Mozambique: Eight Per Cent Growth Planned for 2014

Maputo — The Mozambican government's Economic and Social Plan for 2014, introduced by Prime Minister Alberto Vaquina on Wednesday into the country's parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, sets a target for economic growth of eight per cent.

This would mean a growth in nominal GDP from the expected final figure for this year of 15.365 billion US dollars to slightly more than 17 billion dollars. Based on the population projections from the 2007 census, this will raise GDP per capita from 631 to 680 dollars.

Other key macro-economic targets, Vaquina said, were to keep the average 12 monthly inflation rate during the year to no more than 5.6 per cent, and to constitute net international reserves of 3.023 billion dollars, enough to cover 3.7 months of imports of goods and services.

The government aims for exports to reach 4.774 billion dollars in 2014 - a 21 per cent increase on the projected figure of 3.788 billion dollars for this year.

Breaking the projected growth figures down by area, the plan sets a target of 7.1 per cent growth for agriculture. Grain production should rise by 3.4 per cent from an estimated 2.22 million tonnes this year to 2.29 million tonnes. Cassava production should also grow by 3.4 per cent (from 5.81 to 6.01 million tonnes). The target for pulses (beans and groundnuts) is a growth rate of 11.4 per cent.

As for cash crops, the major expansion planned is for sugar cane. Production is expected to rise by 20.6 per cent, from 3.47 to 4.38 million tonnes. Cotton production is planned to rise by 9.1 per cent (from 100,000 to 110,000 tonnes), while the plan forecasts a rise of 11.9 per cent in cashew nut production (from 83,000 to 94,000 tonnes).

Mining and hydrocarbon production is expected to rise by eight per cent. This increase is concentrated in the coal mines of Tete province. The amount of coking coal mined should rise from six million tonnes this year to 9.45 million tonnes in 2014 (a rise of 57.6 per cent). Thermal coal production is expected to rise from 1.5 to 4.95 million tonnes (230 per cent).

The production of ilmenite (iron titanium oxide), the main ore mined from the heavy sands at Moma, on the coast of the northern province of Nampula, should rise by 16 per cent from 905,000 to 1.05 million tonnes.

But tantalite production will collapse by 95 per cent (from 982,000 to just over 50,000 tonnes), because one of the mines in Zambezia province has closed.

Manufacturing production is expected to grow by 5.6 per cent.

Cement production should rise by 11.9 per cent, because five new factories (all in Maputo province) are expected to start their operations in 2014.

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