Presidential Commitment to Economic Policy Reform

22 Nov, 2017 – 11:36 am

The President of the Republic of Mozambique, Filipe Nyusi, sent a clear message of commitment to achieving significant economic policy reform when he convened the highest levels of government, private sector, and international cooperation partners to discuss key challenges to improving the business enabling environment, and to outline a vision for the way forward.  During the Business Environment Reforms Meeting (Encontro de reflexão sobre o ambiente de negócios em Moçambique) on November 3, 2017 President Nyusi and his government pledged to take strong steps to coordinate economic policy reform across Ministries, to develop a more ambitious policy agenda, and to ensure effective implementation of policy reforms.  Presidential leadership to ensure coordinated and integrated policy reform actions across multiple Ministries has been a high priority issue for the private sector and international partners for twenty years.

President Nyusi identified excessive bureaucracy and corruption as key obstacles to business growth and success. He indicated that his Government is committed to streamline procedures, increase transparency and fight corruption. Agostinho Vuma, President of the Confederation of Business Associations (CTA), highlighted the need to mainstream the economic policy reform agenda in the Government Annual Plan (Plano Económico e Social) to ensure its implementation. The CTA President also suggested a more structured participation of the private sector in economic policy development. International Cooperation partners represented by the US Ambassador, H. Dean Pittman, the UK High Commissioner, Joanna Kuenssberg, and the Norwegian Ambassador, Anne Lene Dale, committed to support Mozambique’s efforts to improve the business environment, with an emphasis on the importance of prioritizing reforms.

Rosário Marapusse, SPEED+ Portfolio Manager for Trade and Investment, participated as a panelist at this important event.  He took the opportunity to highlight key obstacles to business, such as the VAT exemptions to agriculture which result in increased costs to business, and the “taxa autónoma” which adversely affects the agricultural sector. In discussing the challenges of trading across borders, he pointed to the failure to implement reforms, such as the formal elimination of the mandatory use of Nacala Special Export Terminal (TEEN) which has not been implemented even 7 months after its passage.  Finally, he congratulated the Mayor of Maputo for the implementation of short-term reforms to construction permiting, but emphasized that these should be complemented by permanent structural reforms.

“This event represents a huge change in the dialogue approach. The President of Republic showed his commitment to improving the business environment. Obviously, this effort must continue at all levels.” Amílcar Arone, National Director of Trade, Ministry of Industry and trade.

Over 200 participants attended the meeting including representatives from key economic Ministries such as the Minister of Economy and Finance, Adriano Maleiane; the Minister of Industry and Trade, Max Ernesto Tonela; the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, José Pacheco; the Vice-Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Augusto Fernando; the Vice-Minister of Industry and Trade, Ragendra de Sousa; and the Vice-Minister of Justice, Constitutional and Religious Affairs, Joaquim Veríssimo.

President Nyusi committed himself to leadership in the policy dialogue with key stakeholders, calling for on-going thematic task force meetings that would report to him in a plenary meeting next year.  SPEED+ will continue to support partners’ active participation in the reform process and the successful implementation of the Government’s efforts to reduce bureaucracy, enable more efficient private sector regulation, and reduce opportunities for corruption.

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