Friday, 21 June 2013

Helping Mozambique entrepreneurs streamline processing of business activities

LUMBO, Mozambique, 15 June 2013 - Entrepreneurs from the northern district of Ilha de Moçambique no longer have to travel 180 km to the provincial capital and spend hours in different government offices to obtain licenses, pay taxes and social security duties, register enterprise names and employees.
After today’s opening of a district “one-stop-shop” in Lumbo, on the continental side of the island district, all administrative services needed for business activities will be processed locally.

“This is a significant improvement, especially for local entrepreneurs, as it helps reduce their costs and eases procedures to formalize businesses,” said Rita Freitas, National Director for Private Sector Support of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce.    

The “one-stop-shop” has been open in Lumbo since September 2012 and during the first eight months it helped issue 40 licenses for local businesses with an investment of USD 1,3 million. More than 1,200 tax identification numbers have also been  issued.

Freitas praised the pioneering character of this initiative. She said it provided access to a modern government service designed to fit the requirements of the private sector.   

Mozambique already has a functioning network of provincial “one-stop-shops” to facilitate licensing and is now further pushing the decentralization of administrative services to the district level.  

With the financial support of Portugal, UNIDO has been assisting the provincial and district authorities since 2010 in setting up the new service. Ilha de Moçambique is a world heritage site and holds a great potential for tourism development and associated industries and services. The project has also supported business associations and youth entrepreneurship.