Mozambican government and employers to debate business constraints

19 October 2010

Maputo, Mozambique, 19 Oct – The Mozambican government and major employers will gather this coming November to debate the main constraints on doing business in the country, reports the Maputo-based state newspaper Noticias.

The daily specifies that Mozambican entrepreneurs will be represented by the national Confederation of Economic Associations. As in previous years it should insist on the need for far-reaching reforms and less bureaucratic interference in investment.

The conference will take place at a time when the country’s metical has been slipping against the main transaction currencies (rand and dollar). This has caused rising inflation and consequently a higher cost of living for most Mozambicans.

At the 2008 gathering the private sector complained about the process for reimbursing value added tax (VAT), holding that it was less than transparent and took a long time, sometimes causing treasury problems in companies. The government/employers meeting was not held in 2009 due to general elections.

In an interview published last April in Noticias, Finance Minister Michael Chang nevertheless said that the VAT reimbursement rate was “satisfactory”, despite criticism by economic players. He argued that return rates were close to 100 percent as a result of thorough reforms in the tax administration.

Also regarding taxes, the private sector would like to see the long promised independent tax courts to begin functioning as soon as possible, thus providing an outlet for litigation in this area.

Noticias added that one major issue to be discussed at the meeting concerns the need for unified economic inspections to avoid situations where company managers have to deal with multiple inspectors, each with different requirements. (macauhub)