Brazilian businesspeople end tour of southern Africa in Johannesburg

16 November 2009

Johannesburg, South Africa, 16 Nov – The Brazilian business mission to Southern Africa ended its tour of Angola, Mozambique and South Africa Thursday in Johannesburg where Minister Miguel Jorge attempted to solve issues of a commercial nature.

During a meeting between Brazil’s Development, Industry and Foreign Trade Minister, Miguel Jorge, and South Africa’s Minister for Industry and Trade, Rob Davies, the two governments signed a deal to try to solve trade problems that block exports and imports of goods from both countries.

One of the main obstacles involves the sale of Brazilian pork as it is affected by restrictions imposed by the South African government, which has alleged problems with health and hygiene conditions to veto the entry of pork from Brazil.

However, the Brazilian authorities have said that the products meets all international standards and there is no reason for the ban, with ministers Miguel Jorge and Rob Davies showing an interest in finding a solution to the stalemate and ending the controversy.
According to Jorge, by February of 2010 this and others issues will be solved.

The Brazilian business tour began on 9 November in Angola, where Minister Jorge was met by Angola’s president, José Eduardo dos Santos, to whom he delivered a letter from President Lula da Silva stating Brazil’s interest in closer economic relations with Angola.

Angola is one of the African countries with the largest Brazilian populations, with an estimated 40,000 Brazilian residents.

In Maputo, Mozambique, the second stop on the mission’s tour, Jorge met with the ministers for Industry and Trade, António Fernando, Transport and Communications, Paulo Zucula, Energy, Salvador Namburete, and with representatives of the Finance Ministry, Ministry for Public Works and the Bank of Mozambique.

One of the official meetings was between representatives of the Mozambican government and the Committee for Financing and Guarantee of Exports (Cofig) – linked to Chamber of Foreign Trade (Camex), Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Económico e Social (BNDES) and the Bank of Brazil, to discuss possible credit lines from the Brazilian government for Mozambique.

Brazilian investment in Mozambique is still insignificant and is not included in the latest figures published by the Centre for Investment Promotion (CPI) which showed that Brazil was ranked 30th in 2006, in the list of countries with investments in Mozambique, rising to 11th in 2007.

In terms of large Brazilian investments in Mozambique, the Vale company is of note in coal mining at Moatize in Tete province, with investment of US$1.6 billion, and is expected to produce around 11 million tonnes of mineral coal per year. Brazilian construction company Camargo9 Corrêa is also well-positioned in the project to build the Mpanda N’Kuwa Hydroelectric facility, also in Tete province.

During the visit Jorge said that Brazil was waiting for an official request from Mozambique to formalise funding for the re-conversion of Nacala airport and the coal terminal at the port of Beira, for which funding of US$300 million has already been approved in Brasilia.

The Brazilian delegation, made up of 90 businesspeople represents, amongst other production sectors, food and drink, agri-business, construction, energy, machinery, cosmetics, electronic materials, footwear, infrastructures and textiles., as well as government officials.

In January, a mission of Brazilian businesspeople visited Morocco, Libya, Algeria and Tunisia. Five months later, in June, a Brazilian delegation also travelled to Ghana, Senegal, Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea. (macauhub)