Industrial sector is main target of Chinese investment in Mozambique

28 November 2011

Maputo, Mozambique, 28 Nov – China’s presence in the Mozambican economy has been on the increase and the Mozambican industrial sector is the main target of investments according to an analysis by Mozambique’s institute for Social and Economic Studies (IESE).

In the latest edition of the “Ideias” bulletin published by IESE in Maputo, analyst Sérgio Chichava said that in 2010 the industrial sector had received the biggest slice of Chinese investment by number of projects proposed to the Centre for Investment Promotion (CPI), by capital to be invested (71 percent of the total) and by jobs created.

The south of the country, particularly the city and province of Maputo, has also been a favourite for Chinese businesspeople, receiving over 85 percent of the total amount invested.

The CPI figures for the last few years, “show that the Chinese economic presence in Mozambique has been growing year by year putting this emerging economy amongst the top ten investors in Mozambique since 2007 until now,” said the Mozambican analyst.

Even so, direct Chinese investment in 2010 was significantly below that of the traditional investors in Mozambique – Portugal and South Africa.

In 2010 the CPI approved 13 investment projects from Chinese companies worth US$38.6 million, a rise of almost 30 percent against the previous year.

This figure is around half of the “peaks” of entry of Chinese investment in the country, in 2008 and 2007 – US$76.8 million and US$60 million, respectively.

As well as industry (71 percent of the total), Chinese investments focused on construction (21 percent), services (6 percent), agriculture and agri-industry (2 percent).

Most of the investment and jobs created are the result of three industrial projects, the biggest of which was that of the Henan Haode Mozambique Industrial Park, with a view to establishing a textile and clothing industry in Marracuene district (US$26.5 million).

This is followed by those of China Chemical Engineering Second Construction Mozambique (CCESCC Mozambique) in Matutuíne, Southern Mozambique, in the construction and public works sector (worth US$7 million) and of Gigante África – Sociedade Unipessoal, Lda., for production and sale of furniture (US$4.5 million).

After Maputo, the provinces that received most Chinese investment last year with Nampula (US$1.87 million) and Inhambane (US$2 million).

“If they all goes head it s projected that the Chinese investment projects approved in 2010 will create 2,391 jobs, which corresponds to 3.5 percent of the 67,500 jobs that the Mozambican government projected would be created by the private sector this year,” writes Chichava.

Maputo will also be the province that benefits most from job creation (around 77 percent), followed by Nampula, Niassa and Inhambane.

According to the latest official figures from China’s customs service, between January and September 2011, Mozambique was China’s fourth-largest trading partner amongst the eight Portuguese-speaking countries.

It bought US$529 million’s worth of goods from China (38.02 percent) and received US$153 million (23 percent more) for the goods it sold.

In total trade between China and the Portuguese-speaking countries rose 26.69 percent in the first three quarters of the year to US$86.427 million. (macauhub)