Italy has "built a solid relationship of friendship and mutual trust" with Mozambique and hopes to consolidate these ties and become its largest investor and trading partner, Confindustria boss Vincenzo Boccia said on Tuesday.
"Over the years, Italy and Mozambique have built a solid relationship of friendship and mutual trust," Boccia told the Italy-Mozambique business forum in Rome, which is being attended by representatives from 72 Italian companies, including Italian energy major Eni.
The forum is taking place at the headquarters of Confindustria - Italy's biggest private employers' lobby. Participants include Mozambique's president Filipe Nyusi, Italy's foreign minister Enzo Moavero Milanesi and the chief of Mozambique's main business association, Agostinho Vuma, as well as Eni chief executive Claudio Descalzi.
"Here today you will find a business delegation with a turnover of more than 110 billion euros. Together I am sure we will be able to add further value to existing cooperation between Italian and Mozambican firms," Boccia told Nyusi.
Italian companies from the energy, infrastructure, building, agroindustrial and engineering sectors were represented at Tuesday's business forum.
"Our goal must be to make Italy become Mozambique's primary investor and trading partner among European nations," Boccia said.
"To achieve this we are committed to strengthening economic cooperation with Mozambique's business community...this could aid the development of ever-stronger synergies between the two continents," he added.
Italy is already Mozambique's second biggest trading partner in Europe, and is eying new investment opportunities to cement its business presence there. Mozambique's oil-and-gas based economy is forecast to grow 4% this year and its government has numerous projects in the pipeline aimed at diversifying the economy.