U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman and the Mozambican Minister of Industry and Commerce Antonio Fernando signed a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) today that will provide a forum to address trade issues and will help enhance trade and investment relations between the United States and Mozambique. The TIFA will build on the bilateral trade and investment relationship between the US and the Government of the Republic of Mozambique and the recent enactment of the U.S.-Mozambique Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT).
Joining Ambassador Portman in signing the agreement were Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Josette Sheeran Shiner, U.S. Ambassador to Mozambique Helen Meagher La Lime, members of the African Diplomatic Corps, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for African Affairs Cindy Courville and senior representatives from the U.S. and Mozambique government and private sector.
"The TIFA will expand our bilateral trade and investment relationship with Mozambique. It is an important next step in our increasingly strong trade relationship, and it builds on our Bilateral Investment Treaty, the African Growth and Opportunity Act, our work in the WTO, and Mozambique’s Millennium Challenge Account compact," said Ambassador Shiner.
The TIFA provides a mechanism for improving the U.S.-Mozambican trade relationship, exploring common objectives, reviewing options, and investigating possibilities for greater cooperation and a more comprehensive trade and investment dialogue.
Created by the TIFA, a United States-Mozambican Council on Trade and Investment will be formed to address a wide range of trade and investment issues that include, but are not limited to, trade capacity building, intellectual property, labor, environmental issues, and enhancing the participation of small and medium sized enterprises in trade and investment. The TIFA Council will establish an ongoing dialogue which will help increase commercial and investment opportunities by identifying and working to remove impediments to trade and investment flows between the United States and Mozambique.
Mozambique has made significant leaps in its development following the end of the civil war in 1992, and continues to be an international model of war-to-peace transition. The substantial, sustained economic growth rate of 8 percent in Mozambique is the result of market-oriented reforms implemented over the last years.
Total trade between the United States and Mozambique was valued at $87.2 million in 2004, an increase of 24 percent over the prior year. U.S. exports totaled $76.4 million in 2004; U.S. imports from Mozambique amounted to $10.8 million in that same year. Mozambique’s exports to the United States, however, make up only about 1 percent of its total worldwide exports. Hence, the opportunities for an expanded trading relationship between the United States and Mozambique are significant. Mozambique is also interested in developing its tourism industry, and U.S. foreign-direct investment in this sector could be very useful in achieving the country’s development goals.