China’s investment in Mozambique has been growing at a very fast pace and in cumulative terms is approaching US$6 billion, according to figures from the Chinese Embassy in Maputo.
The figures were cited on Thursday in Lisbon by the Chinese Embassy attache in Lisbon, Nie Quan, at the launch of a book by Portuguese tax specialists Bruno Santiago and Sara Teixeira, on the Mozambican tax law, focusing on the roles of Lisbon and Macau as platforms.
Nie Quan said that “the pace of growth of Chinese investment in Mozambique has been very fast,” with 100 Chinese companies operating in the country in diverse areas such as energy, agriculture, fishing, real estate, building materials, tourism, buses, telecommunications, infrastructure and trade.
“Chinese investment in Mozambique aims to help Mozambicans to be self-sufficient, both in industry and in agriculture, an example being the fact that Mozambique already has the first car brand in Africa: Matchedje,” said the diplomat, who also noted cooperation projects in the agricultural sector.
Nie Quan also said that China’s relations with Mozambique and Portugal are global strategic partnerships, making them more than straightforward economic investments, and that there is the potential for “tripartite cooperation” throughout the Portuguese-speaking world.
Together, he noted China and the Portuguese-speaking countries account for 17% of the global economy and 22% of the population, so there are “conditions for relations to be stronger and more prosperous.”
At the ceremony to launch the book, at law firm Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva e Associados, the ambassador of Mozambique, Fernanda Lichale, recalled the “longstanding friendship” of his country with China since independence to the present day, and also with Portugal, considering both to be privileged partner countries for development.
“Despite the vicissitudes of various kinds, Mozambique remains a preferred destination for foreign investment and Portugal certainly occupies a very special place, based on historical and cultural links forged over centuries of coexistence,” said the diplomat.
Economist Antonio Rebelo de Sousa, from the Company for Development, argued that, despite current political and economic problems, “Mozambique has evolved in the right direction in recent decades, opting for a relatively balanced growth model.”