Mozambique growth rate to pick up in 2010

MAPUTO - Mozambique predicts economic growth will accelerate slightly to 6,3percent in 2010, up from a projected growth rate of 6,1percent this year, state media said yesterday.

MAPUTO - Mozambique predicts economic growth will accelerate slightly to 6,3percent in 2010, up from a projected growth rate of 6,1percent this year, state media said yesterday.

Mozambique's growth slowed in 2009 as a result of the international economic crisis, but finance minister Manuel Chang told state-run newspaper Noticias the economy would rebound slightly in 2010 partly due to state stimulus measures.

Still, Chang cautioned that sub-Saharan Africa's long-term growth would depend on reducing its dependence on foreign resources.

"To reduce our economies' long-term vulnerability, we should continue to orient our fiscal policy toward strengthening the internal resource base and leverage, gradually, the relative substitution of (domestic resources) for foreign resources," Chang said.

Mozambique, one of the world's poorest countries, depends on foreign aid for more than half its budget.

The country experienced a decade of 8percent average annual growth after ending a 16-year civil war in 1992.

But growth has since declined gradually.

The IMF has predicted a growth rate of 4,5percent in Mozambique for 2009, but agreed with government officials that growth is likely to pick up again in 2010. - Sapa-AFP

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