Mozambique: Paralysed Textile Factory Sold Off

Maputo — The paralysed Riopele textile factory, located in Marracuene district, some 30 kilometres north of Maputo, has been sold off to a consortium formed by the Mozambican company Intelec holdings, and three Portuguese companies, Crispim Abreu, Mundiflos and Mundo Textil.

The deed of sale was signed on Friday in Maputo by representatives of the consortium and of the Mozambican government's Institute for the Management of State Holdings (IGEPE).

Speaking at the ceremony, IGEPE chairperson Apolinario Panguene described the acquisition of Riopele by the Luso-Mozambican consortium as "a courageous gesture" since this textile factory has been silent for many years.

"IGEPE is open for any support necessary so that Riopele can contribute to the growth of the Mozambican economy", he declared.

The process of selling Riopele began about a year ago with an identification of the former shareholders who are now scattered across the globe. An initial attempt to sell the factory to a Chinese concern failed, and then Intelec and its Portuguese partners stepped into the breach.

Panguene said that Riopele would be an important unit for the development of Mozambique, which currently faces a major crisis in the textile and clothing sector. All of Mozambique's major textile factories closed down in the 1980s and 90s, thanks to the effects of the war of destabilizations, the obsolescence of the machinery, and the flooding of the Mozambican market with cheap Asian textiles, and second hand clothing from Europe and America,

The consortium says that Riopele will be part of a large agro-industrial project. They promise to present all the details of this project next Wednesday.

The chairperson of the Intelec board is Salimo Abdula, former chairperson of the Confederation of Mozambican Business Associations (CTA).

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