Mozambique is open to foreign trade, which accounts for more than 132% of the country`s GDP (World Bank, 2018). It is a member of the WTO and the South African Development Community (SADC) and has signed trade agreements with Malawi and Zimbabwe. In February 2018, Mozambique joined the EUROPEAN-SADC EPA UNION, signed in June 2016 by Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland. The country also signed the African Continental Free Trade Agreement. The government is trying to reform its trade rules to improve its business climate and promote exports. Tariffs remain high and there are many non-tariff barriers in the country (for example. B slow customs clearance procedures). The country mainly exports natural resources (coke and coal, aluminum, electrical energy, hydrocarbons, titanium, precious stones), tobacco and sugar. Mozambique imports hydrocarbons, metal products (aluminium), electric energy, vehicles, boats, food (rice, wheat and fish), cements and medicines. Mozambique`s main customers are India, the Netherlands, South Africa, China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Poland. Its main suppliers are South Africa, China, the United Arab Emirates, the Netherlands, India, Singapore, Portugal and the United States. By 2020, Mozambique could become one of the world`s largest exporters of natural gas (the country is Africa`s third largest reserve) thanks to the discovery of new reserves.
The proposed construction of natural gas-fired power plants and the construction of a new dam are expected to increase the country`s electricity exports to neighbouring countries. Export infrastructure (railways, deep-water ports, liquefied natural gas facilities) is also under construction and will support natural gas and coal exports to Asia. The deficit has narrowed sharply since 2016 due to a drop in imports, but has fallen from $498 million in 2017 to $973 million in 2018 (World Bank). In 2018, exports of goods amounted to $5.2 billion (up 10% from 2017), while imports amounted to $6.79 billion (up 18%) has been achieved.