Australia and Mozambique sign bilateral Memorandum of Understanding
Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd and Mozambique Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Oldemiro Baloi sealed an already strong bilateral relationship with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Australian and Mozambique governments.
Mr Rudd and Mr Baloi signed the Memorandum of Understanding on 26 January in Addis Ababa, where they were both attending the African Union Summit.
Australian High Commissioner to Mozambique, Ann Harrap, welcomed the signing.
“The MOU on bilateral cooperation signed by the foreign ministers, coincidentally on Australia Day, is another important milestone in our growing partnership,” Ms Harrap said.
“The MOU covers our joint commitment to high-level visits and regular dialogue between Foreign Ministers. It also emphasises the importance of expanding trade and investment links, including through the significant engagement by Australian mining companies.”
Australia’s total trade with Africa (both goods and services) increased 32.6 per cent to US$8.5 billion in 2010. Since 2005, total trade values have increased by an average of 4.8 per cent per annum. Mozambique is Australia’s second largest trading partner in Africa.
Ms Harrap said that Australia had been pleased to welcome President Armando Guebuza and a number of his ministers to Australia for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. The Australian Prime Minister was also looking forward to a formal state visit by President Guebuza at a mutually convenient time. She said political-level ties would be further strengthened by the return visit to Mozambique of the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy, Neil Mules, to attend the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP) Summit later this year.
The MOU also covers key areas for future development cooperation between Australia and Mozambique, including food security, sustainable development of the minerals and resources sector, and human resource capacity. According to Ms Harrap these are all areas that have been determined as important priorities by the Mozambique Government.
Peace and security issues are also issues of mutual interest covered by the MOU.
“Australia and Mozambique share similar interests in promoting regional and global peace and security and we look forward to increasing our cooperation in these areas. As two countries with significant Indian Ocean maritime borders, we also look forward to sharing information and ideas on combating transnational threats such as piracy in the Indian Ocean,” Ms Harrap said.
High Commission of Australia in South Africa