South Africa has reiterated its commitment to assist the Mozambican government to advantage of its gas booming market.
Trade, Industry and Competition Deputy Minister Nomalungelo Gina said government would bolster bilateral relations between the two countries for the betterment and prosperous Africa.
The Deputy Minister was speaking during a South Africa and Mozambique virtual trade and investment seminar under the 'Developing Afrocentric Solutions and Forging Partnership in Response to COVID-19' theme.
"South Africa is one of Mozambique's great and major trading partner and is also a major investor in Mozambique. It is also among South Africa's top five trading partners in Africa, our political and economic relations have remained strong and vibrant over the years," Gina said on Tuesday.
Since the advent of democracy, Gina said, several local companies and state-owned entities (SOEs) have invested in Mozambique across the broad spectrum of sectors.
Gina cited South 32, a South African aluminium mining company, which generates thousands of jobs for Mozambican citizens.
She said the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) is also ramping up investment in an infrastructure project in Mozambique particularly in the energy sector.
"As we all know, Mozambique's new growth opportunity is anchored on the large natural gas reserves and the associate liquefied natural gas project in the Cabo Delgado province."
The South African public and private sectors are actively involved in supporting the country in this "very important venture" through the US $ 120 million investment by DBSA, Gina told delegated.
Meanwhile, Standard Bank is one of the leading financial services providers involved in the financing of up to US$485 million.
"Similarly, Rand Merchant Bank provided the largest funding commitment by an African bank."
Also, DBSA is assisting ENH to develop at length to monetise its natural gas and to become a hub for the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.
ENH is a Mozambican government-owned holding company that is responsible for the research, exploration, production, refining, transportation, storage, and marketing of hydrocarbons and its derivatives.
"We reiterate our commitment to assist the government and people of Mozambique to leverage the opportunity to capitalise in this mega project and advance a 'made in Mozambique, made in Africa' agenda to increase the supply of locally made goods and services into these projects."
Gina said these investments are crucial as countries battle with the aftermath of COVID-19.
"This is one area that we've all seen the need to make sure that we produce locally, we have our mega projects locally, so that we don't depend on other countries to make sure that we survive as countries.
"I believe as African countries this is one opportunity we can grab with both hands," she added.
Also, she said the increased participation of women in driving the bilateral economic agenda was paramount.
"We like to call all the women of Mozambique and South Africa to join hands and take their rightful place in the processes that will unfold to strengthen our bilateral economic cooperation."
Social and economic impact
Gina has noted the immense social and economic havoc across the globe caused by the pandemic.
"As a result, we're experiencing lower levels of economic growth, loss of revenue in both public and private sector posing a threat to thousands of jobs, and reversal of gains made to combat and reduce high levels of poverty in our societies."
The Deputy Minister has since welcomed interventions to discuss the state of affairs within two countries to mitigate the negative effect of the pandemic and lay the foundation for economic recovery.