South Africa and Angola to renew economic links to boost trade
The Acting Chief Executive Officer of Trade Investment Africa at the Department of Trade and Industry, Ms Lerato Mataboge says it is vital for South Africa and Angola to renew and strengthen their economic partnership in order to boost trade and investment between the two countries. Mataboge was speaking at the SA-Angola Business Forum held in Pretoria.
The business forum, which took place on the margins of the first State Visit undertaken by the new President of Angola, Mr Joao Lourenco, was meant to create a platform for SA and Angolan business to interact with government and private sector leaders with a view to increasing and advancing trade and investment opportunities.
“The business forum discussions today are about unpacking what we can do to invest in each other’s economies, and also to look at ways in which we can industrialise our economies. We can then start and expand by trading in value-added products, work together to invest in each other infrastructure needs and create the necessary infrastructure linkages that the region and that two countries need among themselves,” said Mataboge.
Mataboge added that the forum was also made important by the fact that South Africa is not the only investor in the two economies. She said both countries have heavily invested in each other’s economies and that there is more room for Foreign Direct Investments from Angola to SA especially in the Industrial Policy Action Plan priority sectors.
“So part of the conversation is around how do get Angolan companies to be more active in the growth story of South Africa,” she said.
Speaking at the same forum, the Secretary General of the Black Business Council (BBC) Mr George Sebulela, said both South Africa and Angola needed to accelerate and implement the regional integration and bilateral agreement that are already in place for businesspeople.
He said businesspeople from both countries can create industries that will assists in creating much needed jobs in the SADC region.
Sebulela urged the forum to consider the formation of a joint business council like the BBC has with other BRICS countries and Europe. He said with this formation, issues that hinder trade can be resolved and implemented quickly.
The representative of the Agency for Investment, Promotion and Export in Angola (APIEX), Dr Belarmino van-Dunem said their goal as an agency was to attract private investment, promote exports and support Angolan businesses in any business venture that will bring growth in their country.
He urged South African businesspeople to invest in Angola and form partnership with the locals in order to transfer skills and create jobs.
Angola is one of the South Africa’s major trading partners on the African continent. In 2016 South African exports to Angola stood at R8.2 billion whereas imports from Angola amounted to R18 billion.