30 January 2006
South Africa has doubled its direct investment in Mozambique over the past year, confirming its position as the single largest foreign investor in the country.
Mozambique Investment Promotion Centre (CPI) director Mahomed Rafique said in Maputo on Thursday that South African investment accounted for 58% of total foreign direct investment into the country over the past year.
Just 52 of the larger South African-led infrastructure and construction projects attracted foreign investment of US$93.7-million during 2005.
Smaller tourism and small business related projects were not monitored and were therefore not included in the statistics.
Total foreign investment climbed to US$164.5-million in 2005, a 34% increase over 2004.
Rafique said South Africa’s nearest competitor was the United Kingdom, with 15 projects totaling $27.8-million. In 2004, the UK’s investment in Mozambique was just $13.1-million.
Zimbabwe rose from seventh position in 2004 to become the third most important investor in its eastern neighbour in 2005, with investments worth $9.1-million.
In fourth position was Mozambique’s former colonial master, Portugal, maintaining the same poll position it held in 2004 – though its actual investments increased slightly, from $5.6-million in 2004 to $7.3-million in 2005.
The biggest increase in investment was made by China, which jumped up the ranks from 25th position in 2004 to sixth in 2005. Direct Chinese investment in 2005 totaled $5.6-million, against only $292 000 in the previous year.
Investment into Mozambique also came from Mauritius, Rwanda, Angola, Swaziland, Botswana, Brazil, the US, Yugoslavia, Belgium, India, France, Uganda, Sweden, Spain, Switzerland, Pakistan, Germany and New Zealand.
The CPI also reports that 541 South Africans have successfully applied for permits to work in Mozambique in 2005.
Rafique said the National Institute of Labour and Professional Training (INEPF) authorised 4 051 foreigners to work in Mozambique in 2005.
“The ministry [of labour] says of the 4 051 foreigners who got work permits, 541 are South African and 440 Chinese, [while] others include Portuguese, Cuban and German nationals,” he said.
The requests for foreign workers were from companies from different sectors.
Mozambique has, in recent years, increasingly been seeking foreign technical and construction experts to service its growing numbers of large investment projects.