Maputo — The annual Business Environment Index (IAN) for Mozambique, published last week by the consultancy company KPMG indicates that a considerable number of businesses are dissatisfied with the services provided by the public sector.
The IAN is based on the perceptions of economic agents of key factors that influence economic activity in the country, and an analysis of economic, social, political and institutional variables that affected business performance in the first half of 2012.
“The efforts under way to improve the provision of services are not yet visible for the majority of citizens”, claimed the study, which is a joint initiative of KPMG, and the confederation of Mozambican Business Associations (CTA).
Of the business people interviewed for the study, only two per cent said there were “very satisfied” with public services, and 37 per cent said they were “satisfied”. 26 per cent said they were dissatisfied.
However, the usefulness of this exercise is thrown into doubt by the huge number who seem to have no opinion – 27 per cent were neither satisfied nor dissatisfied.
The study also claimed that corruption is one of the main factors that makes it difficult to improve the Mozambican business environment.
“Corruption is a factor that discourages potential investment, increases costs and reduces business opportunities”, said the study. “Consequently it reduces economic growth”.
14 per cent of those interviewed said they had been subjected to “situations of corruption” in 2012. Cases reported include bribery in public tenders and illicit payments demanded by customs officials.
The government can, however, take comfort from the 86 per cent of interviewees who said they were not subjected to demands for bribes in tenders or at customs.
As for bribes connected with tax payments, 33.4 per cent of the interviews said this problem always happens – but the other 36.7 per cent said it had never happened to them.