Portugal and Mozambique have signed a memorandum of understanding on maritime and port transport with a view to “leveraging investment” and “strengthening bilateral relations,” leaders from both countries have told Lusa.
The document was signed in Matosinhos, Oporto district, after a visit to the port of Leixões, attended by the Portuguese Minister of the Sea, Ana Paula Vitorino, and the Minister of Transport and Communications of the Republic of Mozambique, Carlos Fortes Mesquita.
The Portuguese Minister of the Sea said that the partnership could translate into areas such as training, something she considered “basic” and “not as a secondary issue”, and mentioning technological solutions such as the single port window, the single logistics window and the coastal maritime traffic system (VTS) that “[could] be object of sharing”.
“Any of these countries, the most advanced can share what it has with the other,” she said.
Minister Mesquita pointed out that Mozambique “has an extremely strategic geographical position” in transportation and logistics, particularly in regard to countries such as Zimbabwe, Malawi and the Republic of Zambia, Republic of Congo and South Africa’s northeast.
“Mozambique is in a process of economic and social development partnerships which makes partnerships with the private sector and bilateral relations with countries extremely desirable,” he said.
Speaking about hydrocarbon developments in the north of the country, he stressed that “very briefly, Mozambique will position itself as one of the major exporters of gas and LNG (natural liquefied gas) as well as derived products such as diesel and fertilizers”.
“Within this macro-economy, we need human capital guarantees regarding the positioning of technology and information. We are extremely pleased by the level of logistics platforms that perfectly fit our ports and, although the port operators of the main Mozambican ports are essentially private, we believe there will be room for integration with mutual advantages,” Mesquita said.
Both ministers stressed the importance of strengthening bilateral relations, recalling the long shared traditions and common history of Portugal and Mozambique.
“It is extremely important that we maintain a strong connection based on Lusophony that can be a driver of social and economic development. We have a common history and culture,” Vitorino said.
The meeting in the port of Leixões, a structure managed by APDL – Douro Port Administration, Leixões and Viana do Castelo, included a visit to the Ship Coordination Centre, port terminals and logistics platform, and the Cruise Terminal, inaugurated in July 2015.
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