Maputo, Mozambique, 14 Jan – China intends to continue aiding Mozambique and encouraging Chinese entrepreneurs to invest in the country, Chinese Commerce Minister Chen Deming stated during a visit to the country.
Chen made his comments on Wednesday in Maputo, where he and Mozambican Finance Minister Manuel Chang signed two agreements, the first of which grants Mozambique an interest-free credit of US$14.7 million for additional financing of work to build the National Stadium.
The second agreement involves a US$7.3 million donation to be applied to projects still to be determined by the two governments.
The director of the National Stadium, Celso Magaia, recently announced that “construction delays have caused a change of plans and the country will only have the stadium around six months after the 2010 World Cup, the event which was the main target when it was conceived.”
The National Stadium is one of the most modern in Africa, with capacity for 42,000 spectators. It had been presented by Mozambican authorities as a means to convince national football teams playing in the World Cup, held this June in neighbouring South Africa, to conduct some of their training in Mozambique.
The Mozambican minister, Manuel Chang, said the two agreements involved more than just providing funds and were “an unequivocal expression of friendship and cooperation and of China’s willingness to accomplish public investment projects involving the development of infrastructures in our country.”
Cooperation between Mozambique and China has centred on the areas of politics/diplomacy, agriculture and infrastructures, with a focus on public investment programmes.
Statistical data without monetary values cited by the Maputo-based newspaper Noticias indicate that bilateral trade grew by nearly 20 percent in 2009, with Mozambique exporting to China 30 percent more than in the previous year.