Mozambique flag Mozambique: Investing in Mozambique

Foreign direct investment (FDI) in Mozambique

FDI in Figures

Mozambique is an important destination for FDI in South-East Africa. The country recorded historically high FDI inflow levels in 2013, reaching more than USD 6 billion. According to the UNCTAD’s World Investment Report 2023, FDI inflows stood at USD 1.97 billion, down from the USD 5.1 billion recorded one year earlier, mainly due to negative intracompany loans. In terms of the sectoral distribution of investments, the mining industry retained its status as the primary recipient of inflows, capturing 78.9% of the total. It was followed by the production and distribution of electricity, gas, and water sector at 6.6%, manufacturing at 2%, and lastly, the transport, storage, and communication sector at 1% (Bank of Mozambique). According to the report from the BoM, Mauritius emerged as the primary contributor to FDI in Mozambique in 2022, accounting for 70.5%. Following Mauritius were the Netherlands, United Arab Emirates, and Italy, contributing 27.6%, 9.3%, and 7.9% respectively, to the country's total net FDI inflow. At the end of the same period, the stock of FDI totaled USD 54.1 billion, around 301.6% of the country’s GDP. According to data from the Bank of Mozambique, FDI has exhibited an upward trajectory in recent years. This trend is attributed to heightened capital inflows from major projects, particularly within the extractive industry. These projects primarily concentrate on hydrocarbon exploration and research activities in the Rovuma basin, as well as efforts to revitalize the coal and heavy sands industry. FDI in Mozambique increased by 15.2% and stood at USD 1,521.8 million in the first three quarters of 2023 compared to 2022, according to the BoM.

The government has consistently implemented reforms, maintained sound economic policies, and put in place a privatization program 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 landlocked neighbors. Mozambique has significant and varied natural resources (energy, mines, agriculture, forestry, and fishing), and its geographical location offers a serious advantage in the transportation field. On the other hand, 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. National authorities must approve all foreign and domestic investment, including guarantees and incentives. With a few exceptions, Mozambique's Investment Law and its regulations typically do not differentiate based on investor origin or restrict foreign ownership or control of companies. The "Mega-Projects Law" (No. 15/2011) mandates that 5 to 20% of the equity capital of public-private partnerships, large-scale ventures, and significant business concessions must be held by Mozambicans. The country ranks 126th among the 132 economies on the Global Innovation Index 2023 and 141st out of 184 countries on the latest Index of Economic Freedom.

 
Foreign Direct Investment 202020212022
FDI Inward Flow (million USD) 3,0355,1021,975
FDI Stock (million USD) 46,28050,06854,114
Number of Greenfield Investments* 887
Value of Greenfield Investments (million USD) 7052,4631,369

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.

 
Country Comparison For the Protection of Investors Mozambique Sub-Saharan Africa United States Germany
Index of Transaction Transparency* 5.0 5.5 7.0 5.0
Index of Manager’s Responsibility** 4.0 3.5 9.0 5.0
Index of Shareholders’ Power*** 7.0 5.5 9.0 5.0

Source: Doing Business, Latest available data

Note: *The Greater the Index, the More Transparent the Conditions of Transactions. **The Greater the Index, the More the Manager is Personally Responsible. *** The Greater the Index, the Easier it Will Be For Shareholders to Take Legal Action.

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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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Latest Update: May 2024

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