CMAN Recognizes SPEED+ Support for Progress on Priority Business Environment Reforms for 2017
The Private Sector Annual Meeting (CASP) and the Business Environment Monitoring Council (CMAN) are the main mechanisms in Mozambique for public-private dialogue on business enabling environment issues. These high level forums focus on creating consensus and political will around priority business environment and economic growth issues, and ensure efficient coordination and collaboration for implementation of reforms.
During the CASP, the government and private sector established the Public Private Dialogue Matrix, which identifies priority reform issues, outlines implementation actions, and establishes roles/responsibilities for all parties. The quarterly Business Environment Monitoring Council (CMAN, chaired by the Prime Minister) provides the forum to review progress towards achieving the goals established in the Public Private Dialogue Matrix. SPEED+ provides technical assistance for the implementation of the CASP and CMAN, as well as providing targeted technical assistance to multiple government and private sector counterparts for the achievement of specific priority reforms.
The 5th Business Environment Monitoring Council, held on November 17, reviewed achievements since July under the Public Private Dialogue Matrix 2017. Several key achievements had important support from SPEED+, namely the revision of the Commercial Code and the review of the export tax on raw cashew nuts.
The Prime Minister Carlos de Agostinho do Rosário announced that on November 9, the Parliament approved a Legislative Authorization giving the Government 180 days to undertake a full review and revision of the Commercial Code. This has been a priority reform advocated by the Government and private sector in accordance with the Dialogue Matrix 2017. SPEED+ provided technical assistance to the Ministry of Industry and Trade to prepare the request and advocate to Parliament for the authorization to revise the Code. SPEED+ has also already drafted revisions to the Code that will reduce the time and procedures for opening a business, and strengthen protections for minority shareholders. SPEED+ will now support the Ministry of Industry and Trade and other relevant stakeholders to conduct an in-depth review and recommendations for the entire Commercial Code to align with international best practice support private sector competitiveness. A modern Commercial Code will facilitate business establishment and growth, increase domestic and foreign investor confidence, and improve the investment outlook for Mozambican companies.
SPEED+ also supported progress on the revision of the export tax for raw cashew nuts, another priority reform of the 2017 Dialogue Matrix. The tax revision will require the amendment of Law 13/99 on the promotion, production, processing and export of cashew nuts. SPEED + is supporting the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, through the National Cashew Institute (INCAJU), to review the entire legislative package governing the cashew sector. The initial technical input, an economic analysis of the cashew sector, was presented to key stakeholders at a Business Breakfast held on November 16, 2017.
Despite these positive developments, one of the remaining challenges highlighted during the CMAN was a serious concern about bureaucracy and corruption. Implementation of business environment reforms supported by SPEED+ can simplify procedures and modernize public administration. Better public service management through the improvement of the electronic platforms of the Single Service Desk (e-BAU), Electronic Government (e-Government) and Electronic Taxation (e-Taxation) can respond effectively to society's demand for these services with transparent and accountable mechanisms that reduce opportunities for corruption.
Looking ahead, SPEED+ will support the CTA to develop and standardize a clear methodology and criteria for identifying, evaluating and prioritizing issues to be included in the Public Private Dialogue Matrix, and a process for the on-going management and updating of the Matrix. In 2018, a more efficient dialogue around the business enabling environment reform agenda, and the successful implementation of the priority reforms, can attract investment, expand markets, and reduce costs, thus contributing to broad-based and inclusive economic growth. It is anticipated that these accomplishments will be reflected in an improvement of Mozambique’s ranking on the World Bank's Doing Business Reports for 2019 and 2020.