Honourable Wilbur Ross, Secretary of Commerce of the United States of America,
Honourable Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank,
Madam Florizelle Liser, President and CEO of the Corporate Council on Africa,
Distinguished Business People,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I was quite delighted to accept the invitation to attend this 11th Biannual USA-Africa Business Summit. This is the major business forum between Africa and the USA.
The diversity of the companies that comprise this platform offers a number of options for business and economic cooperation that promote an integrated, endogenous and sustainable development, particularly for the emerging African economies.
Therefore, we have come to the USA with a business mission. We intend to consolidate Mozambique’s position as a safe a strategic destiny of foreign investment in Southern Africa.
We also want to reaffirm the role of the USA as a strategic partner for Mozambique’s development.
For my remarks I have chosen the theme: “USA engaging the American business people in consolidating mutually beneficial partnerships for prosperity.”
Ladies and Gentlemen,
History has recollected that the last Mozambican Head of State to attend this event was President Joaquim Chissano, in 1997, at the First Biannual Summit, precisely 20 years ago!
At that time and counting with the invaluable support of the USA, Mozambique conquered an outstanding position in Africa and in the world. Today we have come to say, Mozambique is back as a country of prosperous economy. Mozambique is back, not only because high economic value deposits of mineral resources, including coal, natural gas, among others, have been discovered, whose exploitation counts with the presence of American companies.
Mozambique is back to transform into wealth a number of potentials and business possibilities available. These opportunities cover sectors such as power generation and transmission, infrastructures, manufacture and sale of different consuming industrial products and extensive arable lands for agricultural development.
Last week during the National Forum on Infrastructures, we stated that it is now time to look forward.
Mozambique is sending vital signals of overcoming obstacles.
During this month we launched the South Coral floating LNG project in the Ruvuma Basin, an investment which attracted 15 international banks and five credit agencies for exports.
This is a major vote of confidence in Mozambique and in our Government.
Hence our statement that Mozambique is back, foreign investments are secure.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
As you might be aware, Mozambique is faced with challenges related to the economic crisis and the restoration of peace and political stability, a process in which, once again, we count on the support of the USA.
We nurture a justified hope that this visit may contribute to quality steps towards overcoming these challenges. These are bottlenecks not only to our prosperity, but also to further foreign investment projects in Mozambique, including American investment which is quite promising.
The People of Mozambique and the world business community are waiting, with high expectations, for developments in the exploitation of hydrocarbons in the Ruvuma Basin, particularly, natural gas projects.
The USA marks presence in this sector as a strategic partner of Mozambique. The American investment can make our country one of the major producers of natural gas in the world, both upstream and in all its value chain.
Therefore we say: Mozambique is back to the economic growth and development route.
In addition to business and economic relations, we would like to underscore in this Summit, the American Government’s assistance to our development through specific development projects.
On the other hand, the United States of America, over the next years, may become a major single investor in our country. These are transformative investments of the structure of the Mozambican economy, and they will make a sharp positive turn in the history of Mozambique and that of her relations with the USA.
Let me also acknowledge with great admiration the critical role that the Corporate Council on Africa has played in promoting investment opportunities in Africa.
When others looked at Africa as a marginalised continent host to various problems, ranging from armed conflicts, natural disasters, chronic poverty and political instability, this organisation looks at Africa as a continent of hope. It visualises an African continent of great potentials and immense opportunities that are likely to transform it and mainstream it into the global economy.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We also bring along the agricultural sector which is the least exhaustible traditional activity and the backbone of our economy.
Mozambique possesses land for irrigation of about 3 million hectares, in more than eight priority river basins.
The major advantage is the existence of a secure market of agriculture products at national, regional and international level.
It easier to enumerate what is not grown in my country rather than list what is produced. Mozambique can almost grow everything.
We urge and encourage the American business people to take advantage of the enabling business environment, and investment opportunities and potential that exist in Mozambique to diversify their interventions.
These interventions can cover sectors of manufacturing, services, transport and communication, hotels and tourism which make the economic activities more integrated.
With a view to improving further the business environment in Mozambique, our Government will continue to undertake legal and institutional reforms aimed at streamlining procedures to increasingly attract investments.
We would like to take this opportunity to commend the African Development Bank, which is here represented by its President. His vision enables us to have this bank as an African partner for Africa and his relentless endeavours meet our specific needs.
To other African brothers and sisters here present, and beyond, we wish to congratulate them for their joint efforts to bring about progress and welfare for our peoples, in the context of the African Union Agenda 2063.
We would also like to reiterate our desire that the Corporate Council on Africa remains in the forefront in promoting investment opportunities in our continent and in helping us to build a better future for the coming generations based on an approach of sustainable and inclusive development.
To conclude, we would like to extend our appreciation to the organisers of this event for the structure and diversity of the topics on the agenda. This Summit has opened opportunities for more interaction between African and American political and business leaders.
We wish successful deliberations to the 11th USA-Africa Business Biannual Summit and that its outcomes reflect the continuous commitment of the United States of America to the development of Africa and of Mozambique, in particular.
Thank you very much for your attention!