Moçambique strengthens its bilateral relations with the UAE – By Kestér Kenn Klomegah

Carefully reviewing the primary significance of Mozambican President Filipe Jacinto Nyusi’s working visit shows the level of recognition accorded by African leaders to this country in the Arab world. In October, he led a government delegation for three working days in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Simply and popularly called Emirates, it is located at the eastern end of the Arabian Peninsula and shares borders with Oman and Saudi Arabia, while having maritime borders in the Persian Gulf with Qatar and Iran. Abu Dhabi is the capital, while Dubai, the most populous city, is an international business center. In 2021, the United Arab Emirates had an estimated population of around 9.9 million.

Many have asked the most traditional and frequently asked question, why this Arab country has reached such a level of importance as a business and tourist destination, even as a place of transit for travelers. The United Arab Emirates has the most diversified economy, an admirably well-planned city and a refined welcoming culture in the Arab world.

As impressive as the economic growth in the United Arab Emirates has been, the total population has now grown by around 10 million. The UAE has a good general infrastructure, the main advantage of the system is national macroeconomic stability and is growing steadily, and this key factor has a positive impact on its economic and trade relations with foreign countries.

As a result, African leaders, business leaders, tourists and even young people have a desire to take a look at the country. For African leaders, among them for example President Filipe Nyusi, the goal is to establish and strengthen multifaceted economic ties with the United Arab Emirates. According to reports, Filipe Nyusi officially visited at the invitation of the President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and ruler of Abu Dhabi, Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

President Nyusi and Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan discussed various aspects of the UAE-Mozambique relationship and the opportunities available to expand the scope of common interests. In this context, the two sides affirmed their common interest in developing bilateral relations and moving them forward to serve the interests of both sides and their peoples.

The meeting focused on cooperation in the field of environment and the fight against climate change, in light of Mozambique’s membership of the co-led Agricultural Innovation Mission for Climate (AIM for Climate). by the United Arab Emirates and the United States which was announced in 2021.

Both sides stressed the important role that the Conference of States Parties to the UN Climate Change Convention (COP 28), which will be hosted by the United Arab Emirates next year, can play in this regard. The two leaders exchanged views on a number of regional and international issues of common concern.

Filipe Nyusi also met the Emir of Dubai, Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who is also the Vice President, and then visited the Port of Dubai, managed by DP World, which is currently involved in the management of the Port of Maputo. He interacted with Mozambican citizens residing in the United Arab Emirates. In order to facilitate and promote tourism, Mozambique and the Emirates were seeking to exempt entry visas as part of the package of economic acceleration measures.

As part of the review of bilateral relations, contacts are underway to establish a visa waiver agreement on diplomatic and service passports, and this agreement will be extended to normal passport holders. Both attempted to secure a direct air link between the two countries.

In the United Arab Emirates, the diplomatic talks resulted in a series of agreements on strengthening bilateral cooperation and two memorandums of understanding on defense cooperation and on the fight against terrorism were signed. According to official reports, Mozambique and the Emirates attach great importance to economic and trade cooperation and also provide necessary assistance in the fight against terrorism.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid and President Nyusi witnessed the signing of several agreements and Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) covering various sectors. Lieutenant General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Verónica Macamo, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Mozambique, signed a memorandum of understanding on security and the fight against terrorism.

For his part, President Nyusi expressed his thanks and satisfaction to His Highness for the warm welcome, that the visit constituted an important boost for the relations between the two countries in various fields, and finally underlined his desire to continue to work with him for the growth and prosperity of bilateral relations. The meeting brought together a number of senior UAE officials.

In general, the UAE and Africa have excellent and dynamic relations. The Dubai International Chamber operates four representative offices in Kenya, Ethiopia, Mozambique and Ghana. Over 1,600 new African member companies have registered with the Dubai Chamber since October 2021, after hosting the sixth edition of the Global Business Forum Africa (GBF Africa).

According to Gulf Business, the Dubai International Chamber’s strategy is to drive membership, which aims to attract businesses and foreign direct investment from the mainland to the Emirates. That is, efforts are aimed at attracting African businesses to the Dubai market and connecting local businesses to emerging business opportunities across Africa.

Interestingly, President Filipe Jacinto Nyusi’s visit in October underscored the UAE’s desire to strengthen trade and commercial relations with Mozambique and possibly other African countries. It further shows the strong ties of friendship and cooperation between the two countries and their willingness to explore ways to expand their partnership to promote mutual investment and enhance stability and prosperity.

After a comprehensive in-depth study and review of several reports, UAE businessmen have a huge interest in investing in Mozambique. According to O País (Rádio Moçambique), President Nyusi, at the end of the visit, wholeheartedly expressed his pride in the strong relations between Mozambique and the United Arab Emirates. With a population of around 30 million, Mozambique is endowed with rich natural resources. It is one of 16 countries with a collective responsibility to promote regional socio-economic integration and security cooperation within the Southern African Development Community.

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