PM Receives Lord Mayor of London

Mozambican Prime Minister Carlos Agostinho do Rosario on Wednesday received the Lord Mayor of London, Alan Yarrow, who is on a three day visit to Mozambique.

Speaking to reporters after the audience Yarrow said there should be increased interchange between the Mozambican government and private business, in order to guarantee productivity. But for this joint work to take place, “effective peace must be established in Mozambique”, he urged.

“We discussed various questions”, he said. “More specifically, we talked about how the private sector and the government can improve productivity”. He believed this must entail more priority for small and medium enterprises, which could provide jobs for Mozambican citizens.

In order to improve the functioning of Mozambican companies, Yarrow added, the government should pay its invoices for goods and services within 30 days. (A longstanding complaint of Mozambican businesses is the long delay between sending invoices to state institutions and receiving payment from them).

Yarrow declared that economic development depends on political stability and reconciliation. “I think Mozambique will reach an agreement for effective peace”, he said. “Only stability will bring a greater balance between state-owned and private companies”.

Despite his title, Yarrow is not the Mayor of London. He heads the City of London Corporation, and only represents the companies based in the financial district known as the City (or “the Square Mile”). The position is unpaid and is not party political. The Lord Mayor’s main task is to champion the interests of the British financial sector.

The Lord Mayor is elected each year, not by the citizens of London but by the City trade associations, known as “livery companies”. There are only 110 of these, and they are the descendants of medieval guilds.

According to a statement issued by the British High Commission, Yarrow, on arrival, described Mozambique as “a country full of economic opportunities. It is on the brink of becoming the fastest growing economy in Africa because of its considerable investment opportunities in natural resources such as gas and coal, agriculture and fisheries”.

He said that Mozambique “will need to attract considerable foreign investment and promote a beneficial business environment.

My visit will essentially be for this purpose, and also to connect British companies and potential financial partners in the future”.

On Wednesday Yarrow is also scheduled to meet with President Filipe Nyusi and with officials of the Bank of Mozambique.