by Andrew Liddle
Scottish Secretary David Mundell has signed-off his trip to south-east Africa with an appeal for Scottish companies to invest in the region.
Mr Mundell said Mozambique and Malawi were “definitely open for business” and urged firms north of the border to “take advantage of that”.
Mozambique could become one of the world’s largest gas producers over the coming decades after major reserves were discovered off its coast in 2011.
During his visit to the region, Mr Mundell spent two days in Mozambique to drive forward a trading partnership between Aberdeen and the city of Pemba.
Speaking on his return to the UK yesterday, Mr Mundell said: “Mozambique and Malawi are definitely open for business, and I encourage Scottish and British companies to take advantage of that.
“Mozambique has the potential to be one of the world’s largest gas producers over the coming decades.
“That presents opportunities for Aberdeen and the north-east, as a global energy hub, to provide services and supply chain expertise.
“It also means the Mozambican economy will grow, creating other areas where our businesses can develop.
“In Malawi, there is a real mood for reform, and if it is successful, doing business will be much easier.
“There is a small but vibrant private sector, which is determined to do all it can to encourage partnership and investment from companies in Scotland and the rest of the UK.”
During his visit, Mr Mundell managed to secure greater protection for Scotch whisky against counterfeiting in Mozambique.
He added: “Of course, there are challenges in both countries, but our High Commissions in Mozambique and Malawi are there to help, and the Department for International Development can also offer support for certain businesses.
“So I urge Scottish companies who are considering expansion in Africa to look at Mozambique and Malawi.”
Aberdeen and Pemba hope to sign a formal memorandum of understanding later this year, underpinned by an action plan to support the African port city develop into a gas hub.
Press and Journal