Mozambique, Netherlands Discuss Co-operation In Gas Industry

From BERNAMA

MAPUTO, Feb 19 (BERNAMA-NNN-AIM) — Mozambique and the Netherlands are discussing possibilities of cooperation in the natural gas sector, says the visiting Dutch Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Lilianne Ploumen.

Ploumen, who is leading a delegation of representatives from 25 Dutch companies, knowledge institutions and non-governmental organisations (NGOS) on a visit to Mozambique and Tanzania, said here Tuesday that his country had long experience in gas operations and wanted to share this expertise with the government and people of Mozambique.

She added that the Netherlands could offer not only technical and technological expertise, but also “how to deal with the economic benefits of natural resources, how to be transparent about revenues, and how to involve local communities in these issues”.

She said there was a longstanding relationship between Holland and Mozambique in terms of development aid “and now we want to enrich the relationship by combining aid and trade”.

No Dutch company is currently involved in exploiting Mozambican natural gas, but Ploumen said Dutch businesses could become involved in “upstream and downstream activities, logistics and infrastructures, in strategic planning and the implementation phases”.

“We want to propose to Mozambique a comprehensive package of expertise, knowledge and willingness to invest,” she stressed, adding that the current trade mission was “a starting point for contacts, for networks, for sharing expertise and it’s then up to the businesses to close the deals”.

Currently, Mozambique’s main export to Holland is the aluminium ingots produced at the MOZAL smelter, on the outskirts of Maputo. “We’re looking to diversify that, not only in the gas and mineral sector, but also in agriculture,” she said.

On Monday Ploumen met Mozambique’s Ministers of Mineral Resources and of Transport, Esperanca Bias and Gabriel Muthisse respectively, and on Tuesday she opened a seminar on local content and corporate social responsibility.

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