Focus on growing economy

A BUSINESS forum for South Africa and Mozambique has been established to increase economic cooperation between the two countries.

“We urge our private sector to invest in each other’s territory and help create job opportunities,” President Jacob Zuma said.

Speaking on Thursday in Pretoria, Zuma said the forum comprises high level business delegations from both countries.

He was addressing the media during the first State visit of Mozambican President Fillipe Jacinto Nyusi.

Trade and investment between the two countries has grown exponentially over the past decade, showing a 50% increase.

Zuma said changing the quality of lives of the people from both countries was an urgent matter.

“We are looking at opportunities and possibilities. Fortunately in the past, minerals have been discovered in both countries. We are in a hurry to develop the economies,” he said.

The South Africa-Mozambique Bi-National Commission (BNC), which will be chaired by the two Heads of State, was launched during the meeting.

The commission is a strategic mechanism through which the countries will structure their relations going forward.

“To date we have 69 signed agreements and memoranda of understanding between our sister Republics, indicating the extent and depth of our cooperation,” Zuma said.

The two Heads of State have directed the relevant Ministers to identify and implement joint projects in gas infrastructure and development.

“This will have socio-economic benefits such as employment creation,” Zuma said.

The two Heads of State also discussed the issue of energy as a matter of priority.

“We discussed this matter very seriously and agreed that our Ministers of Energy have to do extraordinary things to ensure that we coordinate our energy efforts because both countries need it.” he said.

Nyusi thanked South Africa for the warm reception and hospitality as well as for the outcomes of the meeting that was held earlier in the day.

He said he’s country would take advantage of the opportunities to work with South Africa on issues of the economy.

“Another important aspect that was decided in the meeting was to establish monitoring mechanisms where the Bi-National Commission will meet annually but our Ministers will meet every six months… Our officials will meet quarterly so as to monitor the activities that are being conducted in those clusters.

“This will go a long way in assisting in implementing the decisions that we make in every meeting,” said Nyusi.

Some of the areas that the countries will work together in include agriculture, energy, food security and tourism as well as environment issues.