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TRADE POLICY REVIEWS: SECOND PRESS RELEASE AND CHAIRPERSON'S  CONCLUSIONS

PRESS RELEASE
PRESS/TPRB/155
26 January 2001
Mozambique: January 2001

The Trade Policy Review Body of the World Trade Organization (WTO) concluded its first review of Mozambique on 24 and 26 January 2001. The text of the Chairperson's concluding remarks is attached as a summary of the salient points which emerged during the discussion.

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See also:

First press release
Summary of Secretariat report
  > Summary of Government report


TRADE POLICY REVIEW BODY: REVIEW OF MOZAMBIQUE
TPRB'S EVALUATION
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The review enables the TPRB to conduct a collective examination of the full range of trade policies and practices of each WTO member countries at regular periodic intervals to monitor significant trends and developments which may have an impact on the global trading system.

The review is based on two reports which are prepared respectively by the WTO Secretariat and the government under review and which cover all aspects of the country's trade policies, including its domestic laws and regulations, the institutional framework, bilateral, regional and other preferential agreements, the wider economic needs and the external environment. A record of the discussion and the Chairperson's summing-up together with these two reports will be published in due course at the complete trade policy review of Mozambique and will be available from the WTO Secretariat, Centre William Rappard, 154 rue de Lausanne, 1211 Geneva 21.

Since December 1989, the following reports have been completed: Argentina (1992 and 1999), Australia (1989, 1994 and 1998), Austria (1992), Bahrain (2000) Bangladesh (1992 and 2000), Benin (1997), Bolivia (1993 and 1999), Botswana (1998), Brazil (1992, 1996 and 2000), Burkina Faso (1998), Cameroon (1995), Canada (1990, 1992, 1994, 1996 and 1998), Chile (1991 and 1997), Colombia (1990 and 1996), Costa Rica (1995), C˘te d’Ivoire (1995), Cyprus (1997), the Czech Republic (1996), the Dominican Republic (1996), Egypt (1992 and 1999), El Salvador (1996), the European Communities (1991, 1993, 1995, 1997 and 2.000), Fiji (1997), Finland (1992), Ghana (1992), Guinea (1999), Hong Kong (1990, 1994 and 1998), Hungary (1991 and 1998), Iceland (1994 and 2000), India (1993 and 1998), Indonesia (1991, 1994 and 1998), Israel (1994 and 1999), Jamaica (1998), Japan (1990, 1992, 1995, 1998 and 2000), Kenya (1993 and 2000), Korea, Rep. of (1992, 1996 and 2000), Lesotho (1998), Macau (1994), Malaysia (1993 and 1997), Mali (1998), Mauritius (1995), Mexico (1993 and 1997), Morocco (1989 and 1996), Mozambique (2001) New Zealand (1990 and 1996), Namibia (1998), Nicaragua (1999), Nigeria (1991 and 1998), Norway (1991, 1996 and 2000), Pakistan (1995), Papua New Guinea (1999), Paraguay (1997), Peru (1994 and 2000), the Philippines (1993), Poland (1993 and 2000), Romania (1992 and 1999), Senegal (1994), Singapore (1992, 1996 and 2000), Slovak Republic (1995), the Solomon Islands (1998), South Africa (1993 and 1998), Sri Lanka(1995), Swaziland (1998), Sweden (1990 and 1994), Switzerland (1991, 1996 and 2000 (with Liechtenstein), Tanzania (2000), Thailand (1991, 1995 and 1999), Togo (1999), Trinidad and Tobago (1998), Tunisia (1994), Turkey (1994 and 1998), the United States (1989, 1992, 1994, 1996 and 1999), Uganda (1995), Uruguay (1992 and 1998), Venezuela (1996), Zambia (1996) and Zimbabwe (1994).

  
  
TRADE POLICY REVIEW BODY:   REVIEW OF MOZAMBIQUE
CONCLUDING
REMARKS BY THE CHAIRPERSON Back to top

We have had a good and informative discussion of the trade policies of Mozambique. Members were very impressed by the excellent economic performance of Mozambique in recent years, attributing this to its economic reforms, including privatization of enterprises, the elimination of most export restrictions and of foreign exchange controls, and simplification of its customs tariff. Members observed with praise the fact that Mozambique's good performance often had come in the face of serious climatic difficulties. They also noted that Mozambique had benefited from debt relief programmes, although some urged even greater relief. Members also commented favourably on Mozambique's efforts to attract foreign investment and urged that these efforts be strengthened and supported.

Members appreciated Mozambique's active participation in the multilateral trading system. They called on Mozambique to expand its commitments under the GATS and to make every effort to meet its WTO notification requirements. Some Members sought further information on Mozambique's experience with the Integrated Framework and on its technical assistance needs, and pledged a willingness to provide continued assistance, either individually or through various programmes. Some Members joined Mozambique in urging that the regular budget of the WTO be increased to address some of these needs better. Members also showed an interest in the role of regional and bilateral trade agreements in expanding Mozambique's trade, but called for greater transparency in those agreements.

Members encouraged Mozambique to strengthen its domestic process of trade policy coordination and to continue its reform process. Some Members suggested that Mozambique further reduce its border barriers to trade and to increase the number of its tariff bindings. Members noted with some concern that Mozambique had not implemented the WTO provisions on customs valuation but welcomed its intention to apply the agreement by 2003. Questions were raised about tariffs (including bindings and applied rates) and about other duties and charges (including import surcharges on products such as sugar). Members encouraged Mozambique to further progress in the implementation of its privatization programme.

Some Members noted the pending significant expansion of Mozambican exports in the mining and power sectors, and pointed out that Mozambican exports, almost limited to agricultural products, could be expanded if markets were more open in developed countries. There was also recognition that further expansion of Mozambican exports depended to a large extent on infrastructure developments and foreign investment. Some concern was expressed about its Government's intervention in the agriculture sector, mainly on products such as cashew and sugar, and for food security purposes.

Members also sought further clarification on a number of issues, including:

  • pre- and post-shipment inspection;

  • standards and other technical requirements;

  • government procurement and eventual participation by Mozambique in the Plurilateral Agreement on Government Procurement;

  • implementation of the TRIPS agreement in January 2006;

  • investment regime, including incentives provided in Export Processing Zones and Industrial Zones;

  • mining, including the MOZAL project;

  • industrial strategy and development corridors; and

  • structural reforms in the services sector, including financial services and telecommunications.

Members appreciated the responses provided by the delegation of Mozambique to most questions raised during the meeting.

In conclusion, it is my feeling that this Review has given the TPRB an excellent insight into the evolving trade policies and practices of one of the LDCs that is having the greatest success. Members were encouraged by Mozambique's economic performance. Members encouraged Mozambique to maintain both the pace and the direction of its reforms and urged that its bilateral and regional arrangements be WTO-consistent. In my personal capacity, I urge all Members to support Mozambique in its efforts. In this respect, we should pay particular attention to Mozambique's request to the Membership for technical assistance.