Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi has urged foreign investors to regard Mozambique as a preferential destination for their investments so that they can benefit from the vast potential of the country’s natural resources.

Addressing the inaugural session here Wednesday of a conference organized by the British newspaper, the Financial Times, Nyusi encouraged investors to establish effective partnerships to exploit a wide variety of areas, but particularly agriculture.

He declared that, after two decades of noteworthy economic growth, the challenge now was to make growth more inclusive and more broad-based, a goal which must be pursued in the midst of additional fiscal, exchange and balance of payments difficulties.

He argued that, despite an unfavourable international economic environment, the Mozambican economy had displayed a certain resilience. Gross Domestic Product had, in the first six months of 2016, grown at an annual rate of 4.4 per cent, and by the end of the year, GDP growth was expected to rise slightly to 4.5 per cent.

Despite all the constraints, the projections indicate that, for the next five years “the economy will be favourable for foreign investment”, said Nyusi.

“We are committed to inclusive and sustainable economic growth, with greater production, productivity and competitiveness,” he added.

He stressed the opportunities presented by Mozambican agriculture. “There is enormous potential because of the fertility of the soils, and the abundance of water for irrigation, and of labour,” said the President.

The Financial Times documentation for the conference says Mozambique “is now entering an era of pivotal opportunity and fresh challenges”, with “a pressing need to manage major economic reform, improve financial transparency and find ways to explore the diversification of natural resources and exports”.

“The discovery of one of the most important international natural gas fields in the last 10 years offers the potential of significant long-term benefit to Mozambique,” it said. “However, sluggish global LNG (liquefied natural gas) demand and lower oil prices have delayed the project and much rests on its fruition.”