Malonda Foundation in talks with UPM to invest US$1 billion in Mozambique’s forestry sector

3 September 2009

Lichinga, Mozambique, 3 Sept – The Malonda Foundation is working with Finnish company UPM with a view to it investing in the forestry sector in Niassa province, northern Mozambique, the chairman of the board, Inocêncio Sotomane told Macauhub.

“We are working with the Finns. At the moment field studies are being carried out,” Sotomane said noting that “the figures thus far are promising.”

Sotomane said that UPM was currently working on environmental impact, social and financial studies.

“By the end of this year there will be a final decision,” he said.

The Finnish company has been working on the studies for over a year and a half, Macauhub learned.

The chairman of the foundation estimated that UPM would invest approximately US$1 billion.

Several companies, mainly from Europe, are investing in the firestry sector in Niassa, brought there by the Malonda Foundation, a body which works ot attract investment to what was considered to be Mozambique’s poorest province.

The Malonda Foundation also works to support investment in the agricultural and tourism sector, and is soon expected to start working in agri-processing.

The chairman of the board of the Malonda Foundation said that the forestry sector in Niassa had so far created 7,000 jobs and expected growth to approximately 12,000 in the next few years.

Sotomane said he projected that over the next 20 years at least a million hectares would be explored in Niassa. (macauhub)