Maputo, Mozambique — On 17 and 18 February 2014, the Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Lilianne Ploumen, visited Mozambique in order to promote and strengthen economic relations between the two countries.
The Minister led a delegation of 35 Dutch companies in the sectors of gas, energy and maritime logistics, as well as NGOs and academic institutions.
A symposium on "Local Content and Corporate Social Responsibility" was held on February 18. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the CTA, represented by Rogerio Manuel and the Netherlands-African Business Council (NABC), represented by Elizabeth Van Loon-Muller. This memorandum aims to promote business opportunities, build lasting relationships between the Dutch and Mozambican entities, transfer knowledge and develop expertise. The CTA and NABC common goal is to establish links between large companies and SMEs through the creation of training programs.
Henrique Cossa, Adviser at the Ministry of Mineral Resources, presented the proposed policy on corporate social responsibility in the extractive industry.
Alexander Boertje of Shell discussed the success factors of sustainable development: (i) focus on training, (ii) starting with small projects, (iii) transparency in operations, (iv) creating tangible benefits for local communities. He concluded : "Sustainable development is included in everything we do."
Fernando Songane, from Centro Terra Viva, said it was necessary to take into account local conditions and highlighted that monitoring and evaluation were important.
The seminar ended with the presentation of the best practices of local content by members of the NABC roundtable.
At a press conference, Lilianne Ploumen explained that the Netherlands has extensive experience in gas exploration and transparent financial management of the funds generated.
"We explore these resources for many years and the problems we faced can also serve as a lesson for Mozambique, we will not only share the successes related to the exploitation of natural resources, but also the difficulties, so that Mozambique does not suffer the problem of Dutch disease." (Dutch disease: economic concentration/dependence).
She concluded: "We want to provide a comprehensive approach to knowledge , it is very important to train people, we want to invest in the long term."