Mozambique’s strategic interest in the African Continental Free Trade Area is centred on stimulating the internationalization of the economy and the private sector
“Mozambique awaits the ratification by the Assembly of the Republic, later this year, of the Resolution of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which together with the National Implementation Strategy and the Tariff Offer, will make the implementation of this agreement effective,” Minister of Industry and Commerce Silvino Moreno said at the opening of the Forum of Executive Directors of the SADC Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) sub-committee.
The agreement will “boost the competitiveness of free trade in goods and services, demanding from financial institutions, mechanisms and integrated and innovative solutions for access to financial resources for a better and effective participation of Southern Africa in the continental market,” the minister explained.
“Implementation of the AfCFTA: Assessing the Readiness of the SADC Region and the Role of Development Finance Institutions” was the theme of the forum recently held in Maputo, and attended by government figures and around 120 dignitaries, 66 of them from neighbouring countries in the SADC region.
In his speech, Minister Moreno said he recognized that “the success of implementing these variables also depends on the mobilization and availability of accessible financial resources and with alternative options to the normal mechanisms and models. Development finance institutions (DFIs) are the ones which, attentive to this regional reality in an integrated way, can and must play an active role”.
In the case of Mozambique, which was represented by Gapi-SI, as co-organiser, “the priorities that the Government intends to achieve through the national program ‘Industrialize Mozambique’, as a medium and long-term approach, with regional and continental impact, are primarily oriented to valuing local production, contributing to an increase in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and generating sustainable employment with a view to meeting the objectives of Agenda 2063”.
For Rafael Uaiene, chairman of the Board of Directors of Gapi, “the Maputo meeting is of capital importance, especially if one considers that this region has a lot of work to do to ensure the successful implementation of the AfCFTA, since it has the potential to spur industrialization, job creation and investment, thus enhancing its competitiveness and that of Africa as a whole”.
Mozambique aspires to become a regional, continental and global centre of production and logistics distribution, which will require significant financial capitalization investments, mainly for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), as well as for women and young entrepreneurs.
The government highlights the importance of the role of DFIs in the SADC region in the implementation and realization of the AfCFTA objectives, mainly because the SADC is an economic bloc which, before the COVID-19 pandemic, presented the highest growth rates.
To better face the challenges posed by AfCFTA, the SADC has presented a framework of medium and long-term policy measures, prioritizing: Integrated and galvanizing grassroots industrialization of internationalization and local enhancement of resources and potentialities, competitive development and modernization of value chains of reference, boosting and sustainable use of logistics infrastructures and trade facilitation in a logic of regional corridors with continental and global impact based on digitization, promotion of investments and development of SMEs based on local content and enhancement of human capital through vocational specialization and applied research.
Mozambique’s strategic interest in the African Continental Free Trade Area is centred on stimulating the internationalization of the economy and the private sector, through the increase and diversification of exports and investments, the strengthening of its geo-strategic position in relation to trade in services, of transport infrastructure and corridors as a driver of trade facilitation.