period.

During Hu’s stay, financing agreements were also signed for construction of the future National Stadium as well as increasing the number of Mozambican products that will benefit from tax exemption on entering China, from a current number of 192 to 442, and the category of goods to be sold to China that are free from any charge.

The construction of two technical schools in rural areas is also part of the package of pledges made by the two countries. (macauhub)