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Economic cooperation


Economic cooperation

Mozambique is an important partner for Italy on the African continent in terms of economic and commercial cooperation. The country recorded up to 2016 growth rates among the highest in sub-Saharan Africa, supported in particular by activities in the mining and energy sectors, as well as by infrastructure investments. In 2019, Mozambique's economic growth was 2.2%, with a slowdown compared to the trend of the last three years (on average 3.5% between 2016 and 2018) and previous years (on average 7.8 % between 2001 and 2015), also due to the negative effects on agriculture of Cyclones Idai and Kenneth in 2019.

Italy is the first European investor in Mozambique, with 3.5 billion dollars of investments in the last eight years (2012-2019), followed by the Netherlands (2.2 billion dollars), Portugal (692 million dollars) and the United Kingdom (338 million dollars) and France (145 million dollars) and ranks third globally (after the United Arab Emirates with 5.8 billion dollars and the United States with 5.2 billion dollars) in the same period In 2019 alone, Italy invested 288 million dollars in Mozambique, confirming itself as the third largest investor after the United Arab Emirates (980 million dollars) and the Netherlands (899 million dollars).

In 2018, trade between Italy and Mozambique reached a record value of 524 million euros (+81 million compared to 2017). Italy's exports increased by 59% compared to 2017, reaching 63 million euros. The main item of our exports are fertilizers and machinery, but furniture, basic pharmaceutical products and food and wine are also growing. Imports from Italy also grew to 460 million euros (+ 14% compared to 2017). 86% of Italy's imports are represented by metallurgical products, in particular raw aluminum. Rubies, zirconium minerals and granite are the other most consistent increases in Italy's imports in 2018.

From January to October 2019, the trade between Italy and Mozambique slowed its growth, recording a value of 373 million euros (-21% compared to the same period in 2018). Exports from Italy were equal to 43.5 million euros, 12.9% lower than those of the same period of 2018. Italy's imports also decreased, reaching 329.2 million euros (-21, 9% compared to January-October 2018).

To date, there are about fifty Italian companies in the country, mainly active in the hydrocarbon, construction and infrastructure, tourism, logistics and transport, consumer goods sectors.

Despite the current slowdown in the domestic economy, also linked to the sharp decrease in international commodity prices, Mozambique's growth expectations remain positive. The discoveries of huge natural gas fields (by ENI and Anadarko) and the mineral wealth of the country (coal, graphite and heavy sands in particular), will continue to attract an important flow of foreign direct investments in the medium term, also fueling related activities and thus creating new spaces also for SMEs. In particular, ENI (in a consortium on par with the American ExxonMobil) has already started in 2017 an off-shore natural gas extraction and liquefaction project (Coral Sud) and announced in 2019 the imminent start of the related activities to a second on-shore project (Rovuma LNG). The Final Investment Decision is expected in 2020. These projects will progressively go into production from 2022 and the IMF estimates that since then the country will start to record strong growth rates (8.6% in 2023 and 10.6% in 2024) .

On the public development aid (ODA) front, Italy has invested significantly in Mozambique, the first beneficiary country of the Italian Cooperation: from 1992 to 2014, 538 million euros were donated, in addition to two debt cancellations in the 1996 (154.3 million Euros) and in 2002 (557.3 million). The financial commitment in the 2015-2018 Country Program amounts to a total of 133.9 million Euros (70 million in aid credit, 28.9 million in donations and 35 million in the PRETEP PLUS program).