flag Mozambique Mozambique: Investing

In this page: FDI in Figures | What to consider if you invest in Mozambique | Procedures Relative to Foreign Investment | Investment Opportunities

 

FDI in Figures

Mozambique is an important destination country for FDI in South-East Africa. The country recorded historically high FDI inflows levels in 2013, reaching more than USD 6 billion, but they have decreased since then. According to the UNCTAD’s World Investment Report 2021, FDI inflows into the country increased by 6% to USD 2.3 billion in 2020, up from USD 2.2 billion in 2019, despite the global economic crisis triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2020, the stock of FDI was about USD 45.4 billion. According to UNCTAD’ Investment Trends Monitor, global FDI flows rebounded strongly in 2021, but FDI flows to African countries (excluding South Africa) rose only moderately. The implementation of the USD 20 billion investment led by TotalEnergies (France) in the liquefied natural gas (LNG) project has been suspended due to insecurity in Cabo Delgado. The project led by Exxon Mobil in export terminals has also been delayed. Foreign investors are primarily interested in the country's mining, hydrocarbon, energy, logistics, retail and real estate sectors. There is a growing interest in the coal industry. Mozambique's main foreign investors are the United Arab Emirates, Mauritius, China, Italy, the United States, South Africa, Portugal and Turkey.

The government has consistently implemented reforms, maintained sound economic policies, and put in place a privatisation programme for public companies to attract FDI. In addition to its abundant natural resources, the country's access to the sea provides a significant advantage compared to its land-locked neighbours. The country has significant and varied natural resources (energy, mines, agriculture, forestry, and fishing) and its geographical location offers a serious advantage in the transportation field. However, the hidden debts scandal that broke in 2016 tarnished the image of the government and impacted investors’ confidence in the economy. The Islamist insurgency in Cabo Delgado, a key region for gas production causes delays in LNG projects. Mozambique only ranks 138th out of 190 countries in the World Bank 2020 Doing Business report, losing three places compared to 2019. Poor governance, an unstable political and security environment, inadequate transport and port infrastructure, vulnerability to natural disasters and the current sovereign debt crisis are the main factors hampering FDI.

 
 
Foreign Direct Investment 201920202021
FDI Inward Flow (million USD) 2,2123,0355,102
FDI Stock (million USD) 42,89346,28050,068
Number of Greenfield Investments* 2588
Value of Greenfield Investments (million USD) 8336722,457

Source: UNCTAD - Latest available data.

Note: * Greenfield Investments are a form of Foreign Direct Investment where a parent company starts a new venture in a foreign country by constructing new operational facilities from the ground up.

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What to consider if you invest in Mozambique

Strong Points

Some of the reasons to invest in Mozambique are:

  • a favourable geographic location, with its long coastline and the proximity to southern African markets
  • the country's economic growth
  • a young (65.48% of the population is under 25 years old - CIA World Factbook, est. 2020) and growing population
  • good investment opportunities in infrastructure and the extraction of minerals (especially graphite, coal, and gemstones)
  • the country's liquefied natural gas reserves (Mozambique is Africa’s third-largest holder LNG, with reserves of around 180 trillion cubic feet)
  • the launch of "mega-projects" expected in several sectors (liquefied gas, infrastructure, etc.)
  • very favourable business climate: Mozambique uses the unilateral method to avoid double taxation of income of resident and permanent non-resident companies
Weak Points

FDI investment has slowed dramatically since 2015, largely due to a drop in commodity prices (especially coal and aluminium) and slow negotiations in the development of hydrocarbon projects.
Among the factors that hinder FDI inflows there are:

  • a fragile political situation and governance weaknesses
  • overtasked judiciary system prone to being influenced by influential local interests
  • public institutions have differing levels of enforcement and capacity to implement legislation
  • lengthy registration procedures
  • no private property rights on land: the government owns all land, privates can only lease
  • lack of diversification, with a dependence on raw material prices (aluminium, coal)
  • inadequate transport and port infrastructures limiting the country’s raw material export capacity.
  • attacks in 2018 fueled a new terrorist threat in the country
  • aid, grant and loan dependency
Government Measures to Motivate or Restrict FDI
In 2017, the Mozambican government approved a new regulation to facilitate the obtention of visas for foreign nationals willing to invest in Mozambique. The measure reduced the minimum investment amount required from USD 50 million to USD 500,000 for an investment visa.
The Code of Fiscal Benefits contains specific incentives granted to entities that intend to invest in certain geographical areas in Mozambique that have natural resource potential, but which lack infrastructure and have low levels of economic activity. Mozambique counts seven free trade zones offering various tax exemptions based on the investment sector and the location of the project.
The Ministers Council merged the Investment Promotion Centre (CPI), the Office of Economic Zones for Accelerated Development (GAZEDA-Portuguese acronym), and the Institute for the Promotion of Exports (IPEX- Portuguese acronym), creating the Agency for Investment Promotion and Exports (APIEX in its Portuguese acronym).

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Procedures Relative to Foreign Investment

Freedom of Establishment
Government authorities must approve all foreign and domestic investments that require guarantees or receive incentives under the Investment Law.
Acquisition of Holdings
Mozambique’s Investment Law and regulations generally do not make distinctions based on investor origin, nor do they limit foreign ownership or control of companies. Currently, there are no legal requirement that Mozambican citizens own shares of foreign investments (only a few exceptions).
Law No. 15/2011 passed in August 2011 that governs public-private partnerships, large-scale ventures, and business concessions (“Mega-Projects Law”), states that Mozambicans should participate in the share capital of all such undertakings in a percentage ranging from 5% to 20% of the equity capital of the project company.
Obligation to Declare
All FDI have to be declared to the government authorities, who review and approve any foreign and domestic investment; however, there are almost no restrictions on the form or extent of foreign direct investments.
Competent Organisation For the Declaration
Bank of Mozambique (Banco de Moçambique)
Requests For Specific Authorisations
Investments related to security & safety, media & entertainment, and certain game-hunting concessions have some restrictions in terms of foreign participations and authorizations.

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Investment Opportunities

Investment Aid Agency
Investment Guide for Mozambique (APIEX)
Tenders, Projects and Public Procurement
Tenders Info, Tenders Worldwide
Global Tenders, Tenders Worldwide
Club of Mozambique
Other Useful Resources
Invest in Mozambique
 
 

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Latest Update: November 2022