Mozambique: Portugal makes debt pardon of US$393.4 million official

2 July 2008

Maputo, Mozambique, 2 July – Portuguese Finance Minister, Fernando Teixeira dos Santos, Tuesday made the pardon of Mozambique’s debt, estimated at US$393.4 million, official.

During the ceremony, Teixeira dos Santos noted that the “restructuring and debt pardon” of Mozambique “is not a bilateral initiative of Portugal,” but rather “an initiative of the international community” to which the country is associated.

“Portugal is very happy to join this initiative, but this is not a bilateral initiative of Portugal.” It is an initiative of the international community, of the more developed countries, within the scope of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank to relieve highly indebted poor countries,” he said.

As well as the debt pardon agreement, Tuesday’s ceremony also served to grant Mozambique a 100 million-euro credit line, as well as for an agreement on technical cooperation and assistance between the two finance ministries.

Mozambican minister Manuel Chang noted that Mozambique’s remaining debt totalled US$3 billion.

Meanwhile, Portugal may fund construction of grain silos in Mozambique in order to create reserves to respond to the food crisis, a project which is estimated to cost US$10 million.

The Mozambican government plans to build silos with a capacity of 5 tonnes each, a project that is expected to be carried out in three years(2008-2010).

The silos will mainly be in the provinces of Niassa and Nampula (north), Zambézia and Manica (centre). (macauhub)