Mission accomplished for AWEX in Mozambique04/12/2016

A tri-regional economic mission, with delegates from Brussels, Flanders and Wallonia, recently visited Maputo from 16 to 19 of November, 2016.

Despite the present difficult economic situation of Mozambique, the call for participants received an unprecedented response from the Belgian business community. Forty-five people took part in the mission, representing thirty companies and accompanying officials, making this the largest Belgian economic mission ever sent to Mozambique. The mission was led by H.E. Hubert Cooreman, Ambassador of Belgium in Pretoria, accredited to Mozambique. A mission of this size, compared to the total population of Belgium, would proportionally have been comprised of 270 Frenchmen or 330 Germans!

The second day of the stay of the Belgian mission in Maputo coincided with the annual session of the “European Union - Mozambique political dialogue”, in the presence of all the EU heads of mission. In his opening speech, H.E. Oldemiro Balói, Minister of Foreign Affairs, referenced this impressive Belgian delegation to emphasize that Europe remained confident in the economic fundamentals of his country. Looking straight in the eyes of the Belgian Ambassador, he added “it is when times are difficult, that you know your friends…”

Considering the limited time available in Maputo, the information sessions for the delegates were kept to the a strict minimum, a short briefing session the first morning on Thursday 17 November, and during the rest of the two working days, each delegate had his own programme of B2B meetings with Mozambican companies or organisations on site, carefully selected according to the specific desires and interests expressed in advance by the Belgian participants.

Some important official meetings took place as well. Select groups of companies were received at the highest possible level under the leadership of the Ambassador of Belgium. Small delegations of Belgian companies were hosted by no less than four different Ministers and two Deputy Ministers!

The Awex office in Johannesburg was in charge of organising the B2B meetings for the 15 companies from Wallonia and Brussels and arranging all the official meetings for the whole delegation, as well as the collective events (briefings, receptions …)

Awex has tentatively earmarked a follow-up mission to Mozambique in its action plan in 2018.