5 November 2012

Mozambique: State to Participate in Special Economic Zones

Maputo — The Mozambican state plans to participate in all large development projects to be implemented in the Accelerated Development Economic Zones.

There are three such zones – the Beleluane Free Zone around the Mozal aluminium foundry in Maputo province, and the recently established Nacala Special Economic Zone, in the northern province of Nampula, and the Manga-Mungassa Special Economic Zone, in the central city of Beira.

Since 2009, 50 projects have been approved for the Nacala Special Economic Zone, amounting to a total investment of 1.2 billion US dollars. The Manga-Mungassa Special Economic Zone, set up in May, will be managed by the Chinese private firm, the Dingsheng International Investment Company, which plans to invest 500 million US dollars.

To facilitate participation of the Mozambican state in the projects that will be developed in these areas, the Office for the Accelerated Development Economic Zones (GAZEDA) on Monday signed a memorandum of understanding with the Institute for the Management of State Holdings (IGEPE).

According to IGEPE chairperson Apolinario Panguene, government participation in the projects seeks to give greater security to investors, while guaranteeing greater revenue for the state.

The state could participate by investing capital in projects, by providing infrastructure, or by simply holding a certain percentage in the business.

“Investors want the comfort of the state, and having the government as a partner is always a good thing”, said Panguene.

He said that IGEPE has been contacting potential investors to persuade them to set up businesses in the Accelerated Development Economic Zones. “We have various ideas, various projects. We are attracting investors to these zones”, he said. “State participation is discussed case by case”.

The General Manager of GAZEDA, Danilo Nala, also believed that the presence of the State would be added value for attracting investors.

“We need a strong partner such as IGEPE to attract more investors, who always seek state participation particularly in medium and large scale projects”, he said.

The partnership between IGEPE and GAZEDA responds to an appeal made by Finance Minister Manuel Chang in August to find means of ensuring viable state participation in major development projects.

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