Mozambican Minister of Industry and Trade, Carlos Mesquita, in the wake of his participation as one of the most-anticipated speakers at the Global Business Forum Africa 2021, paid an official visit to the Pavilion of Mozambique, within the Sustainability district of Dubai’s Expo 2020 event.
Minister Mesquita and his entourage were greeted by the organisers responsible for the creation, design and construction of the space, which took 4 years from planning to final implementation, the Minister was told. The ideas and concepts behind the project, whose aim is to showcase to a global audience of international visitors the very best the country has to offer, were praised by the Minister, who stated during his visit that “although the space here is small in size, it manages to show how diverse and full of beauty and natural resources our beloved land is”.
Carlos Mesquita, who has been sworn in as Minister of Industry and Trade in January 2020 – having previously served as the country’s Minister of Transport and Communications since 2015 – addressed a diverse audience, composed of several government officials and businesspeople, for about 20 minutes, where he detailed several key investment areas which the Mozambican government hopes investors can capitalise on and bring about economic growth: tourism, agriculture, aquaculture, mining, energy and infrastructure.
“We have got about 800.000km², out of which 36% is fertile land. Do we have commercial agriculture? Not yet. Right now, we have been exploring hectares of land in a simple manner, as long as it feeds the families, that’s good and we accept that. But I think now is the time for us to go beyond that. This is where you, the investors and private capital, come in. There are opportunities aplenty, and our government is willing.”
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Pointing to one of the many decorative elements present in Mozambique’s pavilion, a picture of an idyllic turquoise beach, the Minister said that:
“Here you have the sea, depicted as one of the many beautiful beaches we have back home, to illustrate not only our tourism potential, but also the need for development in infrastructure. Infrastructure is required to connect us even more to our hinterlands, which is comprised of countries like Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia, Tanzania, Eswatini and also South Africa. We are of strategic importance to their logistics ambitions, as you would imagine. They all come to do tourism in Mozambique, as well as business, and we are happy to increase that manifold in the coming years. How can we do that? By facilitating laws and regulations that match the demands and interests of the private sector. As fas as the government is concerned, we are keeping close and constant dialogue with the private sector. That is one of the pillars we have to sustain and support. We must motivate them, ignite them, we constitute PPPs and make sure their interests match our own, in order to move forward as one.
“If you want to come as a foreign direct investor, you are more than welcome. Our norms and regulations are very kind, very smooth, we have dedicated institutions such as APIEX and BNI Bank, which were present in the Global Business Forum Africa for this very reason, not only to attract investment but also to create meaningful connections and serve as a safe haven for everyone wishing to take advantage of our willfulness and great disposition to do business and achieve sustainable growth”.
Following his speech, officials, guests and visitors were treated to a taste of Mozambican culture, through the vibrant vocals and chords sang in one of the many dialects which make up the native language heritage of Mozambique.
As the music performance came to a close, official representatives of Russia, Myanmar and 3 other nations presented the Minister with gifts, while expressing their admiration for the country’s diversity and openness to business, as well as the promise of closer cooperation.