“[dropcap]A[/dropcap]gility is a long-term sustainable investor and is a strong advocate of the future of Mozambique,” says Deanne De Vries, Senior Vice President for Agility Africa, a global warehousing and logistics multinational rapidly expanding across the continent.
De Vries’ robust views are shared by the host of MozamReal, API Events’ Kfir Rusin. As a pan African business to business networking conference, API Events’ forums are synonymous for driving investment and formalizing the investment opportunity in local markets.
As he comments, “For investors looking to position themselves for growth in one of the continent’s biggest future economies, Mozambique provides a strategic long-term growth opportunity with exceptional opportunities in hubs from Maputo to Pemba, Tete, Nampula and more.”
With conservative growth forecasts predicting a doubling of Mozambique’s GDP in the next four to five years, the global logistics giant’s future growth strategy is increasingly geared towards the continent and in lynchpin markets such as Mozambique.
“Agility is building a pan-African network of international standard warehouse parks that will provide the warehousing infrastructure for companies to access the burgeoning African market supporting imports and exports and enabling the development of trade internationally, domestically and regionally,” says De Vries.
Driven by population growth, technology adoption and 5% average GDP growth across the continent, the need for warehouse parks are a product of the changing macroeconomic trends of “Small & Medium Enterprises (SME) and ecommerce fulfillment” in Africa, says De Vries.
As she explains, “Ecommerce can require four times more warehousing in markets than traditional logistics pathways.”
Owning more than 2.2 million square meters of logistics space worldwide and with over 60,000 global clients, Agility’s warehouse park on the Maputo Ring Road is set to transform and improve the ease of doing business in the economy.
“Agility’s warehouse parks makes doing business easier and less risky and therefore attracts new multinational companies to come to Mozambique which in turn drives further capital investment, creating more jobs and stimulating the economy.”
While a core-focus for the group is on providing a de-risked investment model into new markets for cross sector client base, their strategy is evidence of a nuanced and maturing Africa strategy says Rusin.
“Agility has been in Mozambique for four years and it’s refreshing to see a global giant enter the market with a tailored business plan that caters to both large scale investors and SMEs.”
As De Vries comments, “Agility’s warehouse parks reduce capital costs, shorten lead times and de-risk market entry for both MNCs and SMEs.”
She adds that, “Our support program for local Mozambican SME companies enables them to lease our international standard warehouse facilities by paying only three-months security deposit. SME’s don’t require a strong balance sheet or financial guarantees so are able to access quality warehousing for expanding their business without having to raise expensive capital.”
As one of several international companies, including Heineken and CDM, to have set up shop in the Marracuene area of Maputo, Agility Africa’s strategy is long-term and bullish.
Says De Vries, “When we identify locations, we constantly review how and where major cities are expanding and where the center of business will be in 5 or 10 years.”
As one of the major sponsors of MozamReal 2019, delegates will have the opportunity to accompany De Vries on an investor site-tour of the first phase of the development, which will, in time, cover the equivalent of over 24 football pitches.
Says De Vries, “Our partnership with MozamReal will help us get the word out to even more companies and individuals about our warehouse park but also about the opportunities in Mozambique for the (industrial) real estate sector – a very nascent sector in Mozambique’s real estate arena.”
Rusin believes that Agility’s local and global positioning in the market is effective and generating local excitement in a sector that is recovering rapidly.
“Our 2019 theme is Positioning for Growth, and we believe that Agility are just the first movers in a market that will rapidly transform over the next couple of years.”