MAPUTO, The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has declared that it will invest in a wide range of areas in Mozambique, including agriculture, mineral resources and transport.

Speaking at the official opening of the UAE Embassy in Maputo Monday, the country’s ambassador, Asim Al Ramrah, noted that the UAE and Mozambique had recently signed agreements on the reciprocal promotion and protection of investments, and on avoidance of double taxation and believed these would help investment and trade flows between the two countries.

Among the projects listed by the ambassador is the building of a professional training centre in the southern province of Inhambane, costing 2.5 million US dollars. This centre should produce its first graduates next year.

Al Ramrah said that discussions on co-operation in agriculture were encouraging and reaching their final phase. A Mozambican delegation is in the UAE to conclude procedures prior to signing a formal agreement.

One of the UAE’s leading global companies, Dubai Ports World, he added, is in negotiations with the Mozambican government over the future management and development of the port of Nacala in the northern Mozambican province of Nampula. The Dubai port company is already one of the main partners in the Maputo Port Development Company (MPDC), which holds the lease on Maputo port.

Al Ramrah promised that Emirates Airlines will shortly begin direct flights between Dubai and Maputo, which he believed would encourage trade and investment flows between the two countries.

The ambassador said that to date, the UAE has invested 3.3 billion US dollars in Mozambique. Of this sum, 1.3 billion USD were foreign direct investments, which generated more than 17,000 jobs. A total of 33 UAE companies are currently operating in Mozambique, and seven Mozambican companies are working in the UAE.

Asim Al Rahmah has been UAE ambassador to Mozambique since April, last year.