Pretoria – South Africa is fostering closer trade relations with Mozambique, which is one of the seven fastest growing economies in sub-Saharan Africa, says the Department of Trade and Industry (dti).

“Mozambique is amongst the seven fastest growing economies in sub-Saharan Africa and we cannot achieve economic growth if our economies are not linked.

“It is important to understand that we are pursuing a mutually beneficial regional economic development agenda, and for us to turn around our economy we need to be outward looking in order to strengthen trade with our neighbouring partners,” said the Director for Export Promotion at the dti, Dr Julius Nyalunga.

Nyalunge was speaking at the 50th Jubilee of the Feira International de Maputo (FACIM) Fair, in Maputo. Currently 29 export ready small and medium South African companies sponsored by the dti are showcasing their products and services at FACIM.

Dr Nyalunga highlighted that although the biggest challenge in African countries is economic diversification, human capital is key to successful business in Mozambique.

“Africa contributes only 2% of the world’s exports; therefore South
African companies should fast-track trade with their Mozambican
partners in order to achieve economic diversification,” he added.

The head of Business Linkage Services at the Centre for Promotion of Investment (CPI) in Mozambique, Antonio Makamo, said strong investment opportunities exist in sectors like construction, mining and petroleum and strong relations between the two countries will be mutually beneficial.

Additionally Mozambique also has abundant reserves in gas, coal, agriculture and forestry.

Makomahe further stated that Mozambique will tap into South African expertise to overcome hindrances in economic growth.

For Mozambique, a lack of infrastructure development is one of the biggest challenges it faces.

“Mozambicans cannot easily grow their oil sector because of lack of infrastructure and know-how. We are counting on South African expertise to grow this sector through your proven track record in the rail sector,” alluded Makomahe said.

In recognising South Africa’s continuous contribution to development and implementation of FACIM, Mozambican President Armanda Geubuza, awarded SA with a diploma of merit.

FACIM will conclude on Sunday.