Portugal will contribute US$13 million to the Enterprise Fund for Portuguese Cooperation (FECOP), a mechanism to support investment in micro, small and medium-sized Mozambican companies, the Mozambican Minister of Industry and Trade said in Maputo Thursday.
Armando Inroga said that the fund would act as a “cushion” for projects facing difficulties in finding funding under “traditional conditions that banks require” and should benefit several sectors.
Announced in 2009 by the Portuguese Government, FECOP initially had a budget of US$9 million and was intended to support business investment projects in the Island of Mozambique, in Nampula (northern Mozambique), where Portugal implements social and economic cooperation programmes.
Earlier this year, on a visit to Mozambique, the Portuguese Prime Minister, Pedro Passos Coelho, announced the relaunch of this cooperation programme with Mozambique, by providing US$13 million to the fund, which will work in collaboration with the Mozambican Banking Association (AMB), representing Mozambican banks with Portuguese shareholders BIM – Banco Internacional de Moçambique (Millennium bim), Banco Comercial de Investimentos (BCI), Moza Banco and Banco Único.
In a recent interview with Mozambican daily newspaper O País, the Portuguese Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Luís Campos Ferreira,said that FECOP may provide investments of up to 17,000 euros to micro enterprises and of between 35,000 and 350,000 euros to small and medium enterprises, including working capital in both cases.
Portugal is one of Mozambique’s main economic cooperation partners and was the second biggest provider of loans in 2013, after China, providing overall funding of US$87.5 million, which increased Mozambique’s total debt to the Portuguese state to US$465.79 million. (macauhub/MZ/PT)