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João José Macaringue

President, Mozambique Institute of Export Promotion (IPEX)

Rogério Manuel

President, Confederação das Associaçíµes Económicas de Moçambique (CTA)

Agencies tasked with improving awareness of Mozambique's trade potential internationally are playing a key role in supporting the economy.

What have been your companies’ main achievements?

JOAO JOSE MACARINGUE IPEX is a government institution with the objective of assisting SMEs seeking international markets. Many of these SMEs are producing, but have no idea how or where to sell, or into which markets they can channel their products. We assist them throughout the whole process in order to create the skills to produce and fulfill the needs of the international market.

ROGERIO MANUEL The main achievement of our 18 years in business has been the institutionalization of a private-public dialogue and consolidation of a partnership with the government. This has helped to pursue reform initiatives. CTA has grown as an organization, putting us in a position to meet the demand for reforms in Mozambique.

How would you describe the current level of Mozambique’s international trade?

JJM Although international interest has increased, the current account is booming because of the country’s natural resources. Nevertheless, we recognize that the importance of a sustainable economy depends on agriculture because the country is agriculture-based. That is why we think that to be sustainable in the long term, we have to become involved in agro-processing by adding value to our products. We are no longer interested in selling raw materials, which is why we are in the process of talking to investors and inviting them to come and set up processing plants. We are still not satisfied with the volume we are seeing, although we are exporting to Europe and even to the US.

What are some of the major SME operations in Mozambique, and what are the main challenges they face?

RM The lack of a reliable national database of companies makes it difficult for analysts and policymakers to get a clear perspective of businesses operating in different sectors and provinces. However, several studies reveal that access to credit, technology, and land remain major challenges for SMEs. Operating in Tete and Moatize, there are nine coal mining companies including Vale Mozambique, Rito Tinto Mines of Benga, Mine of Moatize, JSPL, Mines of Revubué, Mid West 1151, Rio Tinto Coal Zambezi and Nkondeze; this group of companies invested $8.5 billion in 2012, which represented approximately 60-70% of GDP. In Nampula the main mining operations are the heavy sands Moma, Kenmare, and more recently the heavy sands of Sangage in the Angoche district, operated by the Chinese company Haiyu Mozambique Mining Company.

What are your objectives for the next few years?

JJM We want to develop, and increase the country’s potential to become a global player, starting first with the region. We are confident that the enthusiasm and commitment arising from the recent elections, and the clarity and vision of the incoming president, will contribute tangibly to development. Our target is SMEs, which if supported are likely to improve not only the welfare of those working in them, but of the country as a whole. That underlines the key role of IPEX, which requires resources that are often scarce. Yet I think that government investment within the institute is widely recognized as a facilitator of socioeconomic development.

RM In terms of the CTA’s role as the leader of Public-Private Dialogue (DPP) to improve the business environment, the priority is to reform the current DPP model, and the CTA is already working on a blueprint to this end. Another critical consideration is Mozambique’s need for a policy on local content and an aligned industrial policy, to ensure that the benefits of natural resource exploitation are also extended to Mozambicans, and to set up bases for industrial development and structural transformation.

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