Government seeking to promote growth in tobacco industry

Mozambique’s Minister of Industry and Trade, Armando Inroga, on Wednesday said that the government is seeking to promote growth in the tobacco industry, but within the health standards established by law.

The minister was speaking shortly after visiting the Maputo offices of British American Tobacco (BAT).

Inroga stressed the importance of the tobacco industry to Mozambique’s economy, despite the dangers to health caused by smoking.

He pointed out that the tobacco crop is the main livelihood for a large number of families in the provinces of Nampula, Niassa, Tete and Zambezia.

According to the minister, the tobacco industry is also a major contributor to state revenues. He pointed out that BAT contributes two million US dollars a month in taxes.

This was corroborated by Hugo Gomes of BAT, who said that this year the company expects to pay 25 million dollars in taxes, a 15 per cent increase on 2010.

The minister pointed out that “we would like to see Mozambican brands of cigarettes produced in the country, but with the industry developing within the health standards set for this sector”.

Inroga added that BAT is complying with all the health requirements established by the government, while offering good quality cigarettes to the market.

“As we know, smoking is bad for public health. Therefore the government has ruled that 30 per cent of the cigarette packaging must be covered with a warning that smoking is bad for health. We have found that this company has complied, and we are happy with that”, said Inroga.

Post published in: Africa News

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