In 2006, Mozambique was ranked 137 in the World Bank's Doing Business report, out of 175 countries analyzed. This poor result shows that the private sector in Mozambique faces serious problems with the institutional enabling environment. The country's ranking falls in the bottom one-third internationally in the areas of starting a business, employing workers, trading across borders, enforcing contracts, and closing a business.
Portions of the 2006 Doing Business report containing import and export indicators showed that time required to complete the customs clearance process both for imports and exports is excessive. The length of time required for clearance, especially in preparing the necessary documentation, averages 38 days for imports and 39 days for exports (see Annex 1). This is considerably above the norm, even by regional comparison, and represents a major obstacle to the efficient flow of trade, and the ability of Mozambican exporters to be competitive.
USAID is providing support to the Government of Mozambique to identify constraints and develop a work plan to reduce import and export clearance times in half in 3 years (from 39 days to 19.5 for exporting and from 38 to 19 for importing). The import/export clearance times specified in the 2006 World Bank Doing Business Survey will serve as our baseline indicator.