Mozambique tipped for retail boom

Posted On Wednesday, 28 July 2010 02:00 Published by
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Retail development in Mozambique is set to grow significantly over the next few years.

Retail development in Mozambique is set to grow significantly over the next few years, says Wayne Wright, business development director at JHI property services.

JHI subsidiary JHI Real Estate Mozambique recently opened another branch office in Matola and is now looking to expand to other key growth areas in the region.

Mozambique has few formal national retail brands, but is experiencing a strong demand for retail that reaches the masses. Coupled with this, the clustering of these brands in shopping centres is rare, with the exception of four Shoprite centres in Maputo, Matola, Chimoio and Beira, as well as the MBS Centre in downtown Maputo and a few smaller strip malls.

Wright says that, as a result, the company foresees development in the retail sector in the near future.

Already, Pick n Pay and Spar have embarked on aggressive strategies to establish a presence in Maputo and Matola — and in every provincial capital — “with developers eager to accommodate them in strip malls built to specification”.

Wright says a project that is set to transform downtown Maputo is the 380000m2 Facim (Maputo International Trade Fair) development, located on prime land, which will include retail, hotels, offices and a residential component.

Negotiations are under way to integrate the Facim project with the Maputo estuary, creating a marina as well as a pedestrian area between the river and the development.

Meanwhile, in the adjoining town of Matola, the nearly 42000m² retail component of the Cidadela da Matola is expected to open to the public in early 2012.

The project is progressing well with the retail component fully committed to a vibrant mix of Mozambican and South African brands.

Manuel Vieira, JHI Mozambique’s chairman, says: “Since 1992, Mozambique’s economy has undergone radical change, resulting in significant growth, while politically the country has stabilised and the democratic process consolidated as it heads into two decades since the peace accords.”

Mr Vieira says the next challenges facing the country are decentralisation, which needs to be accompanied by training of public servants, and job creation for the youth.

With dependence on external donor aid likely to continue, the country is exposed to external factors including petroleum price hikes.

“However, while last year was a difficult year due to the global slowdown, the government made sound investment decisions, which kept the economy in a positive growth cycle.

“We anticipate meaningful growth late this year and next year as the coal projects in Tete province begin exporting some of their first coal.”

The country’s minerals, such as coal, natural gas, coal-bed methane and heavy sands, and energy projects — the Mpanda Nkuwa hydroelectric power station and Petroline pipeline from Maputo to Kendal — are expected to drive the economy and should secure robust growth into the next decade.

From a tourism perspective, Mozambique is seeing a new wave of investment in hotels, with the world famous Polana Hotel being refurbished and a Radisson greenfield development rising out of the ground at the Joaquim Chissano Conference Centre. This 200-room hotel will be on the Avenida da Marginal, near the Southern Sun hotel and overlooking the ocean.

“The arrival of Park Inn, with a new 120-room hotel, is further evidence of this trend, with other brands, including Kempinski and Six Senses, also visiting Mozambique with increased frequency in order to secure sites for their developments.

“Furthermore, trade with SA appears to be on the rise, particularly with the port of Maputo playing an important part in energising the Maputo-Gauteng corridor,” Mr Vieira says.

The flow of goods is bidirectional, with vehicles being the latest product emanating from SA.

Invariably the owners of the cargo require some sort of representation office that ultimately expands into a fully fledged office in Mozambique, “and this is where we play a role”, Mr Vieira says.

Source: Business Day

Publisher: I-Net Bridge
Source: I-Net Bridge

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