Gaining a foothold in continent
By Vasily Kharitonov
Mozambique can become one of the anchor points for Belarus in Africa
Alexander Lukashenko and Alberto Vaquina discuss future relations
This was noted by the President of Belarus. Alexander Lukashenko, as he met the Prime Minister of Mozambique, Alberto Vaquina.
“In recent times we’ve been looking for the foothold in Africa — the states with which we could co-operate. In our opinion, Mozambique could be one such state,” said Mr. Lukashenko.
The Head of the Belarusian state expressed his hope that the visit of the Mozambique Prime Minister to Belarus will help the sides to reach considerable progress in bilateral relations. According to the President, the history of bilateral relations that were established during Soviet times can contribute to this process.
Mr. Lukashenko stressed that Mozambique is a state with great potential and a huge deposits of natural resources. “Such countries as Mozambique will shape the future,” he added.
The President said that the economies of the two countries were complementary and did not compete with each other. At the same time, he remarked that $10m worth of bilateral trade does not meet the potential of the two states. “We haven’t developed the legal framework of our relations yet, and your visit will help intensify relations in this field,” noted the Head of State.
“You should know that we are not strangers for you. We are ready to co-operate with you in all areas. There are no closed topics in collaboration for us,” added the President.
The President didn’t conceal that, in recent years, Belarus has been actively searching for footholds in Africa, and that Mozambique could become one such stepping stone from which we could promote our economic interests to neighbouring states. This is beneficial not only for us but also for our partners. The model has been successfully tested in Latin America. Strengthening in Venezuela opened the way to other countries of the region, while the country itself received new production facilities, residential districts and support in the development of agriculture, exploitation and production of mineral resources.
Mozambique is also a very promising country, boasting serious tourist potential and solid mineral deposits. Mr. Vaquina also admitted that there’s a great interest in developing agriculture. Based on some estimates, up to 88 percent of fertile land is not involved in agriculture, even though the economy is mostly farming based. Belarusian experience in the development in the agricultural sector, together with the ability to manufacture necessary components for this technique in the Eastern Africa, could be very helpful in this respect.
Briefly speaking, there are enough points of coincidence of pragmatic interests. The dialogue is gaining momentum and there are all reasons to suppose that it will bring a tangible economic effect. The President assured his guest in readiness to develop collaboration across all areas.
Mr. Vaquina, for his part, extended wishes of prosperity from the President of Mozambique and thanked Belarus for their hospitality. He noted that there are many areas in which Belarus and Mozambique could co-operate, including agriculture and the production of agricultural equipment.
According to the Prime Minister of Mozambique, favourable political and diplomatic relations between the two sides help promote bilateral contacts. “As a result of the visit, and not only the visit, we will be able to do everything to expand these ties,” he said.