Portuguese citizens could be exempt from entry visas
Portugal could be one of the countries whose citizens are exempt from visa requirements in order to enter Mozambique, Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi announced on Friday.
Speaking at a joint press conference with Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa, moments after the opening ceremony of the investment forum between the two countries, held in Marracuene district, 30 kilometres north of Maputo, Nyusi said "We are drawing up a list of countries which will have visa waivers, and I hope Portugal will be among them".
Relaxing visa requirements was among the measures to boost the Mozambican economy announced by Nyusi last month. Some of the measures suggested are clearly aimed at attracting investors. Thus, Nyusi announced that anyone investing 50 million US dollars in the country will be entitled to a residence card valid for five years.
But Nyusi also wanted to bring more tourists to Mozambique - hence he proposed a list of countries whose citizens would not require entry visas. These would be countries where the threat of organized crime is regarded as low.
On Friday, Nyusi said that the visa waiver schemes would not necessarily be reciprocal. "If Portugal delays, we shall open the doors unilaterally", he said. He did not think there would be any serious risk of importing crime from Portugal.
Costa announced that on Thursday the Portuguese government approved a regulation on mobility that will facilitate the entry into Portugal of citizens from all members of the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP).
"As soon as this decree is promulgated and is in force, then requests for visas from citizens of CPLP member states, including Mozambique, will be immediately accepted, as long as there is no order banning or expelling the person in question", said the Prime Minister.
He added this means that in "99.9 per cent" of cases visas will be granted automatically to citizens of CPLP member states.