F2A Exclusive Interview: Mr Rogerio Manuel, President of the Confederation of Business Associations, Mozambique

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  1. Introduction and overview of the CTA

CTA was formally established in 1999 from a working group of business associations in Mozambique, and is a platform for Public-Private Dialogue between the Government and the Private Sector aiming at improving business environment in Mozambique, alongside protecting and promoting business opportunities through leveraging economic and regulatory reforms.

Our mission is to promote the private sector interests and investment initiatives in Mozambique, in particular for our 124 active members, which encompass Federations, Business Associations and Chambers of Commerce.

Further, we contribute for a better business environment that is conductive to the private sector development and to a strong membership movement in Mozambique that is participatory, socially responsible, able to influence economic policies and to promote a dynamic and competitive private enterprise, hence contributing for economic welfare and for social development of Mozambique.

In order to facilitate and promote debates between the government and the private sector on prioritized issues identified and approved by the Annual Conference of the Private Sector as well as on other issues related to the business sector development, CTA has created some working groups, namely:

  • Agri-Business
  • Civil Construction
  • Financial Policy
  • Fiscal Policy, Customs and Intl. Trade
  • Industry, Commerce and Services
  • Labour and Social Policy
  • Politics of Public Services
  • Tourism
  • Transport
  • Mineral Resources and Hydrocarbons

To refer that each working group works directly with the designated Focal Point of the respective Ministry.

  1. How would you rate the activities of the CTA in terms of promoting investment into Mozambique in the last 5 years?

CTA has been looking for alternatives on how to do better for the sake of business environments, several studies were carried out, as was the case of the study of the industry, the study on access to finance, and study law on behalf of concerns the business class, just to mention a few.

As a result of these activities, in recent years we have seen improvements in the Doing Business ranking, something that had not happened before, as you can see in the table below.

 

Indicator DB11 DB12 DB13 DB14 DB15
Starting a Business 65 70 70 95 107
Dealing with Construction Permits 155 126 126 77 84
Getting Electricity 0 172 172 171 164
Registering Property 144 156 156 152 101
Getting Credit 128 150 150 130 131
Protecting Investors 44 46 46 52 94
Paying Taxes 101 107 107 129 123
Trading Across Borders 133 136 136 131 129
Enforcing Contracts 132 131 131 145 164
Resolving Insolvency 129 143 143 148 107
Total (Rank) 126 139 142 139 127

The reasons for these improvements have always been the outcome of these reforms led by CTA, as the Single Electronic Window; the facilitation of obtaining building permit; the adoption of the law on insolvency and others. We believe that in the future, further improvements may experience due to some reforms in the pipeline. Here, we highlight the at credit level where CTA, in partnership with the Bank of Mozambique, drafted the Law Proposal for Private Central Credit Information that allows greater availability of relevant information regarding positive assessment of potential borrowers, which will impact on the level of the market interest rate. Once approved, this law will, also, positively impact on the ranking of Doing Business, more specifically on the gauge on the ease of obtaining credit.

  1. What are challenges you have faced and how did you succeed in dealing with them? Secondly, how could these challenges faced be avoided?

The current challenge of the CTA it is to speed up the reform process in Mozambique. In this sense, the CTA believes that the current model of Public Private Dialogue does not favor an accelerated reform. To avoid stagnation, the CTA has proposed to the Government to change the DPP model, becoming formal and raises it to the highest level of government.

 

  1. How do you rate the government´s role in supporting your organisation?

The relationship with the government has been good. We feel that in 2013 and 2014 things cooled down a bit, but we understand that years were loaded with political agenda. We now feel that things took a new turn and more quickly. The Government recognizes the CTA as Private Sector representative and, therefore, the Public Private Dialogue was institutionalized.

  1. Are there similar organisations promoting foreign investments in Mozambique? If yes, are you working in partnership with them to achieve the common goal?

Yes, there is the Investment Promotion Center – CPI, a government organization. There are some activities together as a matter of local content and business missions.

  1. In which areas do you think you need foreign investment the most in Mozambique?

Agriculture, tourism, technology and manufacture.

  1. As part of Footprint to Africa´s agenda is hosting and promoting various events across Africa, like the Calabar Wine Fair in Nigeria, AgriBusiness Forum in Kinshasa, DRC, Oil and Gas Expo in Monrovia, will you be open to partnering with Footprint to Africa in hosting an event in Mozambique that will attract foreign investment to any of the sector mentioned in question nº 6?

Obviously. To promote business on events is one of the roles of the CTA. The entrepreneur needs to have diverse networking information, build partnerships and exchange experiences. Therefore, these events helps too much.

 

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