The Mozambican Ministry of Public Works is to cooperate with the Chinese province of Shandong in the context of the “strategic partnership” between Mozambique and China announced earlier this month during the state visit to China by President Filipe Nyusi.
Shandong was one of the provinces visited by Nyusi and his delegation, which included Public Works Minister Martinho Bonete.
Following up Nyusi’s visit, a business delegation from Shandong is currently in Maputo, led by provincial vice-governor Sun Wei. The two sides have set up a working group which will draw up a plan of action aimed at improvements to Mozambican infrastructures, particularly roads.
At the end of a meeting on Friday, Bonete told reporters that Shandong is a highly industrialized province and some of its companies are already operating in Mozambique.
“The delegation has come to reaffirm the strategic partnership it wants with our Ministry”, he said. “With this partnership it is intended to give greater focus to the area of infrastructures – roads and bridges – but also to water supply and sanitation, without forgetting housing”. Shandong is prepared to cooperate with Mozambique in all these areas, he added.
Asked what practical results could be expected from this cooperation, Bonete said the Shandong companies are interested in forming public-private partnerships. They have expressed interest, not only in the existing transport corridors from Mozambican ports to the landlocked countries of the hinterland, but also in building an entirely new north-south highway. This would be an alternative to the present National Highway Number One, which runs from Maputo to the northern province of Cabo Delgado.
For his part, Sun Wei said that Shandong has taken enormous advances in road construction. 30 years ago there were no modern road connections between the major cities in Shandong, but now a network of motorways facilitates communication in the province. He believed there could be “economic complementarity” between Mozambique and China.
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