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Cablegate: Business Licenses Now Issued in a Single Day

VZCZCXRO5869
RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHTO #0354 1141503
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 231503Z APR 08
FM AMEMBASSY MAPUTO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8795
INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0149

UNCLAS MAPUTO 000354

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON EINV ETRD PREL PGOV MZ
SUBJECT: BUSINESS LICENSES NOW ISSUED IN A SINGLE DAY

REF: MAPUTO 126

1. (U) SUMMARY: The GRM recently announced that commercial
licenses for small businesses will be issued in a single day
and location. The change comes on the heels of
recommendations by post on how to reduce poverty in
Mozambique and suggests that President Guebuza's
administration recognizes the importance of improving the
business environment and working cooperatively with the
public and private sector to solve the country's economic
woes. END SUMMARY.

2. (U) Commercial licenses for certain types of small
businesses like barbershops and cafeterias are to be issued
in a single day and place, effectively as a "one-stop shop,"
according to a decree on simplified licensing approved by the
Mozambican government on March 25. Applicants need only fill
out one form and present a valid tax ID to for approval. The
decree will allow the business owner to start operating as
soon as the license is issued, even before any inspections,
which will be undertaken later, to avoid slowing the process
down.

3. (SBU) In February the Charge met with President Guebuza
to discuss potential solutions to the GRM's significant
economic development problems (reftel). During the meeting,
the Charge encouraged the President to accelerate work on
strengthening Mozambique's business environment to attract
employment-generating investments. On April 3, the USAID
Director met with the Minister of Industry and Commerce
Antonio Fernando, who reiterated the GRM's commitment to
improving the business climate in Mozambique and attaining a
higher ranking on the World Bank's &Doing Business Index.8
According to the Minister, the "one-stop shop" concept for
licensing will serve as the foundation of, and as an example
for, additional policy reforms aimed at simplifying
bureaucratic processes.

4. (SBU) COMMENT: The new decree resulting in issuance of a
business license in one day is a significant improvement over
the average of 29 days currently needed to get a license as
reported by the World Bank in its 2008 "Doing Business
Index." The GRM's move suggests that the Guebuza
administration recognizes the importance of foreign
investment to economic development and the fight against
poverty, and understands that creating a cooperative
environment between the public and private sectors will
attract even more investment. END COMMENT.
Chapman

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