MAPUTO– One of the major reasons given by Mozambican manufacturing companies for not exporting the goods they produce is the high cost of the export licences demanded by the Mozambican authorities, according to a report launched here Monday.

The report, launched at the Public forum on Business Development, documents the main conclusions reached in a survey on manufacturing industries carried out last year and details the challenges faced by the companies. It was the second such survey, and covered companies in urban areas of seven provinces.

Perhaps the most shocking finding was that more than a quarter of the companies covered in the first survey, in 2012, had ceased to exist by 2017. A total of 831 companies were covered in the 2012 survey and 216 have closed down, and 92 refused to participate in the 2017 research. Of the remaining 523 companies still in operation, only nine reported exporting anything.

Acording to the report, the great majority of the companies say that the main reason for not exporting is the high cost of export licences.

Finn Tarp, the director of the United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU�WIDER) and a co-author of the study, pointed out that international experience shows there are advantages in exporting”.

“The growth and efficiency of companies increase, when they manage to export. The growth of manufacturing industry depends on access to foreign markets, he said.

Tarp said that the small number of manufacturing companies who export any of their goods reflects the reality of the manufacturing sector in Mozambique. This is an illustration that Mozambique is still very far from take-of. To achieve this, it is absolutely necessary to think about how to obtain efficiency, and attract competitiveness for exporting. That requires a favourable investment climate, and we don’t see any great effort for this, he added.