Ton Negenman, First Embassy Secretary for Economic Affairs of the Netherlands’ Embassy in Mozambique, discusses his country’s current projects in Mozambique and highlights opportunities for investors.
European Times: What are the main projects for the Netherlands in Mozambique?
Ton Negenman: The main development programs are in Food Security and Nutrition, Water and Sanitation, and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights. The water sector is an important sector , where Dutch expertise is highly developed. Added to the extensive development program is an increasing attention for the Aid to Trade agenda, which means we are looking for possibilities to increase their trade between the Netherlands and Mozambique.
European Times: Which sectors offer particularly strong potential for investors?
Ton Negenman: Many Dutch companies are very interested in getting involved in extractive industries in Mozambique and most of the current Dutch interest here is in providing services to the energy, gas and maritime development projects. Since 2013 the embassy has organised trade missions in Mozambique for Dutch companies. We have also organised missions from CEOs and government ministers from Mozambique to the Netherlands to become informed about the Netherland’s experiences in the gas sector. There are however also opportunities in the water and agriculture sector. Dutch companies operating here report that although there are challenges, their partners here are very businesslike.
European Times: How is Dutch support stimulating the growth of the agriculture sector?
Ton Negenman: The Netherlands is financing agribusinesses in the Beira Corridor in which lead entrepreneurs work with thousands of smallholders, for instance in maize production. It also supports the Zambezi Valley Development Agency which acts as a platform for agribusiness development. The Netherlands has evaluated various agribusiness value chains , does market studies, provides business support and financing for investors, and tries to find opportunities for Dutch companies to provide innovation and expertise. The embassy and other donors have capitalized around €15 million for the Beira Corridor Catalytic Fund through which 14 entrepreneurs have received financing so far.
European Times: What is your forecast for Mozambique’s economy?
Ton Negenman: Mozambique has achieved stable growth for around 20 years and the forecast is positive. Many major developments are underway or to be started awaiting FIDs, from railway initiatives to projects in the gas industry, and Dutch companies have excellent opportunities to participate in these projects. Mozambique offers great potential in many areas, including tourism thanks to the country’s 2,600-km coastline with many fabulous beaches. Maputo is a very appealing city as well. The Netherlands embassy is ready to help Dutch investors start doing business in Mozambique.