20 March 2013

Mozambique and UAE Set Up Working Groups

Maputo — Mozambique and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have decided to set up three working groups which, over the next two or three weeks, will define the priority areas for UAE investment in Mozambique.

Mozambican President Armando Guebuza announced the working groups at a press conference in Dubai on Tuesday, marking the end of his four day working visit to the Emirates.

"We felt they wanted to get to know the country better in order to invest in various areas", said Guebuza. "But in order to have more concrete results, we decided to create three working groups which will define the priorities. On this basis we will stimulate investments".

"We want a lot of things and so do they", added the President. "But for this, priorities must be established"

As for expectations about Mozambique's natural gas or even oil, Guebuza noted that the way the matter has been raised gives the impression that these resources are already being exploited.

"This creates false expectations", he warned. "The gas in the Rovuma Basin is not yet being exploited, and coal is still at its initial stage. We always said that, in order to advance, Mozambique depends on agriculture, which is the fundamental factor in our economy, on tourism and on services. In the last 10 or 15 years the country has grown at more than seven per cent a year on the basis of these sectors".

Guebuza guaranteed that the government does not intend to abandon these areas. On the contrary, it will invest more in them, "because the government does not desire to work only with coal and natural gas. Our policy is for the diversification of the economy".

Guebuza left Dubai on Tuesday night to return to Maputo.

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