Mozambique: Advertising Festival Inaugurated

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The Mozambican government expects that companies, through advertising and marketing, will compete in an environment of transparency, capable of bringing ideas about how to promote Mozambican produce and to maximise the benefits of regional integration, declared the Minister of Industry and Trade, Antonio Fernando, on Monday.

Speaking at the opening of an International Festival of Advertising and Marketing, Fernando said regional integration, with the creation of a southern African free trade zone, creates immense opportunities, as the market available for Mozambican companies expands from 20 millon people to 230 million.

As integration gathered pace, "more demands will be placed on our ports and railways", said Fernando. "And since Mozambique is potentially powerful in electricity, it can supply the region with that resource."

Mozambicans had to work to promote the country, its tourism potential, and even its cuisine. "We have to promote the value of our prawns, of our kapenta (a fresh water fish found in Cahora Bassa lake), and the hospitality and generosity of our people", declared the Minister.

He noted that in consultations among the business class about regional integration, held in Maputo, Beira and Nampula, the key role of advertising had been stressed. Companies should regard advertising as a necessary investment for promoting their goods and services.

Mario Ferro, chairperson of the Mozambican Association of Advertising Companies (AMEP), said the fact that Mozambican advertising agencies are forming partnerships with foreign agencies was a sign that they have their eyes on regional integration.

The advertising agencies, Ferro said, are aware that regional integration is not just about Mozambican borders to foreign goods, but is also an opportunity for an increase in business. The Festival, sponsored by Mozambican companies, displays the work of 13 advertising agencies from Mozambique, Angola, Cape Verde and Mauritius.

(Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique (Maputo), 28 May 2007)