The Business Year

João Figueiredo

Chairman & CEO, Banco íšnico

In an emerging economy, every sector is important. Agriculture is a sector we have to take into consideration, as 80% of the population lives in rural areas. The industrial sector is also very important, due, in part, to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries’ proximity. There is also potential for tourism in this country, as it has an incredible 2,500 kilometers of coastline. The tourism opportunities are fantastic, as are those in communications, transport, and infrastructure. In the financial sector, insurance companies are attractive as part of the emerging global economy. There is an amazing opportunity for investment in this country. The global financial crisis has been positive for Mozambique because people are looking for new and alternative ways to invest. The SADC is a region with 300 million consumers, so nothing happens in this country that isn’t related to the SADC. One of the main sectors of the economy is agribusiness. Considering our neighboring countries, many investors are making inquires about potential customers, products, and sales. I always suggest that they must view this country as a platform with 23 million people from where they can produce and work with the surrounding markets.

Inaete Merali

CEO, Moza Banco

We have to be extremely careful in terms of the effect of high-profile investments and the natural resources that have recently been discovered, such as gas, coal, and maybe oil in the near future. If our currency becomes too strong, it will become non-competitive for traditional export products such as sugar, tobacco, cotton, and wood. It could eliminate the agricultural sector, for example, and we may hurt the tourism sector as well. I am a bit skeptical on how this will evolve, but I am positive that the Bank of Mozambique and the IMF will regulate together in order to make sure the traditional sectors are not neglected. This is very important, as more jobs are created via the more traditional sectors. In addition to Chinese and Brazilian investors, we have seen a lot of US investors in 2012. We believe there are going to be substantial US investments coming online as well as German investments. I also believe that Middle Eastern investors are starting to look at Mozambique, and they have some delegations that are coming here and will have meetings with senior local representatives. US investor interest is generally oil and gas related, but they also come here to look at the agricultural sector as well.

Mario Da Graça Machungo

President, Mario Da Graça Machungo

Mining is very important, though I also foresee a lot growth in agriculture, agribusiness, transport, communications, and electricity generation and distribution. The primary sector in extractive industries and investments in gas and power will lead the growth ladder in the medium term, while the requirement to build infrastructure is another turning point. Non-concessional loans have been capped at $1.5 billion for government projects, though it was previously limited to $900 million. While this is true in the capital-intensive sector, the country is bound to witness greater developments in the construction, logistics and transport, hospitality, industry, and agribusiness sectors, following new trade orientation to serve the needs of other emerging countries for coal, gas, and raw materials. We do not have a strong stock market here, but the only bank that fully operates in the stock market is Millennium bim. If we stopped operations, there would likely be no stock market. We are not listed on the local stock exchange, although we are listed in Europe. Investment in Mozambique mostly comes through government bonds and bonds issued by the Bank of Mozambique, although the environment for corporate bonds is also good.

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