Natural Gas, Public Investment and Debt Sustainability in Mozambique

38 Pages Posted: 9 Jan 2014

See all articles by Jose de Gregorio

Jose de Gregorio

Central Bank of Chile; Universidad de Chile; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Yi Xiong

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Date Written: December 2013


Mozambique has great potential in natural gas reserves and if liquefied/commercialized the sum of taxes andother fiscal revenue from natural gas will, at its peak, reach roughly one third of total fiscal revenue. Recentdevelopments in the natural resource sector have triggered a fresh round of much needed infrastructureinvestment. This paper uses the DIGNAR model to simulate alternative public investment scaling-up plans inalternative LNG market scenarios. Results show that while a conservative approach, which simply awaits LNGrevenues, would miss significant current growth opportunities, an aggressive approach would likely meetabsorptive capacity constraints and imply a much bigger (and, in an adverse scenario, unsustainable) build-up ofpublic debt. A gradual scaling up approach represents indeed a desirable path, as it allows anticipating some,though not all, of the LNG revenue and, even in an adverse scenario, keeping public debt at sustainable levels. Structural reforms affecting selection, governance and execution of public investment projects would significantly enhance the extent to which public capital is accumulated and impact non-resource growth and, ultimately, debt sustainability.

Keywords: Natural gas sector, Mozambique, Public investment, Debt sustainability, Economic models, Natural resources, Debt sustainability, Public investment, Mozambique, DIGNAR, budget constraint, public debt, fiscal revenue, government expenditure, fiscal adjustment, tax rates, capital expenditure, fiscal gap, government spending, public investment spending, fiscal regime, foreign debt, fiscal rules, fiscal analysis, capital expenditures, fiscal consequences, fiscal instruments, fiscal policy, public investment expenditures, fiscal revenues, fiscal policy adjustments, government budget constraint, tax increases, public spending, tax changes, national accounts, fiscal sustainability, fiscal affairs de

JEL Classification: E60, Q32

Suggested Citation

de Gregorio, Jose and Xiong, Yi, Natural Gas, Public Investment and Debt Sustainability in Mozambique (December 2013). IMF Working Paper No. 13/259, Available at SSRN:

Jose De Gregorio (Contact Author)

Central Bank of Chile ( email )

Agustinas 1180

Universidad de Chile ( email )

Ministry of Finance Teatinos l20 - Piso l2

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Yi Xiong

International Monetary Fund (IMF) ( email )

700 19th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20431
United States

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