Mozambique: Scottish Secretary Promotes Aberdeen/Pemba Partnership

London - The Secretary of State for Scotland in the British government, David Mundell, is meeting on Monday with Mozambique's Minister of Industry and Trade, Max Tonela, on the first day of his visit to Mozambique.

During the meeting in Maputo, the British minister will promote the partnership between the Scottish city of Aberdeen and Pemba in northern Mozambique.

Aberdeen is located in the north east of Britain and is considered by many to be the oil capital of Europe, built on its experience of serving the North Sea oil fields. The city council and local chamber of commerce have worked to promote links with Pemba, the hub for the natural gas industry in the Rovuma Basin.

According to a press release from the Scotland Office, "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 British government has supported the initiative through awarding Aberdeen city council a grant of 120,000 pounds (174,000 US dollars) from the Foreign Office to help draw up the action plan for the Pemba hub.

Ahead of the meeting Mundell commented, "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".

He added that the cooperation "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 then Mozambican President, Armando Guebuza, visited Aberdeen in July 2013, where he addressed a conference on the emerging gas and oil industry, and urged Scottish businesses to invest in Mozambique.

During his visit, Mundell will also promote the best known Scottish export, Scotch whisky. The Minister will then move on to a visit to neighbouring Malawi.