“Mozambique is the pearl of the Indian Ocean and provides endless investment opportunities,” Mozambican President Armando Emilio Guebuza told the participants of the Mozambique-UAE Business Forum in Dubai. “We want to use this forum as a launching pad to further improve economic and business relations between the two countries.”
Guebuza said Mozambique treats the UAE as the most favourite trade partner in the Middle East and the forum will further improve business relations. At present, the UAE is the largest foreign direct investor in Mozambique with investments of over $250 million in 2012, according to the Investment Promotion Centre of Mozambique, or CPI.
The forum was attended by top government officials and prominent businessmen from both countries.
“We want you to come and invest and we will welcome you with open arms,” the president told UAE businesses. “We believe banks, insurance houses, financial companies could attract more businesses from here, if they open offices in our country,” he added.
The country provides significant investment opportunities in sectors such as construction, agriculture, transport, energy and renewable energy, among others.
Guebuza also specifically mentioned about a potential area for investment in building the Mozambique’s irrigation infrastructure and developing the country’s 2,700km coastline.
The forum was also addressed by Emaar Properties chairman Mohamed Alabbar, in which he called Mozambique as a gas capital of Africa. He appreciated the business-friendly policies of the government and indicated the company’s investment interest in Mozambique.
“The UAE and Dubai are a real platform for relationship between Mozambique and the Arab world,” he said.
Lourenco Sambo, director-general of CPI-Mozambique, said that the objective of this forum is to explore investment opportunities between the two countries.
“We offer an attractive and friendly business environment for investors, as well as access to so many other markets in the region and outside [of it].”
Sambo said the country is focused on providing fiscal and customs incentives for foreign investors, and to promote linkages between national and international companies.
He added that Mozambique is not only an open door to a population of over 23 million, but also to over 250 million consumers in the wider Southern African Development Community. Sambo said that there is tremendous potential for investments in all aspects of the gas sector.
He also highlighted investment opportunities in power generation projects including hydro sources, coal, natural gas and solar plants.
Sambo said the country offers a series of tax credits including about 10 per cent for investments in areas other than Maputo City, while investors can also benefit from up to a five per cent reduction in taxable income if they offer professional training to Mozambicans.
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