The Mozambican Investment Promotion Centre (CPI) approved 487 investment projects worth US$7.102 billion in 2014, the Director-General of the government agency, Lourenço Sambo said in an interview with Macauhub.
The investment exceeded the 2013 figure (US$4.224 billion) by US$2.8 billion, surprising the CPI itself, which expected a retraction by investors, given that 2014 was an election year, and therefore “atypical.”
“Our expectations have been exceeded, because we were expecting a decrease compared to 2013, which did not happen,” said Sambo, linking the results to the “explosion” of the mineral resources sector, especially coal, which has fostered the development of infrastructure, and various investments in transport and services.
However if added to the amount of US$915.3 million resulting from the approval of 138 addenda to investment in previous projects, the total value of investments made through the CPI rises to US$8.109 billion, Sambo noted.
Foreign direct investment (FDI) was higher than national investment, albeit only slightly, as in previous years, totalling over US$2.48 billion compared to national investment of US$2.771 billion and in several of the 487 projects there was an accessory amount of US$2.35 billion related to loans and additional capital.
Commenting on the increase in national investment, which almost quadrupled compared to 2013 (US$569.7 million), Lourenço Sambo said it was based on “a major campaign” in the country to promote special economic zones, especially in Nacala, Nampula province, which attracted “extremely high” investments.
“Probably with the creation of the Mocuba special zone [Zambezia province] we have another hub with large national investment,” said the Director General of the CPI.
Foreign investments, which increased by US$908 million compared to 2013 (US$1.363 million), originated in 45 countries, with the United Arab Emirates (US$891 million), Mauritius (US$547.1 million), South Africa (US$380.3 million), Portugal (US$336.4 million) and China (US$72.8 million) were, respectively, the five largest investors.
The list of top 10 investor countries was completed by the UK with US$56.9 million, Macau (US$27 million), Turkey (US$21.08 million), Kenya (US$16.01 million) and France (US$13.6 million).
On the “interesting” leadership by the UAE and Mauritius, Lourenço Sambo said that this was due to the fact that these countries are now “international financial centres,” given their typical economic policies of so-called tax havens, from which the companies make investments.
“The availability of money causes many companies to seek the financial centre of [emirate] of Dubai. In this case we are talking about 16 projects, including a large one, which is the cone made by Vale Moçambique in the Nacala railroad,” he said, referring to the investments made via the United Arab Emirates.
In terms of forecasts for 2015, Sambo said he expects continued growth in the amount of investments, and does not expect impacts from the oil sector crisis, which may even “bring benefits, with the savings that the fuel price decline represent, which help development of infrastructure.”
The floods that affected the central and northern regions of the country earlier this year will “certainly have some impacts,” according to the CPI, possibly reflected in gross domestic product growth, which may fall by between 0.5 and 1.0 percentage points, to 7 percent or 6.5 percent. (macauhub/CN/MZ/PT)