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Mozambique’s lengthy coastline, deep-water ports, favorable climate, rich soil, and vast natural resources give the country significant potential, but investors perceive it as a risky market. The Government of the Republic of Mozambique (GRM) announced a slate of economic reforms in August 2022, including fiscal reforms and investment incentives. As part of the economic reform package, the government simplified procedures in logistic corridors, implemented a new e-visa system to facilitate entry into the country for tourists and business, and announced its intention to exempt 29 countries including the United States from entry-visa requirements. In 2023, the government expects to begin digital business registration and pass legislation to revise the investments and labor laws. Although the government is working to improve fiscal policies at the national level, the inconsistent and unpredictable application of combined local and national taxes remains burdensome. Many business contacts have complained that other challenges to investment include corruption, barriers to private land ownership, high interest rates, and poor infrastructure. Heavy rains and tropical storms cause frequent degradation of roads, bridges, and other infrastructure. Mozambican labor laws make it difficult to hire and fire workers, and court systems are bogged down by labor disputes. The domestic workforce lacks many advanced skills needed by industry, and the complicated visa process makes hiring foreign workers difficult.

Energy companies began exporting natural gas from a floating LNG (FLNG) platform offshore of the northern province of Cabo Delgado in November 2022. However, companies have delayed two larger multi-billion-dollar onshore LNG projects due to continued terrorism-related insecurity in northern Mozambique.

Mozambique is eager to partner with the United States on climate issues but lacks resources. The GRM joined initiatives such as the Agricultural Innovation Mission for Climate (AIM4C) and the Global Methane Pledge. Mozambique is a growing producer of critical minerals, including aluminum, cobalt, graphite, and titanium, although some mines in Cabo Delgado had to temporarily suspend operations due to terrorist activity.

The GRM partnered constructively with the United States and other members of the donor community on economic reforms. In May 2022, the IMF Board approved a 36-month, $456 million program that aims to reinforce Mozambique’s economic recovery while addressing challenges related to debt and financing and encourages good governance and improved management of public resources. The GRM is working with the U.S. Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) to sign a second MCC compact in 2023, valued at approximately $500 million over five years. Through this compact, MCC plans to invest in transportation infrastructure, climate resilience and coastal restoration, and commercial agriculture in Mozambique’s central Zambezia Province, while promoting business-enabling reforms at the national level.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine caused commodity price shocks that contributed to inflation in Mozambique. Higher prices for wheat and fertilizers raised food prices and decreased grain imports caused some Mozambicans to substitute locally grown staples such as cassava for imported wheat.

Table 1: Key Metrics and Rankings
Measure Year Index/Rank Website Address
TI Corruption Perceptions Index 2022 142 of 180
Global Innovation Index 2022 123 of 132
U.S. FDI in partner country ($M USD, historical stock positions) 2018 $491
World Bank GNI per capita ($M USD) 2021 $480

Policies Towards Foreign Direct Investment

The GRM sees foreign investment as a driver of economic growth and job creation, and most sectors except a few related to national security, are open to foreign investment. The GRM is making efforts to revise its current legal framework governing foreign investments. The current legal framework was established by the 1993 Investment Law (no. 3/93) and a 2009 decree (no. 43/2009).

In general, large investors receive more support from the GRM than small- and medium-sized investors.  GRM authorities must approve all foreign and domestic investment, including guarantees and incentives.  Regulations for the 2009 Code of Fiscal Benefits law (no. 4/2009), were established under a 2009 Decree (no. 56/2009).

The Agency for Promotion of Investments and Exports (APIEX, Agencia para a Promocao de Investimentos e Exportacoes) is the primary point of contact within the GRM for investors. APIEX, operates under the Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MIC), with the objective of facilitating private and public investment.  It also oversees the promotion of national exports and assists investors with administrative, financial, and property issues.  Through APIEX, investors can receive exemptions from some customs and value-added tax (VAT) duties when importing “Class K” equipment, which includes capital investments.

Contact information for APIEX is:

Agency for Promotion of Investments and Exports 
Rua da Imprensa, 332 (ground floor)
Tel: (+258) 21313310
Ahmed Sekou Touré Ave., 2539 Maputo
Telephone: (+258) 21 321291
Mobile: (+258) 82 305 6432

GRM dialogue with the private sector is primarily coordinated through MIC and the country’s largest umbrella organization of business associations, the Confederation of Economic Associations (CTA, Confederação das Associações Económicas de Moçambique). CTA was formed in 1996 and continues to be the most influential business association in Mozambique, however other business associations do exist, including the Associação Comercial de Beira (ACB), Associação de Comércio, Indústria e Serviços (ACIS), Mozambique Chamber of Commerce (CCM, Câmara de Comércio de Moçambique) and a new American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) that formed in 2019. CTA hosts the Conferencia Annual do Sector Privado (CASP), an annual dialogue between the GRM and the private sector chaired by the President of MozambiqueCTA holds two semi-annual meetings known as the Conselho de Monitoria de Ambiente de Negócios (CMAN) chaired by the Prime Minister.

Limits on Foreign Control and Right to Private Ownership and Establishment

With some exceptions, Mozambique’s Investment Law and its regulations generally do not distinguish between investor origin or limit foreign ownership or control of companies.  The 2011 “Mega-Projects Law” (no. 15/2011) stipulates that 5 – 20 percent of the equity capital of public-private partnerships, large-scale ventures, and major business concessions be owned by Mozambicans.

The GRM regulates the exploration, research, production, transportation, trade, refinery, and transformation of liquid hydrocarbons and their by-products, including petrochemical activities.  It updated its petroleum law (no. 16/2022) and mining law (decree 48/2022) to clarify percentages of extractive industry revenues that accrue to local communities. Article 4.6 of the petroleum law establishes the state-owned oil company, the National Hydrocarbon Company (ENH, Empresa National das Hidrocarbonetos) as the GRM’s exclusive representative for investment and participation in oil and gas projects.  ENH typically owns up to 15 percent of shares in oil and gas projects in the country.

Depending on the size of the investment, the GRM approves both domestic and foreign investments at the provincial or national level, but there is no other formal investment screening process.

Other Investment Policy Reviews

In March 2022, CTA published a report entitled, “ Accelerating actions for economic recovery in Mozambique’s Private Sector.” The report lists seven key recommendations announced at the 2022 CASP conference: 1) Reduce the number of days required to obtain a business license; 2) reduce the cost of finance; 3) apply incentives to increase industrialization; 4) increase the number of products certified at international standards; 5) strengthen small and medium enterprises through legal reforms and payment of all government debts to companies; 6) increase agricultural productivity through fiscal reform; and 7) increase influx of international tourists to Mozambique by facilitating visas and lowering value added taxes paid by tourists. The economic reforms announced in August 2022 incorporate many of these recommendations.

Business Facilitation

Registering a business typically involves many steps, including reserving a name, signing an incorporation contract, paying registration fees, publishing the company’s name and statutes in the national gazette, registering with the tax authority, and notifying relevant agencies of the start of activity. This process takes approximately 17 days according to the World Bank. In 2020, the City of Maputo consolidated some of the steps by establishing a “one stop shop” (BAU, balcão de atendimento unico), reducing the number of days required to register a new company to 11. There is not a business registration website, although the government expects to launch a digital registration process in 2023. APIEX maintains a guide  to starting a business with some resources. In September 2022, the GRM enacted a new Commercial Code that is aligned with international best practices which could improve business facilitation and private sector competitiveness. In 2020, the GRM partnered with CTA to launch the Programa Nacional de Certificação Empresarial (PRONACER) to support small and medium enterprises.

Outward Investment

The GRM does not promote or incentivize outward investment.  It also does not restrict domestic investors from investing abroad.  However, Mozambique does require domestic investors to remit investment income from overseas, except for amounts required to pay debts, taxes, or other expenses abroad.

Mozambique has signed bilateral investment treaties (BIT) with 28 countries , including a BIT with the United States that went into force in 2005.

Mozambique is party to nine treaties  with investments provisions (TIPs), including the 2006 Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Protocol and the 2005 Mozambique-U.S. Trade and Investment Facilitation Agreement (TIFA). The National Assembly ratified Mozambique’s accession to the African Continental Free Trade Agreement in 2022.

Mozambique does not have a bilateral taxation treaty with the United States, but it has treaties with several countries, listed here .

In 2019, the United States and Mozambique signed a Bilateral Commercial MOU to help facilitate trade and investment in the areas of energy, infrastructure, agriculture, and tourism, among other industries.

Transparency of the Regulatory System

Investors face numerous requirements for permits, approvals, and clearances, which often take substantial time and effort to obtain.  The complex and multi-stop bureaucratic system creates opportunities for rent-seeking. Labor, health, safety, and environmental regulations may go unenforced or are selectively enforced.  In some cases, according to private sector contacts, civil servants have reportedly threatened to enforce antiquated regulations that remain on the books in order to obtain favors or bribes.

The GRM requires businesses in certain sectors to apply for an Environmental License, via the Environmental Impact Evaluation Process, regulated under the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulation (no. 54/2015). The Ministry of Land and Environment and its subordinate institutions and directorates issue licenses following the Environmental Impact Evaluation Process, which entails creation of an Environmental and Social Management Plan (ESMP).

Draft bills are made available for public comment through business associations or in public meetings.  The GRM publishes changes to laws and regulations in the National Gazette, which is available electronically.  There have been complaints of short comment periods and that comments are not properly reflected in the National Gazette.

Overall fiscal transparency in Mozambique has improved in the wake of the “hidden debts” scandal, which became public in 2016. The GRM reports on public debts, including state-owned enterprise (SOE) debt, in the national budget. However, publicly available budget documents still do not provide a complete picture of the GRM’s revenue streams, particularly regarding SOE earnings, which generally do not have publicly available, audited financial statements. The GRM also maintains off-budget accounts not subject to adequate audit or oversight.  For published portions of the budget that were relatively complete, the information provided was generally reliable. The IMF’s ongoing program with Mozambique includes reform measures designed to improve the GRM’s public financial management.

International Regulatory Considerations

Mozambique is a member of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).  In 2016, Mozambique, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, and Eswatini (then-Swaziland), signed an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union.  Mozambique exports aluminum under this EPA agreement. The GRM ratified the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) in July 2016 and notified the WTO in January 2017.  The GRM established a National Trade Facilitation Committee to coordinate the implementation of the TFA. The Mozambique National Assembly ratified Mozambique’s participation in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA) agreement in December 2022.

Mozambique is a member of the WTO and generally notifies the WTO Committee on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) of all draft technical regulations. The National Institute of Standards and Quality (INNOQ, Instituto Nacional de Normalização e Qualidade) falls under the supervision of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce and is the WTO enquiry point for TBT-related issues. INNOQ is a member of the International Standards Organization (ISO) and carries the mandate to issue ISO 9001 certificates. According to the WTO’s, no specific trade concerns have been raised about Mozambique’s TBT measures in the WTO TBT Committee.2017 Trade Policy Review of Mozambique, no specific trade concerns have been raised about Mozambique’s TBT measures in the WTO TBT Committee.

Like most countries in Africa, Mozambique generally bases product standards on existing ISO and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standards.

Legal System and Judicial Independence

Mozambique’s legal system is based on Portuguese civil and customary law.  Justice authorities have shown increased willingness to pursue corruption cases in recent years. In December 2022, the Maputo City Judicial Court convicted 11 of 19 defendants in the “hidden debts” trial. The court issued prison sentences and fines for crimes related to these defendants’ facilitation of over $2 billion in state-backed loans to Mozambican SOEs under the guise of developing a tuna fishing fleet and coastal protection system. The former Finance Minister responsible for signing the illicit state-backed loan guarantees remains in custody in South Africa, pending possible extradition to the United States. The General Prosecutor’s office has also pursued suspects in separate corruption-related cases.

Laws and Regulations on Foreign Direct Investment

The GRM is actively working to revise the legal framework governing investments. Currently, the 2009 Code of Fiscal Benefits (no. 4/2009) and 2009 Decree (no. 56/2009) form the legal basis for foreign direct investment in Mozambique. Operating within these regulations, APIEX analyzes the fiscal and customs incentives available for a particular investment.  Investors must establish foreign business representation and acquire a commercial representation license. During project development, investors must document their community consultation efforts related to the project.  If the investment requires the use of land, the investor must present, among other documents, a topographic plan or an outline of the site where the project will be developed.

If the investment involves an area under 1,000 hectares and the investment is under approximately $25 million, the governor of the province where it will be located can approve the investment.  While APIEX has the authority to approve any project up to $40 million, the MEF must approve national or foreign investments between $40 million and $225 million.  If the investment occupies an area of 10,000 hectares, or an area greater than 100,000 hectares for a forestry concession, or it amounts to more than $225 million, the Council of Ministers must approve it. APIEX  provides additional information regarding Mozambique’s investment requirements.

Competition and Antitrust Laws

The 2013 “Competition Law” (no. 10/2013) established a modern legal framework for competition and created the Competition Regulatory Authority (ARC, Autoridade Reguladora da Concorrência), which started operating in 2021. Violating certain prohibitions in the Competition Law could result in a fine of up to five percent of the company’s annual income.  ARC decisions may be appealed in the Judicial Court in Maputo for cases leading to fines or other sanctions, or to the Administrative Court for merger control procedures. As a sign of its independence, in August 2022, the ARC fined the company Dugongo Cimentos, in which a Chinese firm and the ruling party Frelimo have invested, $320,000 for failing to respond to ARC requests related to claims that it undercut cement prices in Maputo province.

Expropriation and Compensation

There have been no significant cases of nationalization since the adoption of the 1990 Constitution. Mozambican law holds that “when deemed absolutely necessary for weighty reasons of national interest or public health and order, the nationalization or expropriation of goods and rights shall result in the owner being entitled to just and equitable compensation.”

Dispute Settlement

ICSID Convention and New York Convention

Mozambique has been an ICSID member since 1995. It acceded to the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards in 1998. Investment Law (no. no. 3/93) establishes the framework guiding foreign investments in Mozambique.

Investor-State Dispute Settlement

There have been no investment disputes in the past ten years involving U.S. investors under the BIT or otherwise. Investors who feel they have a dispute covered under the BIT should contact the U.S. Embassy. International Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) may also be available.

International Commercial Arbitration and Foreign Courts

In 1999 the National Assembly (Parliament) passed the Law on Arbitration (no. 11/99), which allows access to modern commercial arbitration for foreign investors.  In 2017, the Judicial Council created the Regulations of Mediation Services (via resolutions no. 1/CJ/2017 and no. 2/CJ/2017), which apply in Judicial Courts and the Judicial Mediators’ Code of Conduct.  These resolutions are designed to promote the mediation process as an alternative to litigation.  Labor and commercial arbitration are recognized by local courts, as are cases judged internationally.

The Center of Arbitration, Conciliation, and Mediation (CACM, Centro de Arbitragem, Conciliação e Mediação) offers commercial arbitration. In 2021, CACM handled 52 cases of commercial arbitration; at least 23 cases were in process at the time of the last update from CACM in 2022. CACM has 330 arbitrators and mediators, 24 of whom are international.  However, use of arbitration is limited, as many contracts do not incorporate a clause that allows conflicts to be resolved via arbitration instead of in the courts.

Bankruptcy Regulations

The GRM adopted a comprehensive legal regime for bankruptcy in 2013 known as the “Insolvency Law” (no. 1/2013). This law streamlines the bankruptcy process, sets the rules for business recovery, facilitates potential recovery for struggling businesses, and establishes legal methods to declare bankruptcy. Under the law, creditors can approve a proposed rescue plan, request that a debtor be declared insolvent, and challenge suspicious transactions.

Investment Incentives

In August 2022, the GRM announced 20 economic reforms (PAE, Pacote de Medidas de Aceleração Economica). The PAE measures include tax incentives for new private initiatives and/or the expansion of current investments. These incentives consist of acceleration of the amortizations of paid-in capital to half the period established in Mozambique’s current tax code for certain investments in facilities and equipment, provided they create at least 20 new jobs.

The GRM reformulated its Code of Fiscal Benefits in 2009 (Law no. 4/2009 and Decree no. 56/2009). These benefits aim to encourage development in Mozambique by reducing the amount of tax to be paid by certain companies or entities in the public interest. The law contains specific incentives for entities that intend to invest in certain geographical areas within Mozambique that have natural resource potential but lack infrastructure and have low levels of economic activity.  Additional modest incentives are available for professional training and the construction and rehabilitation of public infrastructure, including but not limited to roads, railways, water supply, schools, and hospitals.

Foreign Trade Zones/Free Ports/Trade Facilitation

Mozambique has six Special Economic Zones (SEZ) including one specific SEZ for Agriculture, and five Industrial Free Zones (IFZ). Created in 2007, Mozambique’s SEZ are zones of general economic activity, geographically delimited and governed by a special customs regime in which goods entering, circulating, transforming, and leaving Mozambican territory are exempt from tax, customs and foreign exchange obligations. Goods produced in a SEZ can be sold domestically or abroad, although goods sold domestically are treated by Mozambican authorities as an export to the domestic market and are therefore subject to the applicable customs duties. Mozambique’s six SEZ are distributed in Nampula, Sofala, Zambézia, Niassa and Gaza provinces.

Mozambique’s IFZs are similar, except that they are designed specifically for industry, and firms operating in an IFZ must export at least 70 percent of their total production. Investments in IFZs are eligible for specific tax incentives. Mozambique’s five IFZs are located in the provinces of Maputo, Nampula, and Tete. The Ministry of Trade and Commerce signed an MOU in 2022 to develop 20 IFZs throughout Mozambique.

Investors should pay close attention to documents and procedures requested to establish a business locally or request fiscal and customs incentives if investing in an SEZ or IFZ. Investors have complained that some GRM officials may not be aware of the benefits conferred by tax-free status, particularly related to customs and duty-free imports.

The GRM established the Limpopo Valley Agribusiness SEZ (ZEEA-L) in January 2021, with the objective of exploring and developing the agricultural potential of the Limpopo Valley. The zone falls under the 2009 Code of Fiscal Benefits. ZEEA-L is part of the GRM’s World Bank funded 2020-2024 SUSTENTA Program, which aims to stimulate investment in agriculture by integrating family farming into productive value chains.

Performance and Data Localization Requirements

Although the concept of local content in terms of employment and procurement by international firms has featured prominently in Mozambican public discourse, the GRM does not require investors to purchase from local sources, nor does it require technology or proprietary business information to be transferred to a local company.  However, within certain sectors, the GRM has implemented specific local content requirements. In the oil and gas sector, the Petroleum Law (no. 16/202214) requires oil and gas companies to give preference to Mozambican individuals and companies if the goods or services are of an internationally comparable quality and competitively priced. The exact local content requirements for each project operating under this law are negotiated within the “Local Content Working Group,” an inter-ministerial body responsible for implementing the GRM’s local content strategy. In March 2022, President Nyusi declared that Mozambique would not adopt a local content law, given concerns it could make Mozambique uncompetitive.

Companies may hire foreign workers only when there are not sufficient Mozambican workers available to meet specific job qualifications.  The Ministry of Labor enforces maximum quotas on foreign workers as a percentage of the workforce within companies, which varies based on the size of the company.  The 2007 Labor Law (no. 23/2007) sets minimum quotas for the percentage of Mozambicans a company operating in Mozambique must employ.  Many companies have found a work-around by hiring foreigners as outside consultants. Work permits for foreigners cost approximately $370 and take at least one month to be issued.  All investments must specify the number and category of Mozambican and foreign workers.

The GRM currently has no data localization policies in effect.  Several international companies offer cloud services to Mozambique; however, none operate in-country data centers. In addition to the GRM-operated Maluana Park and Teledata centers, Mozambique hosts three private data centers: SEACOM, Webmasters, and Eduardo Mondlane University. None of Mozambique’s facilities are carrier-neutral and they do not host individual servers. In February 2022, Mozambique became the first African country to grant a license to SpaceX’s satellite-based internet service provider Starlink.

The government agency responsible for enforcing IT policies and rules is:

UTICT – Unidade Tecnica de Implementacao da Politica de Informatica
Technical Implementation Unit for IT Policy
Tel: (258) 21 309 398; 21 302 241
Mobile (258) 305 3450

Real Property

The legal system recognizes and protects property rights to buildings and movable property. Private land ownership is not permitted, as all land is owned by the State. The GRM grants land-use concessions called Direitos de Uso e Aproveitamento de Terra (DUAT) for periods of up to 50 years with options to renew for additional periods. In practice, DUATs serve as proxies for land titles, although there is no robust market for DUATs as they are not easily transferable.  The process to award DUATs is not transparent and the GRM at times has granted overlapping DUATs that require lengthy negotiations to resolve.  It takes an average of 90 days to issue a DUAT. Banks in Mozambique tend to rely on property other than land – cars, private houses, and infrastructure – as collateral. While CTA and other entities have made efforts to make DUATs “bankable,” it is not currently possible to securitize DUATs for lending purposes.

In urban areas, the DUAT of a plot passes automatically to the purchaser following the sale of a house or building.  In rural areas, the purchaser of physical infrastructure or improvements and crops must request authorization from the GRM for the DUAT to be transferred.  This requirement is often cited as a barrier to obtaining loans in the agricultural sector and is seen as a potential barrier to investment and the transition to more intensive commercial forms of agriculture.

Investors should be aware of the requirement to obtain endorsement of their projects in terms of land use and allocation at a local level from affected communities.  APIEX assists investors in finding land for development and obtaining appropriate documentation, including agricultural land.  The GRM advises companies on relocating individuals currently occupying land designated for development; however, companies are ultimately responsible for planning and executing resettlement programs.

The GRM established a Land Commission (LC) to work on updating the legal framework related to land to prepare three land laws (Basic, Rural, and Urban) for National Assembly passage in 2023.

Intellectual Property Rights

Despite enforceable laws and regulations protecting intellectual property rights (IPR) and a relatively simple registration process, it remains difficult for investors to protect their IPR in Mozambique. Private sector organizations work with various GRM entities on an IPR taskforce to combat IPR infringement and related public safety issues stemming from the use of counterfeit products, but enforcement in Mozambique remains sporadic and inconsistent. Mozambique’s National Inspectorate of Economic Activities (INAE, Inspecção Nacional das Actividades Económicas) has conducted seizures, confiscating fake Hewlett-Packard (HP) toner cartridges, adulterated kitchen oil and falsely branded iPhones, and other merchandise in several recent raids. However, in general, enforcement and prosecutions are limited.  Pirated DVDs and other counterfeit goods are commonly sold in Mozambique.

The Parliament passed a copyright and related rights bill in 2022 (no. 9/2022) superseding bill no. 4/2001, which, combined with the 1999 Industrial Property Act, brought Mozambique into compliance with the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement).  The law provides for the security and legal protection of industrial property rights, copyrights, and other related rights.  In addition, Mozambique is a signatory to the Berne Convention, as well as the New York and Paris Conventions.

Mozambique joined the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) in February 2000. Joining ARIPO paved the way for Mozambique to implement the Banjul Protocol and the GRM deposited its instrument of accession to the protocol at ARIPO in May 2020. Mozambique’s accession to the Banjul Protocol on Marks should facilitate filing trademarks, as ARIPO processes are standardized across all member states and valid across all jurisdictions.

Mozambique is not included in the United States Trade Representative (USTR) Special 301 Report or the Notorious Markets List.

For additional information about treaty obligations and points of contact at local IP offices, please see WIPO’s country profiles at  .

Capital Markets and Portfolio Investment

The Mozambique Stock Exchange (BVM, Bolsa de Valores de Mocambique) is a public institution under the guardianship of the MEF and the supervision of the Banco de Moçambique (Central Bank).  In general, the BVM is underutilized as a means of financing and investment.  However, the GRM has expressed interest in reforming market rules to increase capitalization and potentially require foreign companies active in Mozambique to be listed on the local stock exchange. Corporate and GRM bonds are traded on the BVM, but there is only one dealer that operates in the country, with all other brokers incorporated into commercial banks, which act as primary dealers for treasury bills.  The secondary market in Mozambique remains underdeveloped.  Available credit instruments include medium and short-term loans, syndicated loans, foreign exchange derivatives, and trade finance instruments, such as letters of credit and credit guarantees.  The BVM remains illiquid, in the sense that very limited activity occurs outside the issuing time.  Investors tend to hold their instruments until maturity.  The market also lacks a bond yield curve as GRM issuances use a floating price regime for the coupons with no price discovery for tenures above 12 months.  In 2022 the Central Bank accepted technical assistance manuals from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission related to regulation of the BVM.

The GRM notified the IMF that it has accepted the obligations of Article VIII sections 2, 3, and 4 of the IMF Articles of Agreement, effective May 20, 2011.

Money and Banking System

According to a December 2022 Mozambican Bank Association (MBA) survey, there are 20 commercial banks operating in Mozambique. The top three banks – Banco Comercial e de Investimentos (BCI), Banco Internacional de Moçambique SA (BIM), and Standard Bank – account for 67.6 percent of total banking assets. The MBA survey listed non-performing loans at 11.25 percent in 2020 and 11.46 percent in 2021. Mozambique’s banking system continued to grow at around 3 percent annually, with a 1 percent annual increase in the volume of deposits of 1 percent, a 4 percent increase in loans and advances, and a 52 percent increase in profits.

An estimated 30 percent of Mozambicans had access to a bank account in 2021 which is well below the country’s target of 60 percent. Most banking locations are concentrated in provincial capitals, and rural districts often have no banks at all.  Thanks to the partnership between mobile communications companies and banks for electronic or mobile-money transactions, access to financial services is improving, with many Mozambicans using the mobile money services M-PESA, e-Mola and m-Kesh. The number of services available from ATMs is also increasing. There are 2,242 banking agents in the country that provide basic banking services to customers without access to a bank branch.

In an effort to curtail inflation, the Central Bank increased its monetary policy interest rate in September 2022 to 17.25 from 15.25 percent to reduce inflation. Foreign investors’ export activities in food, fuel, and health markets generally have access to credit in foreign currency.  All other sectors have access to credit only in the local currency.

Foreign Exchange and Remittances

Foreign Exchange

Mozambique revised its foreign exchange control rules in 2017 (Law no. 49/2017). This law requires Mozambican residents to deposit export earnings into an export earnings account in foreign currency, which can only be used for specific purposes. The law requires foreign exchange operations to be processed electronically in real time by commercial banks. Applications for capital operations are processed by commercial banks and forwarded to the Central Bank. Foreign direct investments (FDI) of up to $250,000 no longer require prior authorization from the Central Bank, and only need to be registered with the commercial bank handling the transactions. Shareholder and intercompany loans made by foreign entities for up to $5 million do not require authorization from the Central Bank, provided the loans are interest-free or lower than the base lending rate for the relevant currency, the repayment period is at least three years, and no other fees or charges apply.

A special foreign exchange regime for the oil, gas, and mining sectors allows for greater flexibility in foreign exchange and financing operations for relevant companies.  The law (no. 14/2017), which went into force in January 2018, stipulates profits from petroleum rights are taxed at an autonomous tax rate of 32 percent.  The law also guarantees tax stabilization for up to 10 years, starting from the beginning of commercial production with an investment amount of $100 million.  The MEF can also approve the use of U.S. dollars if the company has invested at least $500 million and more than 90 percent of its transactions are in U.S. dollars.  The law also did away with a 50 percent rate reduction on the production tax for products used locally.

Mozambique revised its Foreign Exchange law in 2022 (Law n.̊ 28/2022), in an effort to facilitate international transactions by reducing bureaucracy in foreign exchange operations and adjusting to technological changes.

Remittance Policies

The Central Bank’s 2021 Notice (Aviso) 6/GBM/2020 requires at least 30 percent of export proceeds to be converted into local currency.  However, per a Central Bank Circular issued in February 2021, this conversion rule does not apply for rent paid in a foreign currency by a non-resident to a Mozambican landlord.

Sovereign Wealth Funds

The government listed the establishment of a sovereign wealth fund (SWF) among the 20 the PAE economic reform measures announced in 2022. A SWF draft law submitted in November 2022 and currently the subject of debate in Parliament proposes to govern revenues from the development of natural gas in the Rovuma Basin and appears to adhere to the Santiago Principles, which promote independence and transparency.

According the State Holdings Management Institute (Instituto de Gestão das Participações do Estado; IGEPE), Mozambique has twelve SOEs , 18 companies  that are majority state-owned, and 23 companies  with minority state ownership.

Some of the largest SOEs, such as Airports of Mozambique (Aeroportos de Moçambique), the Mozambican national airline (Linhas Aéreas de Moçambique; LAM) and Electricity of Mozambique (Electricidade de Moçambique), have monopolies in their respective industries.  In some cases, SOEs enter into joint ventures with private firms to deliver certain services.  For example, Ports and Railways of Mozambique (CFM, Portos e Caminhos de Ferro de Moçambique) offers some concessions. Many SOEs benefit from state subsidies.  In some instances, SOEs have benefited from non-compete contracts that should have been competitively tendered.  SOE accounts are generally not transparent and not thoroughly audited by the Supreme Audit Institution.  Unsustainable SOE debt represents a liability for the GRM.

In 2018, the Parliament passed Law no. 3/2018, which broadens the definition of SOEs to include all public enterprises and shareholding companies.  The law seeks to unify SOE oversight and harmonize the corporate governance structure, instituting additional financial controls, borrowing limits, and financial analysis and evaluation requirements for SOEs.  The law requires the oversight authority to publish a consolidated annual report on SOEs, with additional reporting requirements for individual SOEs.  The Council of Ministers approved regulations for the SOE law in early 2019, and in 2020 the MEF published limited information on SOE debt.

The GRM is working with the IMF and the international donor community to reform its SOEs. In March 2021, the GRM hired a consulting company to study models for restructuring SOEs and selected four SOEs to be restructured: Mozambican Insurance Company (EMOSE), the Correios de Moçambique (Post Office), the Sociedade de Gestão Imobiliária (DOMUS), and the Matola Silos and Grain Terminal (STEMA). Mozambican SOEs are domestically focused and do not generally compete internationally or invest in the United States.

Privatization Program

Mozambique’s privatization program has been relatively transparent, with tendering procedures that are generally open and competitive.  Most remaining parastatals operate as state-owned public utilities with GRM oversight and control, making their privatization more politically sensitive.  While the GRM has indicated an intention to include private partners in most of these utility industries, progress has been slow.

Larger companies and foreign investors in Mozambique tend to follow their own responsible business conduct (RBC) standards.  For some large investment projects, RBC-related issues are negotiated directly with the GRM.  RBC is an increasingly high-profile issue in Mozambique, especially in the extractive industries, where some projects require resettlement of communities.

The GRM joined the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) in May 2009.  The EITI Governing Board labeled Mozambique as a compliant country in 2012, and Mozambique continues to make meaningful progress towards implementing the EITI standards.

Following the emergence of a violent extremist insurgency in northern Mozambique in 2017, in 2020 and 2021 the GRM utilized private military companies (PMCs) to provide logistical and tactical support to Mozambican military and police forces. In March 2021, Amnesty International alleged one PMC operating in Mozambique of carrying out indiscriminate attacks on civilians. The GRM’s contract with this PMC ended on April 6, 2021. Mozambique is not a signatory of the Montreaux Document on Private Military and Security Companies, does not support the International Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers, and does not participate as a government in the International Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers’ Association. In 2022, Mozambique expressed interest in joining the Voluntary Principles of Security and Human Rights in Cabo Delgado Province. Currently GRM security services partner with Rwandan military forces and an international force from the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) to conduct security operations in northern Mozambique.

Additional Resources

Department of State

Department of the Treasury

Department of Labor

Climate Issues

In response to climate-related challenges, in November 2012, the GRM approved The National Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Strategy (NCCAMS), covering the 2013-2025 period. The NCCAMS aims to reduce climate risk, both at the community and national level, while promoting low-carbon development and the green economy. To mitigate climate change risk, the GRM revised its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) and announced increased climate change ambitions during COP26 in November 2021. The Government of Mozambique committed to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 40.48 Metric tons of CO2 equivalent (MtCO2EQ) between 2020 and 2025, totaling 99.22 MtCO2EQ by 2030. The Government of Mozambique also endorsed the Global Methane Pledge (GMP).

While these GHG reductions represent a slight increase in mitigation goals, its revised NDC primarily focuses on climate adaptation and limiting the impacts of climate-related droughts and natural disasters. The National Directorate for Climate Change in the Ministry of Land and Environment leads the GRM’s climate change policy development and coordinates adaptation and resilience activities with other ministries. Mozambique has developed district-level climate adaptation plans for most of its districts; however, the government has not yet secured funding to implement many of the activities defined in the plans.

The GRM also plans to increase climate resilience by promoting flood-resilient solutions for water, sanitation and hygiene in rural areas, increasing efforts to combat vector-borne diseases associated with climate change, improving management and conservation of land and marine biodiversity, reducing deforestation, and improving fire management programs. In 2021, Mozambique became the first country to receive a results-based payment for reduced emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) for its Forest Carbon Partnership Facility program in Zambezia province. Despite this achievement, deforestation rates have risen over the last two years as a direct result of job loss during the acute phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, due to increased charcoal/firewood production, and clearing of wooded areas for subsistence agriculture. Other legislation, international agreements, or programs the Government of Mozambique is implementing include:

  • The National Action Program for Climate Change Adaptation (NAPA- 2008)
  • The Country has ratified the UN Action Plan approved in 2003
  • The Convention to Combat Desertification (CDD)
  • The Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
  • The Global Methane Pledge (GMP)
  • Sustainable Resilience and Sanitation Water Services
  • The Mozambique Strategic Programme for Climate Resilience
  • The Country is also a signatory of the Paris Declaration Agreement for Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 and has committed to the 17SDGs

According to private sector contacts, while corruption remains a major concern in Mozambique, the GRM has undertaken some steps to address the problem. Working with the IMF, it published the July 2019 Diagnostic Report on Transparency, Governance and Corruption , which identifies 29 anti-corruption reform measures. The March 2022 IMF agreement intends to use these measures as benchmarks for subsequent reforms. In 2022, Mozambique enacted legal reforms designed to fight corruption with revision of its anti-money laundering and countering financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) law (11/2022). Other recent anti-corruption measures include revisions to the Penal Code (24/2019), Criminal Procedure Code (25/2019), Asset Recovery Law (13/2020), and the establishment in 2015 of provincial offices to combat corruption. However, in 2022 the Financial Action Task Force put Mozambique on its “grey list” because of an inadequate AML/CFT framework.

The Mozambican judicial system conducted a trial for 19 defendants in the “hidden debts” case, hearing from more than 70 witnesses. On December 7, 2022, the Maputo City Court convicted 11 of the 19 defendants for crimes including criminal association, blackmail, embezzlement, falsification of documents, money laundering, and illegally carrying a firearm. The court has seized some assets of the accused to partially compensate the nation for losses caused by the $2 billion in acquired state-backed loans. Mozambican civil society and journalists remain vocal advocates in calling the government to account on what they claim to be corruption-related issues and have been instrumental in pressing for accountability on the hidden debts.

Resources to Report Corruption

Contact at the government agency or agencies that are responsible for combating corruption:

Ana Maria Gemo
Central Anti-Corruption Office (Gabinete Central de Combate a Corrupção)
Avenida 10 de Novembro, 193
+258 82 3034576

Isaque Chande
Ombudsman (Provedor da Justica)
Avenida Julius Nyerere 1515,
Cidade de Maputo,
Maputo, Mozambique

Contact at a “watchdog” organization:
Borges Nhamirre
Project Coordinator Extractive Industries
Center for Public Integrity (Centro de Integridade Publica; CIP)
Rua Fernão Melo e Castro, 124
+258 84 8866440 

In July 2021, Rwandan and SADC military units deployed to Cabo Delgado Province to support Mozambican security forces. Since that time, the combined forces have made security gains in some areas against the Islamic State in Mozambique (ISIS-M). However, as security has improved near the LNG projects in Palma District, ISIS-M sporadically threatened economic interests such as transportation routes and mining operations in other areas. As of early-2023, international energy companies operating the Areas 1 and 4 onshore projects had not yet lifted force majeure to resume construction of their onshore LNG facilities.

United States designated ISIS-M as a Foreign Terrorist Organization and Specially Designated Global Terrorist Group in March 2021. International ISIS affiliates provide support to combatants in northern Mozambique and ISIS occasionally claims credit for their attacks. Since 2017, the ISIS affiliate carried out more than 1,400 deliberate attacks against unarmed civilians, resulting in an estimated 4,350 deaths and over one million internally displaced persons (IDPs). The GRM continues to attempt to stabilize the region with support from the international donor community. IDPs, which peaked in 2022 with over 1 million, started returning to the homes, particularly in Palma district.

Following the ceasefire and peace agreement signed in August 2019, Mozambique’s disarmament, demobilization, and re-integration (DDR) of ex-combatants from political opposition group Renamo is nearing conclusion. The GRM announced in early 2023 that Renamo ex-combatants would be included in Mozambique’s pension system, potentially paving the way for the closure of the last Renamo base.

According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), an estimated six million Mozambicans, or 80 percent of the economically active population in Mozambique, work in the informal sector. Mozambique’s Ministry of Labor generally had not effectively enforced minimum wage, hour of work, and occupational safety and health standards in the informal economy; labor law is only enforced in the formal sector.

There is an acute shortage of skilled labor in Mozambique.  As a result, firms often hire foreign employees who have required skills.  The GRM limits the number of expatriates a business can employ in relation to the number of Mozambican citizens it employs.  The GRM passed labor regulations in 2016 strengthening the requirement for employers to devise skills transfer programs to train Mozambican nationals to eventually replace the foreign workers.

The constitution and law provide that workers, with limited exceptions, may form and join independent trade unions, conduct legal strikes, and bargain collectively, although unions must be approved by the government.  The GRM takes 45 days to register employers’ or workers’ organizations, a delay the ILO has deemed excessive. Approximately three percent of the labor force is affiliated with trade unions.  An employee fired with cause does not have a right to severance, while employees terminated without cause do.  Unemployment insurance does not exist and there is not a social safety net program for workers laid off for economic reasons.  The law does not allow workers to strike until a complex mediation and arbitration process has been conducted, which typically takes two to three weeks. The law also provides for voluntary arbitration for “essential services” personnel monitoring the weather and fuel supply, postal service workers, export-processing-zone workers, and those loading and unloading animals and perishable foodstuffs.

With support from international donors, the GRM is reviewing its Labor Law to align with international conventions related to forced labor, health and safety issues in mining, and the worst forms of child labor.  The proposed revisions would extend the maternity leave period from 60 to 90 days; address sexual harassment; incorporate special conditions in the fisheries sector; provide for telework and intermittent work; address suspension of contracts in cases of force majeure or for technological, structural or market reasons; address private employment agencies; and provide for recruitment of retired persons.

The DFC maintains an active portfolio in Mozambique. In 2022, DFC financed several projects including EcoFarm, an integrated organic sugarcane, cattle, and aquaculture operation, and certain types of insurance. DFC maintains active political risk insurance to the Rovuma LNG Phase 1 onshore LNG project. DFC has also committed funding for a working capital loan for agricultural company ETC Group’s maize, cashew, and pulses operations in Mozambique, Zambia, and Tanzania, and is actively exploring other potential investments in multiple sectors in Mozambique. DFC (then OPIC) signed an investment incentive agreement with Mozambique in 1999. See the DFC’s “ Guide to Partnering with U.S. International DFC ” for more information on DFC programs. The Central Bank approves certain DFC loan portfolio guarantees.

Table 2: Key Macroeconomic Data, U.S. FDI in Host Country/Economy
Host Country Statistical source* USG or international statistical source USG or International Source of Data:  BEA; IMF; Eurostat; UNCTAD, Other
Economic Data Year Amount Year Amount
Host Country Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ($B USD) 2021 $16.17 billion 2022 $17.87
Foreign Direct Investment Host Country Statistical source* USG or international statistical source USG or international Source of data:  BEA; IMF; Eurostat; UNCTAD, Other
U.S. FDI in partner country ($M USD, stock positions) N/A N/A 2018 $491 BEA data available at
Host country’s FDI in the United States ($M USD, stock positions) N/A N/A N/A N/A BEA data available at
Total inbound stock of FDI as % host GDP N/A N/A 2020 5.8% UNCTAD data available at

* Source for Host Country Data:

Table 3: Sources and Destination of FDI
Direct Investment from/in Counterpart Economy Data
From Top Five Sources/To Top Five Destinations (US Dollars, Millions)
Inward Direct Investment (2021) Outward Direct Investment (2011)
Total Inward 76,595 100% Total Outward 4 100%
Mauritius 43,237 56.5% Portugal 3 75%
UAE 10,605 13.8% Kenya 1 25%
Portugal 8,799 11.5% Zimbabwe 0 0%
India 4,487 5.9% South Africa 0 0%
The Netherlands 4,449 5.8% Angola 0 0%
“0” reflects amounts rounded to +/- USD 500,000.

Source: IMF Coordinated Direct Investment Site (CDIS).  The data above reflects the investment and outward investment positions for the most recent period.  Some data were suppressed by the reporting economy due to confidentiality.

Elizabeth Filipe
Economic Assistant
Avenida Marginal, 5467
Maputo, Mozambique
(258) 84 095 8000

On This Page

  2. 1. Openness To, and Restrictions Upon, Foreign Investment
    1. Policies Towards Foreign Direct Investment
    2. Limits on Foreign Control and Right to Private Ownership and Establishment
    3. Other Investment Policy Reviews
    4. Business Facilitation
    5. Outward Investment
  3. 2. Bilateral Investment and Taxation Treaties
  4. 3. Legal Regime
    1. Transparency of the Regulatory System
    2. International Regulatory Considerations
    3. Legal System and Judicial Independence
    4. Laws and Regulations on Foreign Direct Investment
    5. Competition and Antitrust Laws
    6. Expropriation and Compensation
    7. Dispute Settlement
      1. ICSID Convention and New York Convention
      2. Investor-State Dispute Settlement
      3. International Commercial Arbitration and Foreign Courts
    8. Bankruptcy Regulations
  5. 4. Industrial Policies
    1. Investment Incentives
    2. Foreign Trade Zones/Free Ports/Trade Facilitation
    3. Performance and Data Localization Requirements
  6. 5. Protection of Property Rights
    1. Real Property
    2. Intellectual Property Rights
  7. 6. Financial Sector
    1. Capital Markets and Portfolio Investment
    2. Money and Banking System
    3. Foreign Exchange and Remittances
      1. Foreign Exchange
      2. Remittance Policies
    4. Sovereign Wealth Funds
  8. 7. State-Owned Enterprises
    1. Privatization Program
  9. 8. Responsible Business Conduct
    1. Additional Resources
    2. Climate Issues
  10. 9. Corruption
    1. Resources to Report Corruption
  11. 10. Political and Security Environment
  12. 11. Labor Policies and Practices
  13. 12. U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), and Other Investment Insurance or Development Finance Programs
  14. 13. Foreign Direct Investment Statistics
  15. 14. Contact for More Information
2023 Investment Climate Statements: Mozambique
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