TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

Mozambique, United States discuss Trade

Thursday, 19 October 2006

Source: Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique (Maputo)

Mozambique's Minister of Industry and Trade, Antonio Fernando, declared on Tuesday that the government is working hard to place the country in a more favourable position for attracting investment.

Fernando was addressing the closing session of the first meeting on trade between the USA and Mozambique, following the signing of a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) between the two countries in 2005.

The meeting aimed at assessing the advances in aspects related to trade, the trade environment and investment, and also the implementation of the African Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA), the American legislation that allow many African goods to enter the United States free of tariffs.

Fernando commended the US government for its programme to facilitate and simplify trade in Mozambique. This programme, budgeted at 750,000 US dollars, is set to reduce by half in the next three years the time needed for import and export operations.

For her part, Florizelle Liser, the US assistant trade representative for Africa, said that the meeting allowed the participants to analyse the progress achieved, and identify new challenges, and plan future work in the context of the TIFA.

She added that after her visit to the Maputo "Single Counter", she found that the time needed to open a business in Mozambique has been reduced from 47 days to just five days (something that has been completely ignored by the World Bank in its highly misleading annual reports on "Doing Business").

"Single Counters" have been set up in all provincial capitals. They bring together in one place representatives of all the departments that businesses need to deal with: hence a businessman seeking a licence or authorisation no longer has to go on a paper chase through offices scattered all over the city.

Liser commented that this achievement leads one to believe that the next step will be the reduction of the time taken in importing and exporting during the next three years.

"Currently one needs 39 days to import a product to Mozambique and 41 days to export", she claimed. "We want to reduce these delays by half, and we believe that we can do so, and that is why we have financed this programme, to facilitate and simplify the process, and render Mozambique more competitive".

TIFA was signed to promote new trade and investment opportunities in both countries, and it represents an important step in bilateral trade relations.

The total volume of trade between Mozambique and the US was estimated at 37.6 million US dollars during the first half of this year, representing a 28 per cent increase when compared with the same period in 2005.

Liser also met on Tuesday with Prime Minister Luisa Diogo, who later told reporters that Mozambican businesses needed to make greater efforts to export to the United States, using the facilities available through AGOA.

"The statistics for our exports to the USA are still very modest", Diogo noted.

She said that the two governments had looked at trade area by area, seeing what had already been done, and what more could be done.

"We saw that we're doing very well in exporting cashew nuts", said Diogo. "But in the area of tropical fruits and fruit juices, we need to do more. We talked about mangoes, since some American specialists are here to look into the possibility of our mangoes being exported to the US".



“ Latest AGOA Trade Data currently available on AGOA.info


Click here to view a sector profile of Mozambique’s bilateral trade with the United States, disaggregated by total exports and imports, AGOA exports and GSP exports.


Other regularly updated trade statistics on AGOA.info include: (click each link to view)

  • AGOA-Beneficiary Countries’ AGOA and GSP Trade Aggregates

  • AGOA Trade by Industry Sector

  • Apparel Trade under AGOA’s Wearing Apparel Provisions

  • Latest Apparel Quotas under AGOA

  • Bilateral Trade Data for all AGOA-eligible countries individually.