Maputo — The European Investment Bank (EIB) on Wednesday signed an agreement with the Mozambican commercial bank Moza Banco to support investments of small and medium companies (SMEs).
The EIB is making finance of five million euros (6.9 million dollars) available to the SMEs and this sum will be matched by Moza Banco.
According to a press release from the EIB, this is part of a broader programme to support private sector investment in Mozambique. That programme involves a total of 40 million euros, and will be agreed with several Mozambican banks.
The Wednesday agreement was signed by Carmelo Coccuzza, the EIB regional representative for Southern Africa, and by Prakash Ratilal, the chairperson of Moza Banco.
“The EIB is committed to supporting private sector investment in Africa, in partnership with the main local banks”, said EIB Deputy Chairperson, Pim van Ballekom, cited in the release. “The new initiative which we have formalised today demonstrates our permanent commitment to Mozambique”.
“Job creation and company growth can only occur when small and medium companies are able to invest”, he added. “We are pleased with the launch of this new partnership with Moza Banco, and with the prospect of working jointly for the economic development of Mozambique”. |
Paul Mallin, head of the European Union delegation in Mozambique, who witnessed the signing, said “the European Union has the greatest interest in promoting equitable growth and creating jobs in Mozambique. We are working with the authorities to improve the business environment, but in the final analysis it is the private sector that will generate growth and create employment”.
Ratilal pointed out that data from last year show that PMEs account for about 78 per cent of all Mozambican companies and employ two thirds of the formal labour force. “This line of financing will certainly play a fundamental role in the sustainable and inclusive socio-economic development of the national business class”, he claimed.
The loans from this financing will be managed by Moza Banco branches throughout Mozambique, and may be granted to the eligible companies in the local currency, meticais, or in euros, or in US dollars.
The EIB says it began its activities in Mozambique in 1987, and since then has supported investments in excess of 500 million euros.