Two stories out of Mozambique today contrast the relationship of the country with Europe and China/Brazil.
On the one hand, an ODI report highlighting the risk faced by developing countries, including Mozambique, as a result of the ongoing euro zone crisis. 62.4 per cent of Mozambique's exports go to Europe. Portuguese financial institutions own 60 per cent of the banking sector, in the form of Mozambique's two largest banks. In 2010, euro zone exports accounted for more than 14 per cent of GDP. The longer Europe remains in uncertainty and crisis, the more precarious things are likely to get for Mozambique.
Meanwhile things move forward in Mozambique and the government is determined to keep industrial development happening. The government has announced a major new deep water port project in Nacala. The development will, it appears, be financed by the China Development Bank. The government is at pains, however, to reassure that this will not displace or clash with a similar project being developed by Brazilian mining group, Vale.
When people lament the growing influence of China in Africa, I sometimes wonder if they see the whole picture.