News story

Mundell: Aberdeen-Pemba partnership almost there

Scottish Secretary David Mundell will push forward a partnership between Aberdeen and the Mozambican city of Pemba.

He will meets Ernesto Tonela, Mozambique’s Minister of Industry and Commerce later today [Monday 12 February 2016] to discuss the deal, potentially worth tens of millions of pounds to the Scottish economy

At the start of his five-day visit to Mozambique and Malawi, the Scottish Secretary said he was in Mozambique to support the new relationship between Aberdeen and the future gas hub of Pemba, which could yield significant opportunities for Scottish firms while helping Mozambique develop its huge offshore gas reserves.

It is believed the country could become one of the world’s largest producers of gas within a decade.

Mr Mundell will also link up with Gordon McIntosh who has led on the partnership for Aberdeen City Council. His work has been supported by funding worth £120,000 from the Foreign Office.

At today’s meeting, Mr McIntosh will update Mr Mundell on progress. A Memorandum of Understanding between Aberdeen and Pemba, cementing the formal relationship between the two cities, is expected to be signed later this year.

The Aberdeen-Pemba partnership will use Aberdeen’s experience to inform Pemba’s development. By doing so it will open up opportunities in consulting, supply chain, logistics and training for British companies, particularly those based in Scotland.

The Aberdeen oil and gas hub model, built on lessons learned from 40 years of North Sea operation, sets the highest standards in governance, transparency, value for money, quality and environmental responsibility.

Mr Mundell said:

Following on from the announcement of the City Deal for Aberdeen and the region, I am delighted to be here as part of another phase in our drive to help the North East of Scotland weather these difficult times in the oil and gas industry.

This initiative will not just help protect existing jobs and businesses – it is a chance to develop new opportunities and markets and create new sources of employment for people in the North East and Scotland as a whole.

It is a great example of what can be done when all levels of government work together. Gordon McIntosh is doing a superb job in supporting a development plan which will not only benefit Scotland, but will be of great help to Mozambique, allowing Pemba to take steps towards becoming a world-class gas hub along the lines of Aberdeen. The Foreign Office has helped with funding and UKTI have shared their knowledge of doing business in this developing country.

Gordon McIntosh said:

The link between Aberdeen and Pemba will provide opportunities for a wide variety of companies. Whether it is training, support services, subsea operations or infrastructure, there are roles to be played for Scottish businesses.

This is a win-win, because Mozambique can benefit greatly too, with an injection of expertise which can help it in taking the next step towards becoming a major gas producer.

The presence of a Cabinet Minister here in Maputo shows the commitment of the British Government to this project, to Scotland and to supporting the development of Mozambique.

During his visit to Mozambique Mr Mundell will also be supporting the Scotch whisky industry.

In Malawi, his focus will be on helping the relationship with Scotland and the wider UK move from aid to trade.

The Scottish Secretary will visit local businesses and see schemes supported by the Department for International Development which are helping promote health and education in the country.

He will also look at projects designed to foster greater civic engagement in Malawi, particularly among young people, which are intended to develop the next generation of political and business leaders.